Curly wolf, or blessed

Common names: Benedict’s herb, bitter thistle.

Parts Used: Above-ground part of the plant.

Pharmacy name: wolf herb – Cnici benedicti herba (formerly: Herba Carduibenedicti).

Botanical description. This annual plant looks like a thistle, has a height of 30-50 cm, strongly branches. An upright pentahedral stem is striped, bristly below. The leaves are elongated-lanceolate, often stalk-bearing, sharply serrated along the edge, not often hairy-pubescent and sticky. The inflorescences are immersed in a funnel of upper leaves and are provided with involucre leaflets with cobweb suggestion. Blooms from June to September. In Germany, this plant, which has a Mediterranean origin, is found only occasionally, and then as wild. For medicinal purposes, it is cultivated, sown in rows with 30-cm row spacing and fertilized well. Collection and harvesting: harvested during flowering and dried in dryers in the shade.

Active ingredients: bitterness (knitsin), a certain amount of essential oil and tannins.

Healing action and application. The healing effect is due mainly to bitterness. They stimulate the secretion of gastric juice, improve appetite, eliminate digestive problems (which is also noted by the German National Health Service), increase the formation of bile and facilitate its outflow. From one thistle, tea is not often used, more often tea mixtures are used, in which the thistle serves as an important component. In addition, there are many galenic products that contain active ingredients from this medicinal plant. Those who have weakened digestion should be treated with thistle tea: for several weeks, 2 times every day, 1 hour before the main meals, drink 1 cup of tea.

  • Thistle tea: 1 tablespoon with the top of the herb is poured into 1/4 liter of cold water, slowly brought to a boil, then removed from heat and filtered after about 2 minutes. Tea is drunk lukewarm, in small sips, unsweetened.

My special advice. In chronic pains in the stomach, which are accompanied by loss of appetite and which are probably of nervous origin, also in digestive disorders of various nature, bitter products are effective. If they are combined with medicinal plants that contain essential oil and, in addition, have a special effect on the stomach and intestines, for example, with calamus root, then the scope of application expands.

  • Tea mixture of thistle with calamus: Thistle herb 30.0 Calamus root 20.0

Two teaspoons with the top of the mixture pour 1/4 liter of cold water, slowly bring to a boil, strain; drink tea unsweetened 2 times every day for 1 cup.

Application in folk medicine. In folk medicine, this medicinal plant is used primarily for disorders of the stomach, gallbladder, liver or intestines. It also relieves symptoms such as loss of appetite, flatulence and constipation. Moreover, traditional medicine uses thistle for lung diseases, anemia, cardiac disorders, and as an external treatment for poorly healing wounds.

Side effects. Overdose may cause nausea and vomiting. Allergy is possible.

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