Botanical Name: Cnicus benedictus
Components: Native to the Mediterranean and western Asia, this annual is now cultivated all over the world. It produces yellow flowers with spiny-edged leaves. Common names include Holy Thistle and St. Benedict’s Thistle.
Overview: First used in Ayurvedic medicine and later during the Middle Ages in Europe, this healing herb is known to help with arthritis, bacterial infections, inflammation, liver problems, digestive issues, and menstrual irregularities. It may also help increase breast milk production in nursing mothers.
Uses: Blessed Thistle leaves and flowering tops are used in teas, bitters, capsules, and tinctures. The leaves can also be cooked as a vegetable.