Native to the Mediterranean, blessed thistle has been used since the Middle Ages to treat several illnesses and infections. Today, it's most used to help increase breastmilk production in nursing mothers. The leaves of blessed thistle are used for teas, while the stems are used for capsules, tinctures and powder.
Other uses for blessed thistle include treating diarrhea, indigestion, and colds. It is an antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, aids in cleansing the blood, liver, and kidneys, and stimulates the appetite. Externally, blessed thistle can be placed on abscesses, boils, and skin infections to speed up the healing process.
You should avoid blessed thistle if you suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases or are taking a diuretic. If using antacids, do not use blessed thistle within 4 hours of taking them.
Though it is used to stimulate breast milk in nursing mothers, blessed thistle should be avoided while pregnant, as it may stimulate uterine contractions.