And yet, close investigation is exactly what I wished to do. Other Uses: • Plant down used in starting a fire. 1973. Other uses: cordage from stem fibers Dangers: Very prickly Young bull thistle Harvested mature 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. 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. (When we first moved here, the place was overrun with thistles. The style is tightly surrounded by five stamens, shorter than the style. Eflora describes several uses of thistle from tinder (seed fluff) and papermaking (using the inner bark) to medicinal uses in teas and poultices (e.g., for sore jaws, treating rheumatic joints, or bleeding piles. 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). Medicinal Uses: Finely shredded and used in a poultice, common thistle cures suppurating wounds. 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. It’s also been used to treat other inflammatory conditions, such as inflammatory bowel syndrome. 0. 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). “Episode 109: Bull Thistle”. You can eat the flowers, fruits, and young leaves of Turk's Cap either raw or cooked. Merridy and I then simply took each tiny thistle heart and gnawed on it with our teeth. The Northwest Forager. But this stunning deep purple-pink flowered plant is as sharp as it is beautiful. 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. Medicinal use of Common Thistle: The roots have been used as a poultice and a decoction of the plant used as a poultice on sore jaws. [PFAF], "Seed - sow early spring or autumn in situ. Thanks, Cathy. EatTheWeeds demonstrated that a sharp knife could cut away the spines of a leaf, leaving the edible leaf rib in tact. The seedlings are capable of establishing themselves in grassland. Reviews of Weed Science, 6: 29-50. ", "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. Its use in treating liver diseases dates back to the 1700s, and its use to A functional approach to common British species.” Unwin Hyman Ltd., London, UK. Moore and Frankton. A hot infusion of the whole plant has been used as a herbal steam for treating rheumatic joints. The Iroquois used it for bleeding piles and in an unspecified way for cancer (Herrick 1995). Nina Munteanu is a Canadian ecologist / limnologist and novelist. Who hasn't trodden on the sharp, unforgiving spines of a thistle when out and about barefoot in grasslands? Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. She is co-editor of Europa SF and currently teaches writing courses at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. It is important to know that Bull Thistle is susceptible to glyphosate and dicamba herbicides. THISTLE, MILK Botanical: Silybum marianum Family: N.O. CABInternational informs us that this thistle “has the potential to compete with many crops and natural species and displace them from their natural habitats. Preparing the thistle hearts as an appetizer before dinner was a fun project, but rather prickly! and butterflies such as the monarch, tiger swallowtail, skippers, among others). “Biology of bull thistle, Cirsium vulgare (Sai) Tenore. “Comparative plant ecology. "how to use milk thistle drops?" The bull thistle plant was used by early humans as a warm medicinal tea. 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. And for your adventurous spirit. Public and private landowners are not required to control infestations of bull thistle that occur on their property in King County. I once joked with my husband that the best thing about our Canada thistles is that they weren’t bull thistles. It is also naturalised in North America, Africa, and Australia and is an invasive weed in some areas. The phyllaries (involucral bracts) are each tipped with a very sharp, stiff yellow spine. Cross-section of Bull thistle, showing receptacle (thistle heart) inside the protective involucre and on which the seeds are embedded (photo by Nina Munteanu). Chipmunk checks out thistle seeds (photo by Merridy Cox). The branched pappus acts as a parachute to reduce the terminal velocity of the falling achene so that wind can disperse it farther. Current Medicinal Uses A leaf tea made from Canada thistle is used as a tonic and diuretic and has been used for tuberculosis. The anthers release their pollen on the inside and as the style and stigma push past, they collect pollen from the dehisced anthers. 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. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. 76: 366-382. Bull thistle was also a top producer of nectar sugar in another study in Britain; it ranked third with a production per floral unit of (2323 ± 418μg). The leaves are dark, more slender than milk thistle, and are finely furry underneath. Steam from the warm tea was used to treat muscle stiffness and rheumatism. A pernicious weed, it really needs no encouragement from us." 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. Monograph, Research Branch, Canada Department of Agriculture, No. ( Log Out /  Whoever would have thought of thistles as a hair restorer? 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). 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. Milk thistle is referred to in the earliest Greek writings as a liver-protecting herb. 3 doctors agree. Not only does the goldfinch pull the seeds out to eat; it also uses the thistle down (the pappus) to line its nest. The Bull thistle also provides seeds to granivores (consumers of grains and seeds) such as goldfinches. The warm infusion - 1 OZ. [Top of Thistle, Holy] ---Medicinal Action and Uses---Tonic, stimulant, diaphoretic, emetic and emmenagogue. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. That’s exciting and worth knowing as a potent anti-inflammatory. A decoction of the whole plant has been used both internally and externally to treat bleeding piles. I just add them to a: Warm herbal tea. Scouting … When boiled whole (1 leaf in 1 cup [250 ml] water), the leaves act as a diuretic and gently drain the liver and soothe fevers caused by an overtaxed liver. The hollow stem. However, it will only provide short term control due to the fact that the seeds have already set. 10: 112pp. Uncategorized December 2, 2020 Leave a comment December 2, 2020 Leave a comment The upper bracts normally curve up towards the flower head (reflexed) and the lower ones bend down (decurrent). 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). ), sweat bees (Agapostemon spp.) A decoction of the roots has been used to treat worms in children. It is used as medicine. Bleeding piles have been treated by a decoction of … In large doses, Blessed Thistle acts as a strong emetic, producing vomiting with little pain and inconvenience. Thanks for being the curious naturalist you are, Merridy! However, its larger, fewer inflorescences, and the broader leaves and wings on the stem can readily separate it from bull thistle. Thistle comes in several forms- Blessed or Holy Thistle, Milk Thistle, Bull Thistle, Scotch Thistle and many others. 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. New Phytol. The roots lower blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Bull thistle blooms in July through August during the second year of the plant's life. I had to pull them away firmly, revealing a rounded whitish receptacle that looked like a pocked mini-dome—the heart of the thistle inflorescence—with visible ‘spiral’ arrangement. Except for the spines found on the leaves, stems, and flower bases, the rest of this plant is considered edible. 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. 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). The Bull thistle also provides seeds to granivores (consumers of grains and seeds) such as goldfinches. “World weeds: natural histories and distribution.” Wiley-Blackwell, 1129pp. High seed production, variation in seed dormancy, and vigorous growth make this species a serious invader. The obvious thick spines are enough to draw blood if you’re fool enough to push one of these bad boys into your skin. [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. First we collected late-blooming flowerheads that had fairly sizable involucres—and therefore large receptacles inside. It’s the heart of the inflorescence (think ‘artichoke heart’ or the fleshy part of the strawberry on which seeds are embedded). Removing the achenes and pappus, revealing the thistle heart (photo by Merridy Cox). of … Search for: creeping thistle medicinal uses. A decoction of the whole plant has been used both internally and externally to treat bleeding piles. The potential health benefits of milk thistle are explored below. Usual daily dose is 12 to 15 g of whole or powdered fruit or 200 to 420 mg of milk thistle. Govan, Carol. Emerging flower head from the spiny involucre of the Bull thistle (photo by Nina Munteanu). Wear thick gloves. But does take a little work. Cook young flower stems before serving. The Cherokees treated neuralgia with an infusion of the leaves and bruised the plant to poultice a sore jaw (Hamel & Chiltoskey 1975). ( Log Out /  Answered by Dr. Heidi Fowler: I just add them to a: Warm herbal tea. Bleeding piles have been treated by a decoction of the whole plant, used … a honey bee looking for nectar on the Bull thistle flowerhead (photo by Nina Munteanu). http://www.eattheweeds.com/thistle-touch-me-not-but-add-butter-2/ Learn about wild food with Green Deane. Medicinal Uses The roots of bull thistle have been used as a poultice and a decoction of the plant used as a poultice on sore jaws. “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. 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. Bull thistle root can be eaten and is best used when mixed with other vegetables. “Common/Bull Thistle” SeeingNatureCCG, March 10, 2019. 2004. [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]. They can be readily separated, however, based on the large basal leaves and the absence of the prickles from the leaves. In the second year of growth the stem can grow from 1 foot to as much as 6 feet depending on the growing conditions. 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. 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. Foraging the Bull Thistle”. A 34-year-old female asked: how to use milk thistle drops? I say this to convey that I don't really care which type grows in my yard, I use it the same way regardless. Because control is not required in the county, it is on the list of Non-Regulated Noxious Weeds for King County. ( Log Out /  2019. 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). The globs of sticky pollen are then ready to be picked up by pollinators searching for the nectar inside the tiny flowers. Its stem is light green with dense white hair on its angular circumference, punctuated by a series of winged spines. 24 years experience Psychiatry. 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 inflorescence of burdock species (Arctium) might be mistaken for bull thistle because of the involucral bracts with hooked tips and the purple flowers. 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. Thistle (Cirsium sp.) ", Note Author: Anna-Maria Csergo, February 2011. “Cirsium vulgare (spear thistle)”. “Asteraceae—Thistles”, Eflora.neocities.org. When we were done with the process, Merridy thought someone might like to eat the seeds we’d removed to eat the thistle hearts. Young flower stems can be cooked and young leaves can be eaten in a salad or tossed into a sauté. A hot infusion of the whole plant has been used as a herbal steam for treating rheumatic joints. T usually welcome in home gardens just add them to a: warm herbal tea winged spines dense... Or phyllaries, armed with very sharp, stiff yellow spines the thistle... Branch, Canada Department of Agriculture, food and Rural Affairs layer easily splits away from the delicious light-green! 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Your details below or click an icon to Log in: you are, Merridy population ecology of whole... Introduced to North America and has been used as a herbal steam for treating rheumatic joints pollen the. Inanna Publications ( Toronto ) in June 2020 Brown College and the of. In the UK, and roots ), you are commenting using your Twitter account steam from the anthers! The Iroquois used it for myself -- -Medicinal Action and Uses -- -Tonic stimulant! Appendicitis, internal bleeding, and has emetic properties ( Lewis & Elvin-Lewis 1977 ) SeeingNatureCCG, 10. Plant with pinkish flowerheads which grows in similar habitat conditions Holy ] -- -Medicinal Action and Uses -Tonic!, so to speak of Europa SF and currently teaches writing courses at Brown... Readily separated, however, based on the stem can grow from 1 foot to as much 28... A hair restorer flowers amid the deep purple ones is light Green with dense white on! To Log in: you are commenting using your Google account 6 feet tall often... 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