Blessed Thistle:  A Natural Galactagogue

Blessed Thistle: A Natural Galactagogue

Blessed Thistle is an old friend to nursing mothers, so we thought we’d take a moment to share a bit about this versatile plant.

Blessed Thistle (Cnicus Benedictus, also known as St. Benedict’s thistle, holy thistle or spotted thistle), may have gotten its name from its use as a tonic by monks in the Middle Ages.

Its use dates to the 16th century for treating a variety of ailments including fever, anorexia, dyspepsia, indigestion, and even the bubonic plague.  It is considered a hormone balancer, and some value it as an emotional ally to uplift spirits.  It’s one of the best herbs, along with milk thistle, to support liver health and promote bile.  It’s even used in some bitters formulas and as a flavoring for Benedictine liqueur.

Not to be confused with Milk Thistle, Blessed Thistle has fuzzy leaves and stems with yellow flowers and grows to about two feet in height.   It is native to Europe and considered a weed in parts of North America.  It’s a member of the Asteraceae family.  Its thistle is not considered edible.

Blessed Thistle is a “bitter” that aids digestion, and is approved by the German Commission E for indigestion and loss of appetite.  It is not recommended for use in pregnancy.  It is also widely recommended, especially in conjunction with fenugreek, to support breastmilk supply.

Blessed Thistle is an ingredient in these Motherlove products: More Milk Plus, More Milk Plus Alcohol Free, More Milk Plus Capsules, More Milk Special Blend, More Milk Special Blend Alcohol Free, More Milk Special Blend Capsules, More Milk

Sources: The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk, The Nursing Mother’s Herbal, Low Milk Supply, Medline PlusGerman Commission E, Wikipedia.  Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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