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Enciclopedia de Salud

Nutritional Supplement

Blessed Thistle

Parts Used & Where Grown

Although native to Europe and Asia, blessed thistle is now cultivated in many areas of the world, including the United States. The leaves, stems, and flowers are all used in herbal preparations.

How It Works

The sesquiterpene lactones, such as cnicin, provide the main beneficial effects of blessed thistle in the treatment of indigestion. The bitterness of these compounds stimulates digestive activity, including the flow of saliva and secretion of gastric juice, which leads to improved appetite and digestion.1 Some pharmacological evidence suggests that blessed thistle may also have anti-inflammatory properties.2

References

1. Bradley PR (ed). British Herbal Compendium, vol 1. Bournemouth, Dorset, UK: British Herbal Medicine Association, 1992, 126-7.

2. Foster S. 101 Medicinal Herbs. Loveland, CO: Interweave Press, 1998, 32-3.

3. Schulz V, Hänsel R, Tyler VE. Rational Phytotherapy: A Physician's Guide to Herbal Medicine. 3rd ed, Berlin: Springer, 1998, 168-73.

4. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin: American Botanical Council and Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 425-6.

5. Lust JB. The Herb Book. New York: Bantam Books, 1974, 343.

6. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 92.

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