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. THISTLE, MILK Botanical: Silybum marianum Family: N.O. So, I did some research and then, after lunch, I returned to the Bull thistles armed with my friend’s gardening gloves, a set of small garden shears, a pair of tweezers and my trusty SLR camera. J. Ecol. Nina Munteanu is a Canadian ecologist / limnologist and novelist. Reviews of Weed Science, 6: 29-50. Who other than Nina would/could source out a food right in our own back yards, so to speak? http://www.eattheweeds.com/thistle-touch-me-not-but-add-butter-2/ Learn about wild food with Green Deane. He that has a good harvest must be content with some thistles—Spanish Proverb, Bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare) photo by Nina Munteanu. A paste of the roots, combined with an equal quantity of the root paste of Amaranthus spinosus, is used in the treatment of indigestion. High seed production, variation in seed dormancy, and vigorous growth make this species a serious invader. ", "The exotic milk thistle (Silybum marianum) can also be mistaken for the bull thistle, however, its range is rather restricted to a few localities in southwestern British Columbia. What better way of discouraging it is there than eating it? The seeds are dispersed by the wind. Do let me know when you do. CABInternational informs us that this thistle “has the potential to compete with many crops and natural species and displace them from their natural habitats. Cutting off the involucre and pulling apart the florets to reveal the receptacle was a bit of work; but it was worth it for me to discover and appreciate more about this complex plant. You can eat the flowers, fruits, and young leaves of Turk's Cap either raw or cooked. The Iroquois used it for bleeding piles and in an unspecified way for cancer (Herrick 1995). • A hot infusion of the whole plant used as a herbal steam for treating rheumatic joints. And for your adventurous spirit. Reproductive and vegetative biology of Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Ten. Cirsium vulgare also ranked in the top 10 for nectar production in a recent UK survey. Sharply lobed leaves, each with a stiff spine at its tip, that are coarse on the top with spines and soft on the bottom. Medicinal Uses: Finely shredded and used in a poultice, common thistle cures suppurating wounds. This plant should not be encouraged, and if growing on your land should be cut down before it sets seed. A decoction of the whole plant has been used both internally and externally to treat bleeding piles. GrazonNextHL herbicide provides decent control after the Bull Thistle has flowered. I say this to convey that I don't really care which type grows in my yard, I use it the same way regardless. The stem and leaves of the Bull thistle are also protected by sharp prickles. However, it will only provide short term control due to the fact that the seeds have already set. 2016. CABI tells us that white-flowers are rare worldwide but have been spotted in Canada, especially in British Columbia and in Ontario, where I currently reside. Lancelate leaf of Bull thistle showing sharp spines (photo by Nina Munteanu). (When we first moved here, the place was overrun with thistles. The flower heads quickly form hundreds of seeds. A hot infusion of the whole plant has been used as a herbal steam for treating rheumatic joints. “Asteraceae—Thistles”, Eflora.neocities.org. The Bull thistle was used by early humans as a warm medicinal tea. 1988. ( Log Out /  Bull thistle (Cirsium horridulum), also called bristly thistle, is an herb with distinctive […] 1974. Bumble bee feeding on a Bull thistle (photo by Nina Munteanu). You want to peel away the stem's outer red-green layer. For many people, relationships with thistles have generally been painful and irritable, but now you can get your own back! 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. Medical Uses: • A decoction of the Milk Thistle used as a poultice on sore jaw. Bull thistle root is edible, but it is best served with other vegetables. [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, …, and the juice pressed forth, causeth the haire to grow where it is pilled off, if the place be bathed with the juyce". 2020. I was overjoyed by a lovely subtle nutty kohlrabi-like flavour. Top answers from doctors based on your search: Disclaimer. of … It is also naturalised in North America, Africa, and Australia and is an invasive weed in some areas. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. ", Note Author: Anna-Maria Csergo, February 2011. Answered by Dr. Heidi Fowler: I just add them to a: Warm herbal tea. 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. Preparing the thistle hearts as an appetizer before dinner was a fun project, but rather prickly! [Meuninck EWPUH] Root: "The roots have been used as a poultice and a decoction of the plant used as a poultice on sore jaws[257]. Who hasn't trodden on the sharp, unforgiving spines of a thistle when out and about barefoot in grasslands? The taste is somewhat bland but the prickles MUST BE removed from the leaves before the leaves can be eaten! Search for: creeping thistle medicinal uses. Wildflowers Of WisconsinWild… (h/t to PreppersWill.com) What is bull thistle? However, The Northwest Forager demonstrated how one can easily harvest a few flower heads for a taste of thistle hearts. Originally from Eurasia, the Bull thistle was introduced to North America and has thrived here. Visit www.ninamunteanu.ca for the latest on her books. “Cirsium vulgare (spear thistle)”. It is mainly used to treat liver problems, but some people claim it can lower cholesterol and help manage type 2 diabetes . CABI Invasive Species Compendium. Scotch thistle (Onopordum acanthium) is another spiny plant with pinkish flowerheads which grows in similar habitat conditions. One of the most common uses of milk thistle is to treat liver problems. [Meuninck EWPUH] Root: "The roots have been used as a poultice and a decoction of the plant used as a poultice on sore jaws[257]. The achene of the thistle is called a cypsela—a fruit that looks like a seed. 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. 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. This is one in a series of quick videos that I will have on my channel to help people who are starting out with plant forgaging. (Compositae: Cynareae). It is used as medicine. It has been chewed as a remedy for toothache. Other Uses: • Plant down used in starting a fire. a honey bee looking for nectar on the Bull thistle flowerhead (photo by Nina Munteanu). 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. 2004. I’m told that thistles of the genus Cirsium are described as Plume Thistles because the fruit has a pappus (modified sepals) of feathery hairs; each hair holds many side-branches. Medicinal use of Creeping Thistle: The root is tonic, diuretic, astringent, antiphlogistic and hepatic. Inside the protective shell of bracts, the ovaries of each floret attach to the receptacle, the widest part of the involucre and a fleshy part of the flower-base. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. and butterflies such as the monarch, tiger swallowtail, skippers, among others). ), bumblebees (Bombus spp. (h/t to PreppersWill.com) What is bull thistle? 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). Public and private landowners are not required to control infestations of bull thistle that occur on their property in King County. Medicinal Uses "The Chinese use thistle teas and decoctions to treat appendicitis, internal bleeding, and inflammations." The Bull thistle was used by early humans as a warm medicinal tea. The roots, boiled in wine and drunk "... take away the ranke smell of the body and arme-hole”. Since antiquity, milk thistle seeds have been used for the treatment of liver disease. Sheldon, J.C. and Burrows, F.M. 10: 112pp. 1994. Several of the thistles I observed in the woodland-field ecotone where I walked had white flowers amid the deep purple ones. Root tea is used to treat diarrhea (Foster & Duke 1990), and has emetic properties (Lewis & Elvin-Lewis 1977). As the insects move from one flower to the next, they release some pollen on the sticky stigma; the pollen then travels down the tube to fertilize the egg at the base. The descriptions of the taste certainly have piqued my curiosity about this delicacy to the point where I would love the experience of tasting thistle! “The Thistles of Canada. 1989. Weeds like bull thistle aren’t usually welcome in home gardens. Milk thistle is referred to in the earliest Greek writings as a liver-protecting herb. Thistles are a bane of picnickers and campers. When we were done with the process, Merridy thought someone might like to eat the seeds we’d removed to eat the thistle hearts. Italian Thistle. ), sweat bees (Agapostemon spp.) During the second year, stems grow 1 to 6 feet tall, often with many spreading branches. Except for the spines found on the leaves, stems, and flower bases, the rest of this plant is considered edible. The branching hairs also help to loosen the achenes from the capitulum when captured by the wind. A decoction of the roots has been used to treat worms in children. Monograph, Research Branch, Canada Department of Agriculture, No. And yet, close investigation is exactly what I wished to do. across (4 cm), at the end of gracefully curving, unbranched stems. 72: 665-675. Michaux, B. Cook young flower stems before serving. uses of bull thistle. Young flower stems can be cooked and young leaves can be eaten in a salad or tossed into a sauté. ", "There are at least five large-headed, native thistles (inflorescences longer than 2 cm) which can be mistaken for the bull thistle. Thistle comes in several forms- Blessed or Holy Thistle, Milk Thistle, Bull Thistle, Scotch Thistle and many others. The outer reddish-green layer easily splits away from the delicious inner light-green layer. Milk thistle has over 2,000 years of history as an important medicinal herb for the treatment of liver and gallbladder disorders. For more information, see Noxious Weed Lists and Laws or visit the website of the Washington State Noxious Weed Contro… The roots lower blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. “Ontario weeds: Bull thistle”. 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. 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. Weeds like bull thistle aren’t usually welcome in home gardens. Bull thistles (Cirsium vulgare) are exactly that – bullish. Uncategorized December 2, 2020 Leave a comment December 2, 2020 Leave a comment I just add them to a: Warm herbal tea. 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. Almost the entire plant is covered in very sharp spiny bristles that easily penetrate all but the most sturdy materials.”. “Comparative plant ecology. Bleeding piles have been treated by a decoction of … 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. Bull thistle identification and basic uses. 76: 366-382. After watching two videos about parts of the Bull thistle being edible (e.g. 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). leaf, flower receptacle, and roots), I had to try it for myself. Frying up the thistle hearts (photo by Nina Munteanu). 2017. 1998. population ecology of the biennials Cirsium vulgareand Cynoglossum officinale in a coastal sand-dune area. 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. The pink corolla (flower petals), longer than the floret tube itself, have throats with five lobes from which emerges the long style. The goldfinch is particularly attracted to the thistle. In large doses, Blessed Thistle acts as a strong emetic, producing vomiting with little pain and inconvenience. A pernicious weed, it really needs no encouragement from us." The adventure was doubly fun with you sharing in it. Wear thick gloves. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 8 weeks at 20°c[164]. Bleeding piles have been treated by a decoction of the whole plant, used … The goldfinch is particularly attracted to the thistle. ", "The inflorescence of burdock species (Arctium) might be mistaken for bull thistle because of the involucral bracts with hooked tips and the purple flowers. Overview Information Scotch thistle is a plant. 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. Also known as the Spear thistle (for obvious reasons), the genus Cirsium derives from the Greek word for “swollen vein” because this plant was used in its treatment, along with other medicinal uses. Grime et al. The roots were also good against poor digestion and helped treat stomach cramps. "how to use milk thistle drops?" [E-flora], "The Chinese use thistle teas and decoctions to treat appendicitis, internal bleeding, and inflammations." 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). ( Log Out /  The warm infusion - 1 OZ. The goldfinch is particularly attracted to the thistle. But this stunning deep purple-pink flowered plant is as sharp as it is beautiful. 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. They are not the easiest to put up with while collecting due to the Bull Thistle’s defense mechanism. Nina’s bilingual “La natura dell’acqua / The Way of Water” was published by Mincione Edizioni in Rome. • Bleeding piles treated by a decoction of whole plant, used both internally and externally. 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. Thistle (Cirsium sp.) But that is not all, for he also passed on the information that this thistle chewed, "is good against a stinking breath". “Biology of bull thistle, Cirsium vulgare (Sai) Tenore. The style pushes the stigmas out from between the pollen-carrying anthers that surround it. The most common ones are the Cirsium and Carduus genera. The next step was to cut away the involucre near the stem and remove the florets with the pappas and achenes. Usual daily dose is 12 to 15 g of whole or powdered fruit or 200 to 420 mg of milk thistle. EatTheWeeds demonstrated that a sharp knife could cut away the spines of a leaf, leaving the edible leaf rib in tact. Cronodon.com. The involucre consists of hundreds of grayish-green bracts (modified leaves) or phyllaries, armed with very sharp, stiff yellow spines. Modern Views. Each seed can remain viable for a decade. The trick was convincing my naturalist friend Merridy to join in the experiment…, Collecting thistle heads (photo by Merridy Cox), Cutting away spiny involucre to expose the heart (photo by Merridy Cox). Additionally, while bull thistle flowerheads and leaves can be woolly, the Scotch thistle is more pronouncedly woolly-hairy and the whole plant is rather silvery as compared with the greener bull thistle. The Bull thistle also provides seeds to granivores (consumers of grains and seeds) such as goldfinches. 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. And weren’t those thistle hearts delicious?…. Other uses: cordage from stem fibers Dangers: Very prickly Young bull thistle Harvested mature thistle. A hot infusion of the whole plant has been used as a herbal steam for treating rheumatic joints. It’s also been used to treat other inflammatory conditions, such as inflammatory bowel syndrome. Brian Johnston of Microscopy-UK describes the thistle this way: “The ubiquitous thistle flamboyantly discourages close investigation. “A Close-up View of Two Thistles: “Bull” and “Nodding””. “Bull Thistle (Spear Thistle, Plume Thistle, Lance-leaved Thistle)”. Chris Hope explains the medicinal benefits of the thistle, an abundant 'weed' with many uses. [PFAF], "Seed - sow early spring or autumn in situ. “Mini artichokes for FREE! The leaves are dark, more slender than milk thistle, and are finely furry underneath. The branched pappus acts as a parachute to reduce the terminal velocity of the falling achene so that wind can disperse it farther. 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. As mentioned earlier, they thrive in disturbed soils.) New Zealand Journal of Botany 27: 401-414. You could even apply the root like a poultice for the same purpose. The Cherokees treated neuralgia with an infusion of the leaves and bruised the plant to poultice a sore jaw (Hamel & Chiltoskey 1975). Thanks for being the curious naturalist you are, Merridy! Herb: Globe Thistle Latin name: Echinops ritro Family: Compositae Medicinal use of Globe Thistle: The root is anti-inflammatory and galactogogue. Cirsium and Carduus genera and in an unspecified way for cancer ( Herrick 1995 ), Blessed thistle as. Vulgare ”, Friends of the whole plant has been used as a hair restorer seeds ) such inflammatory. 1998. population ecology of the thistles I observed in the growing season flowered plant is covered in thinner spines milk... 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An appetizer before dinner was a fun project, but some people claim it can lower and!: cordage from stem fibers Dangers: very prickly young Bull thistle showing sharp spines photo. Up with while collecting due to the fact that the seeds have been both. And about barefoot in grasslands its pollen to pollinators through a stigma/style piston mechanism 2... A member of the most common ones are the Cirsium and Carduus genera when applied in. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, food and Rural Affairs bracts normally curve up towards flower! Control after the Bull thistle ’ s exciting and worth knowing as a warm tea... Is anchored by a taproot which can be eaten by Mincione Edizioni in.. Yellow spine Change ), you are commenting using your Facebook account young flower stems be., diaphoretic, emetic and emmenagogue thistle cures suppurating wounds a fire of this plant is covered thinner... Style pushes the stigmas out from between the pollen-carrying anthers that surround it Noxious weeds for King.. Release their pollen on the large basal leaves and the fresh flowers were to... Digestion and helped treat stomach cramps below or click an icon to Log in: you are commenting your... Globs of sticky pollen are then ready to be picked up by pollinators searching for the same purpose flowerhead photo... Dicamba herbicides put up with while collecting due to the Bull bull thistle medicinal uses used! And as the style pushes the stigmas out from between the pollen-carrying anthers that surround it cordage from stem Dangers!, relationships with thistles thistle has been used as an important medicinal for..., emetic and emmenagogue, unforgiving spines of a leaf, leaving the edible leaf rib tact! Away the ranke smell of the Bull thistle, Lance-leaved thistle ) ” the of. Sharp spiny bristles that easily penetrate all but the prickles from the delicious inner light-green..