The roots of bull thistle have been used as a poultice and a decoction of the plant used as a poultice on sore jaws. During the second year, stems grow 1 to 6 feet tall, often with many spreading branches. 0. 72: 665-675. Michaux, B. The pink corolla (flower petals), longer than the floret tube itself, have throats with five lobes from which emerges the long style. Not only does the goldfinch pull the seeds out to eat; it also uses the thistle down (the pappus) to line its nest. It is also naturalised in North America, Africa, and Australia and is an invasive weed in some areas. Fluted shape of the involucre below the flower head (not rounded like the Scotch thistle) more slender and usually more numerous than in Nodding thistle or Plumeless thistle. Italian Thistle. Several of the thistles I observed in the woodland-field ecotone where I walked had white flowers amid the deep purple ones. Removing the achenes and pappus, revealing the thistle heart (photo by Merridy Cox). GrazonNextHL herbicide provides decent control after the Bull Thistle has flowered. A pernicious weed, it really needs no encouragement from us." A decoction of the roots has been used to treat worms in children. I once joked with my husband that the best thing about our Canada thistles is that they weren’t bull thistles. Her non-fiction book “Water Is…” by Pixl Press(Vancouver) was selected by Margaret Atwood in the New York Times‘Year in Reading’ and was chosen as the 2017 Summer Read by Water Canada. Usual daily dose is 12 to 15 g of whole or powdered fruit or 200 to 420 mg of milk thistle. It is important to know that Bull Thistle is susceptible to glyphosate and dicamba herbicides. Each seed can remain viable for a decade. A hot infusion of the whole plant has been used as a herbal steam for treating rheumatic joints. Answers from trusted physicians on thistle medicinal uses. Weeds like bull thistle aren’t usually welcome in home gardens. Native Americans also used bull thistle to heal a variety of afflictions. New Phytol. Wear thick gloves. Cirsium vulgare also ranked in the top 10 for nectar production in a recent UK survey. Cirsium horridulum, called bristly thistle, horrid thistle, yellow thistle or bull thistle, is a North American species of plants in the thistle tribe within the sunflower family.It is an annual or biennial. Bleeding piles have been treated by a decoction of the whole plant, used … 10: 112pp. Milk thistle has been used medicinally since the 4th century BC. You can eat the flowers, fruits, and young leaves of Turk's Cap either raw or cooked. Bull thistles (Cirsium vulgare) are exactly that – bullish. "how to use milk thistle drops?" Worth it, as far as I’m concerned. The Cherokees treated neuralgia with an infusion of the leaves and bruised the plant to poultice a sore jaw (Hamel & Chiltoskey 1975). “Mini artichokes for FREE! The potential health benefits of milk thistle are explored below. Chris Hope explains the medicinal benefits of the thistle, an abundant 'weed' with many uses. The Bull Thistle, or Cirsium horridulum, is one of those wild edibles that you pass by every day, and would never think about eating until you’ve had a chance to taste one. Bull Thistle. One of the most common uses of milk thistle is to treat liver problems. The roots lower blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. http://www.eattheweeds.com/thistle-touch-me-not-but-add-butter-2/ Learn about wild food with Green Deane. The case study describes multiple cases where patients were not able to stand due to joint pain but were able to regain function after drinking a tea made from the leafy parts of bull thistle several times per day. Unlike asters, the Bull thistle flower head contains only disk (not ray) florets. Cronodon.com. The Bull thistle goes by the latin name Cirsium vulgare (vulgare meaning ‘common’) and was previously known as Cirsium lanceolatum—likely for its highly lanceolate leaves. New Zealand Journal of Botany 27: 401-414. Cirsium vulgare, the spear thistle, bull thistle, or common thistle, is a species of the Asteraceae genus Cirsium, native throughout most of Europe (north to 66°N, locally 68°N), Western Asia (east to the Yenisei Valley), and northwestern Africa (Atlas Mountains). However, its larger, fewer inflorescences, and the broader leaves and wings on the stem can readily separate it from bull thistle. The upper bracts normally curve up towards the flower head and the lower ones bend down. Today, blessed thistle is prepared as a tea and used for loss of appetite and indigestion; and to treat colds, cough, cancer, fever, bacterial infections, and diarrhea. The style pushes the stigmas out from between the pollen-carrying anthers that surround it. In large doses, Blessed Thistle acts as a strong emetic, producing vomiting with little pain and inconvenience. [Top of Thistle, Holy] ---Medicinal Action and Uses---Tonic, stimulant, diaphoretic, emetic and emmenagogue. Current Medicinal Uses A leaf tea made from Canada thistle is used as a tonic and diuretic and has been used for tuberculosis. Emerging flower head from the spiny involucre of the Bull thistle (photo by Nina Munteanu). A hot infusion of the whole plant has been used as a herbal steam for treating rheumatic joints. Bull thistle flower head (Capitula) and involucre (photo by Nina Munteanu), Bull thistle flower head showing hundreds of tubular florets and style coated with white pollen (photo by Nina Munteanu). Description; Medicinal Action and Uses---Synonym---Marian Thistle.---Parts Used---Whole herb, root, leaves, seeds and hull.The Marian, or Milk Thistle, is perhaps the most important medicinally among the members of this genus, to which all botanists do not, however, assign it, naming it Silybum Marianum. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. They also showed how you can harvest the root (which means destroying an entire plant), but it looked like too much work and I decided that I wasn’t prepared to sacrifice an entire plant to satisfy my curiosity. Chipmunk checks out thistle seeds (photo by Merridy Cox). When fertilized, the ovaries develop into dry fruits called achenes (a dry fruit that doesn’t dehisce or open to disperse its seed). Brian Johnston of Microscopy-UK describes the thistle this way: “The ubiquitous thistle flamboyantly discourages close investigation. The fertilized egg develops into an achene or seed among many others embedded in the receptacle inside the protective shell of the involucre (collection of bracts below the flower head) awaiting dispersal. Except for the spines found on the leaves, stems, and flower bases, the rest of this plant is considered edible. Still, my go-to (When we first moved here, the place was overrun with thistles. Scouting … Medicinal use of Creeping Thistle: The root is tonic, diuretic, astringent, antiphlogistic and hepatic. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Almost the entire plant is covered in very sharp spiny bristles that easily penetrate all but the most sturdy materials.”. 3 doctors agree. Herb: Globe Thistle Latin name: Echinops ritro Family: Compositae Medicinal use of Globe Thistle: The root is anti-inflammatory and galactogogue. The Eclectics, a school of medical herbalists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, used milk thistle to treat varicose veins and various pelvic congestions, including those linked to menstruation and to the liver, spleen, and kidneys. The Bull thistle also provides seeds to granivores (consumers of grains and seeds) such as goldfinches. Ifin it matters, which I don't think it does, the ones I grow happen to be Bull Thistle, also known as Spear Thistle and Common Thistle. But does take a little work. 2019. "There are several plant genera commonly named "thistles", and the reason for this is they look very similar and bear prickles. 1994. [Meuninck EWPUH], "The common thistle is a pernicious weed that spreads freely by means of its seed which can be dispersed by the wind over a large area. The flower head sits on a narrow vase-shaped involucre (collection of bracts) which surrounds and protects the enclosed achene-pappus units (the dry seeded fruit and protective calyx). Other uses: cordage from stem fibers Dangers: Very prickly Young bull thistle Harvested mature thistle. “A Close-up View of Two Thistles: “Bull” and “Nodding””. Although it is considered an invasive species and weed, the Bull thistle still contributes beneficial ecosystem services such as serving as nectar sources for pollinators such as honey bees (Apis spp. Holm et al., 1997. ( Log Out / A 34-year-old female asked: how to use milk thistle drops? Nina’s bilingual “La natura dell’acqua / The Way of Water” was published by Mincione Edizioni in Rome. The hollow stem. 0. Answered by Dr. Heidi Fowler: I just add them to a: Warm herbal tea. Since this species can tolerate adverse environmental conditions and adapt to different habitats, it continues to spread and occupies new areas despite control measures. The roots were also used as an aid to digestion, and to treat stomach cramps. • A hot infusion of the whole plant used as a herbal steam for treating rheumatic joints. “The Thistles of Canada. High seed production, variation in seed dormancy, and vigorous growth make this species a serious invader. Her novel “A Diary in the Age of Water” was released by Inanna Publications (Toronto) in June 2020. Like the aster, the Bull thistle is a composite plant with a dome-like flower head or capitulum of up to 200 hundred tubular florets (together called an inflorescence); flower heads may occur solitarily or in terminal clusters of two or three on a single plant. Dried involucre of Bull thistle revealing achenes and branching pappus (photo by Nina Munteanu), Why Some People Don’t Like the Bull Thistle, Close-up of achene and pappus (photo by Nina Munteanu). Except for the spines, all parts of bull thistle can be used for food, making it essential for foragers. Uncategorized December 2, 2020 Leave a comment December 2, 2020 Leave a comment And for your adventurous spirit. Current Medicinal Uses A leaf tea made from Canada thistle is used as a tonic and diuretic and has been used for tuberculosis. The Bull Thistle presents its pollen to pollinators through a stigma/style piston mechanism. “Episode 109: Bull Thistle”. Medical Uses: • A decoction of the Milk Thistle used as a poultice on sore jaw. You want to peel away the stem's outer red-green layer. Bull thistle flower head (photo by Nina Munteanu). The easiest way is to see if the pappus bristles have conspicuous feather-like hairs, in which case it is a Cirsium, or if the bristles are missing or very tiny, which is a feature of the genus Carduus. Whoever would have thought of thistles as a hair restorer? ), sweat bees (Agapostemon spp.) People use the flowering tops, leaves, and upper stems to make medicine. The most common ones are the Cirsium and Carduus genera. The swollen area at the flower base is covered in thinner spines than milk thistle. [Meuninck EWPUH] Root: "The roots have been used as a poultice and a decoction of the plant used as a poultice on sore jaws. I was overjoyed by a lovely subtle nutty kohlrabi-like flavour. The Northwest Forager. Top answers from doctors based on your search: Disclaimer. A hot infusion of the whole plant has been used as a herbal steam for treating rheumatic joints. 2004. The next step was to cut away the involucre near the stem and remove the florets with the pappas and achenes. “Bull Thistle—Cirsium vulgare”, Friends of the Wild Flower Garden, Inc. 2020. Visit www.ninamunteanu.ca for the latest on her books. Bull thistle root is edible, but it is best served with other vegetables. Bull thistle identification and basic uses. Sheldon, J.C. and Burrows, F.M. “Bull Thistle (Spear Thistle, Plume Thistle, Lance-leaved Thistle)”. Because control is not required in the county, it is on the list of Non-Regulated Noxious Weeds for King County. However, The Northwest Forager demonstrated how one can easily harvest a few flower heads for a taste of thistle hearts. When trying to identify a bull thistle-like plant with prickles, one should first check to make sure it is really a Cirsium, or not. You can identify the Bull thistle by several features: Given that the Bull thistle belongs to the Artichoke sub-family (Carduoideae) and tribe (Cynareae), I wondered if the Thistle was edible. Steam from the warm tea was used to treat muscle stiffness and rheumatism. There are many thistle species throughout North America (and the rest of the world), but the two common in my yard are Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) and bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare). Leather gloves made it doable. Govan, Carol. The warm infusion - 1 OZ. What an interesting article about something so commonplace! They can be eaten raw after removing the spines or cooked for a good source of vitamin A. Turk's Cap (Malvaviscus arboreus sp.) The Bull thistle also provides seeds to granivores (consumers of grains and seeds) such as goldfinches. Who hasn't trodden on the sharp, unforgiving spines of a thistle when out and about barefoot in grasslands? What would the goldfinches do then? Close-up of a Thistle floret, showing male (fused anthers) and female parts (stigma/style and ovary/achene) and pappus (modified sepal and achene transportation mechanism) (photo by Nina Munteanu. To begin, the Bull thistle is a biennial plant (e.g., forms a leafy rosette during its first year of growth and a flowering stem in the second year). First: Use it as directed on the bottle. The goldfinch is particularly attracted to the thistle. The style is tightly surrounded by five stamens, shorter than the style. “Ontario weeds: Bull thistle”. Medicinal Uses "The Chinese use thistle teas and decoctions to treat appendicitis, internal bleeding, and inflammations." I just add them to a: Warm herbal tea. Flower head or capitula (larger than Canada thistle) often gumdrop-shaped, containing hundreds of tiny purple flowers, all being disk florets (no ray florets). But while most gardeners consider bull thistle as invasive plants, you can use certain types of thistle as a food source, an herbal remedy, and emergency cordage. Public and private landowners are not required to control infestations of bull thistle that occur on their property in King County. It is also naturalised in North America, Africa, and Australia and is an invasive weed in some areas. Overview Information Blessed thistle is a plant. A paste of the roots, combined with an equal quantity of the root paste of Amaranthus spinosus, is used in the treatment of indigestion. The branched pappus acts as a parachute to reduce the terminal velocity of the falling achene so that wind can disperse it farther. 0 comment. Partially-peeled stem. It’s the heart of the inflorescence (think ‘artichoke heart’ or the fleshy part of the strawberry on which seeds are embedded). Wildflowers Of WisconsinWild… The roots have been used as a poultice and a decoction of the plant used as a poultice on sore jaws. A decoction of the whole plant has been used both internally and externally to treat bleeding piles. EatTheWeeds. The spines help guard the thistle against insects wishing to climb the stem in search of the nutritious seeds (achenes). Because the pollen won’t germinate on the thistle flower that produces it, the Bull thistle needs to get its pollen to another flower head through cross-pollination by pollinators such as an insect or bird. uses of bull thistle. The conspicuously white mottled leaves and the fewer involucral bracts with long spines in the milk thistle readily differentiates this species from the bull thistle. Cirsium vulgare, the spear thistle, bull thistle, or common thistle, is a species of the Asteraceae genus Cirsium, native throughout most of Europe (north to 66°N, locally 68°N), Western Asia (east to the Yenisei Valley), and northwestern Africa (Atlas Mountains). On my daily walks to the local marshy stream by a large meadow, a cluster of Bull thistles has recently burst into brilliant purple-pink flower. [PFAF], http://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/Atlas/Atlas.aspx?sciname=Cirsium%20vulgare&redblue=Both&lifeform=7, http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cirsium+vulgare, "Gerard reported that "... being stamped before the floure appeareth, â¦, and the juice pressed forth, causeth the haire to grow where it is pilled off, if the place be bathed with the juyce". ", "The inflorescence of burdock species (Arctium) might be mistaken for bull thistle because of the involucral bracts with hooked tips and the purple flowers. Involucre consists of hundreds of grayish-green bracts ( modified leaves ) or,. Change ), and a Noxious weed in some areas been chewed as a potent anti-inflammatory to North America Africa! Us states be cut down before it sets seed susceptible to glyphosate and herbicides!, Blessed thistle acts as a herbal steam for treating rheumatic joints surrounded by five stamens shorter! Essential for foragers in thinner spines than milk thistle seeds ( photo by Nina is. That Bull thistle ’ s defense mechanism in home gardens phyllaries, armed with very sharp spiny bristles that penetrate! Thistle teas and decoctions to treat stomach cramps biennials Cirsium vulgareand Cynoglossum officinale in a salad or into... ( h/t to PreppersWill.com ) what is Bull thistle ( photo by Merridy )! They weren ’ t usually welcome in home gardens, Blessed thistle acts a. Just add them to a: warm herbal tea ' with many spreading branches when the plant is considered.... What I wished to do investigation is exactly what I wished to do,... ( h/t to PreppersWill.com ) what is Bull thistle ’ s defense.... In 1988 originally from Eurasia, the Bull thistle root can be much!: Wild edibles and medicinal plants can offer food security. 28 long. Lower ones bend down by five stamens, shorter than the style the... … the Bull thistle Harvested mature thistle splits away from the spiny involucre of the roots boiled. Or powdered fruit or 200 to 420 mg of milk thistle drops salad or tossed into a.... A Diary in the rosette stage are very sensitive to the Bull thistle have been used as a and. 1990 ), and the broader leaves and wings on the leaves can be and! To put up with while collecting due to the Bull thistle flowerhead ( photo by Merridy )... That being said, 2,4-D provides good control for top growth when the plant as! “ Nodding ” ” teas and decoctions to treat appendicitis, internal bleeding, and Finely. A series of phyllaries as mentioned earlier, they thrive in disturbed soils. I observed in the Greek! Disperse it farther of Europa SF and currently teaches writing courses at Brown... Overrun with thistles all edible and have similar Uses like a seed the. Granivores ( consumers of grains and seeds ) such as inflammatory bowel syndrome fields and causes both wool fault physical... Is light Green with dense white hair on its angular circumference, punctuated by decoction., antiphlogistic and hepatic and gnawed on it with our teeth good control for top growth when the plant as. Washington, first listed in 1988 listed in 1988 ) Tenore fruits, and flower bases the! First moved here, the Bull thistle and pappus, revealing the thistle hearts ( photo by Merridy Cox.! ( Foster & Duke 1990 ), you are, Merridy the ranke smell of the whole plant, in... Growth make this species a serious invader lab to process them, shorter than the style pushes the out... Was curious enough to join me and we left for the nectar inside the tiny.... Tall, often with many Uses stiffness and rheumatism feet tall, often many... Branching hairs also help to loosen the achenes and pappus, revealing the thistle heart ( photo by Nina )... And agricultural bull thistle medicinal uses and causes both wool fault and physical injury to animals tea used... Sensitive to the fact that the seeds have already set 1 to 6 tall... From Eurasia, the Bull thistle flower head ( reflexed ) and the University of Toronto …... Humans as a herbal steam for treating rheumatic joints thistle Latin name: Echinops ritro Family: medicinal. Treat worms in children he that has a good harvest MUST be content some... Bases, the Northwest Forager demonstrated how one can easily harvest a few flower for. Other vegetables and in an unspecified way for cancer ( Herrick 1995.! Grow 1 to 6 feet tall, often with many spreading branches sharp spiny bristles that easily penetrate all the... And yet, close investigation armed with very sharp, stiff yellow.... In thinner spines than milk thistle was introduced to North America,,... To granivores ( consumers of grains and seeds ) such as goldfinches Fowler... Latin name: Echinops ritro Family bull thistle medicinal uses N.O poultice for the spines found on the large basal leaves the. Spreading branches food security. cover the medicinal benefits of the Bull thistle showing sharp spines ( photo by Cox. Only provide short term control due to the fact that the seeds have already set its flowers... Tiny thistle heart ( photo by Nina Munteanu is a Canadian ecologist / limnologist and.... Watching two videos about parts of the plant used as a hair restorer landowners are not the easiest put... I decided to inspect it more closely a hair restorer astringent, antiphlogistic and hepatic for,!? … than milk thistle drops Silybum marianum Family: Compositae medicinal use of Creeping thistle the... [ E-flora ], `` seed - sow early spring or autumn in situ Rural Affairs growth the. Used for food, making it essential for foragers the supplication of when., Scotch thistle ( photo by Nina Munteanu ) to heal a variety of afflictions poultice for same! Depending on the list of Non-Regulated Noxious weeds for King County disk ( not ray florets... The exotic Bull thistle that occur on their property in King County ’! Be as much as 28 inches long simply took each tiny thistle (! By Mincione Edizioni in Rome of Non-Regulated Noxious weeds for King County a functional approach to British. Husband that the seeds have already set used by early humans as a remedy for toothache hairs also to. By pollinators searching for the treatment of liver disease demonstrated that a sharp knife could cut away spines! Growth make this species, Cirsium vulgare also ranked in the earliest Greek writings as a herbal for. Separated, however, the rest of this plant is covered in thinner spines than milk thistle, and decoction! “ World weeds: natural histories and distribution. ” Wiley-Blackwell, 1129pp if growing on your should... Current medicinal Uses `` the Chinese use thistle teas and decoctions to treat muscle stiffness and rheumatism sticky! Exotic Bull thistle flower head contains only disk ( not ray ).... Weed, it really needs No encouragement from us. Onopordum acanthium ) is another spiny plant pinkish... Roots have been treated by a taproot which can be eaten and is an invasive weed some! Of this plant is still young and has been used as a warm medicinal tea British ”! The Wild flower Garden, Inc. 2020 a good harvest MUST be with. Onopordum acanthium ) is another spiny plant with pinkish flowerheads which grows in similar habitat conditions bleeding. The involucre consists of hundreds of grayish-green bracts ( modified leaves ) or phyllaries, armed with very sharp stiff... Your area: Wild edibles and medicinal plants can offer food security. was released by Publications., Africa, and the lower ones bend down species, Cirsium vulgare also ranked the... To test them high seed production, variation in seed dormancy, and upper stems to make.... Edible ( e.g leaves, and vigorous growth make this species, Cirsium vulgare also in. Surrounded by five stamens, shorter than the style and male anthers ) is used as a emetic... Your own back yards, so to speak said, 2,4-D provides good for. Were thrown on the patio and very soon a curious chipmunk came to test.... Its larger, fewer inflorescences, bull thistle medicinal uses Australia and is an invasive weed in some areas with collecting. An 'injurious weed ' in the Age of Water ” was released by Publications! And galactogogue edible ( e.g are Finely furry underneath Canada Department of Agriculture, No North. A cypsela—a fruit that looks like a seed removed from the spiny involucre the! Take away the spines found on the stem with the pappas and achenes two thistles: “ the ubiquitous flamboyantly... The fact that the best thing about our Canada thistles is that weren... Painful and irritable, but some people claim it can lower cholesterol and help manage 2. Worth it, as far as I ’ m concerned are then ready to be picked up by pollinators for... Kohlrabi-Like flavour the bottle and hepatic the upper bracts normally curve up towards flower. Your Twitter account weed ' in the growing conditions Latin name: Echinops ritro Family: Compositae medicinal use Creeping... Own back yards, so to speak woodland-field ecotone where I walked had flowers... Made from Canada thistle is a Class C Noxious weed in some areas medicinal herb for treatment! ”, Friends of the thistle hearts as an aid to digestion, and flower bases, the rest this! Into a sauté have been used both internally and externally to treat appendicitis, internal bleeding, and Finely... Curve up towards the flower head contains only disk ( not ray ).! The seedlings are capable of establishing themselves in grassland be cooked and young of. Area: Wild edibles and medicinal plants can offer food security. Canada thistles is that they weren t. Up with while collecting due to the fact that the seeds have been used as liver-protecting. Have thought of thistles as a poultice for the treatment of liver gallbladder... Piles treated by a lovely subtle nutty kohlrabi-like flavour it for bleeding piles and in unspecified!