Blessed Thistle Benefits | Digestive Health & Breastfeeding

Bladderwrack Health Benefits

Blessed Thistle (Cnicus benedictus) is traditionally used in Western herbal medicine to increase breast milk production and stimulate digestion.

Blessed Thistle Pharmacology

Botanical Name

Cnicus benedictus

Other Common Names

Carduus benedictus, Holy Thistle, Safran Sauvage, St. Benedict Thistle & Spotted Thistle.

Part Used

Flowering Herb

Main Therapeutic Compounds

Bitter compounds, glycoside tannins, minerals, lignan lactones, phytosterols, triterpenoids, volatile oils & flavonoids.

Herbal Actions


Bitter Tonic

Wound Healing





Blessed Thistle Herbal Benefits

Breastfeeding | Indigestion | Gas & Bloating | Digestive Health

Digestion & Liver Function

Blessed Thistle is known to have cholagogue actions by promoting bile production and improving liver detoxification. Blessed Thistle may help to relieve poor liver and digestive function symptoms, such as lack of energy, appetite loss, nausea, flatulence and bloating. Blessed Thistle's ability to stimulate bile boosts the production of digestive acids and enzymes, enabling the body to metabolise fat and protein more efficiently and enhance digestion.

Anti-Inflammatory & Anti-Microbial

Blessed Thistle contains the compound cnicin, which has been found to have anti-inflammatory actions in small studies. Cnicin has also been effective against certain microbes such as Bacillus subtilis, Brucella species, Escherichia coli, Proteus species, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus faecalis.

Stimulates Breast Milk Production

Recent research has suggested a combination of Blessed Thistle and Fenugreek has effective galactagogue actions and stimulates breast milk production in lactating mothers.

Blessed Thistle Typical Use

Dried Herb & Powder

1 teaspoon of dried herb per 1 cup of boiling water.

Tincture & Liquid Extract

Typical use of Blessed Thistle tincture or liquid extract is approximately 2-5mls daily in divided doses, or as directed by your practitioner.

Herbal Combinations

Blessed Thisle combines well with Fenugreek, Goats Rue, St Marys Thistle & Dandelion Root.

Cautions & Safety

Not recommended during pregnancy. Usually safe during breastfeeding under the guidance of a herbal practitioner.

Blessed Thistle may irritate the gastrointestinal tract in some people.
If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical medications, please consult your primary healthcare practitioner prior to use.


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Newall CA, Anderson LA, Philpson JD. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London, UK: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996.

Schneider, G. and Lachner, I. [Analysis and action of cnicin]. Planta Med 1987;53(3):247-251 

Kataria H. Phytochemical investigation of medicinal plant Cnicus wallichii and Cnicus benedictus L. Asian J Chem 1995;7:227-228. 

Vanhaelen M and Vanhaelen-Fastre R. Lactonic lignans from Cnicus benedictus. Phytochemistry 1975;14:2709. 

Vanhaelen-Fastre, R. and Vanhaelen, M. Antibiotic and cytotoxic activity of cnicin and of its hydrolysis products. Chemical structure - biological activity relationship. Planta Med 1976;29(2):179-189.

Chevallier A. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. New York, NY: DK Publishing, 1996. 

The Review of Natural Products by Facts and Comparisons. St. Louis, MO: Wolters Kluwer Co., 1999. 


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