Wednesday What Herb is This – Thistle

August 5, 2009 at 10:04 am (Ancestors, Associations, Folklore, Herb, History, Lore, Mabon, Magic, pagan, Wednesday, Witch)


There are many different varieties of Thistle so these are a few of the best
known ones…
Latin names:

  • Holy Thistle – Carbenia benedicta
  • Milk Thistle – Silybum Marianum

Common names:

  • Holy Thistle – Blessed Thistle;
  • Milk Thistle – Marian Thistle, Our Lady’s Thistle

Part used:

  • Holy Thistle – herb;
  • Milk Thistle – Whole herb, root, leaves, seeds and hull.

Herbal uses: The Holy Thistle can be used as a liver tonic and also is useful in migraine headache relief. It can be made into a salve for canker sores and warts. The Milk Thistle is also a liver tonic but is also useful in helping cure depression. It is used in Germany for curing jaundice. The decoction when applied externally is said to have proved beneficial in cases of cancer. Thistle was also said to cure "bitings of mad dogs and venomous beasts."

Associations: Thistles are associated with the planet of Mars and with the
element of fire. Milk Thistle is associated with the Virgin Mary (Milk Thistle gets its name from the white veins in its leaves. Legend has it that one day Mary stopped to feed the Holy Child, and was so tired from her long ride that she fell asleep. The babe was also soon slumbering, and some drops of milk escaped from Her Breast, and fell upon a Thistle, which forever bears the imprint of this accident.) The Thistle is also associated with Scotland and is in fact the nation’s national emblem (When Scotland was ravaged by Viking invaders, the attacking Vikings crept up upon the sleeping Scots – unfortunately the Vikings stepped in Thistles with their barefeet and their cries of pain woke up the Scots who were able to fight off the attackers).
Magical uses: Thistle has great value in protection spells and also is used to bring spiritual and financial blessings. If Thistle is thrown into a fire, it will protect the thrower from being struck by lightning during summer storms. Thistle can be carried in an amulet bag for joy, energy,
vitality, and protection – in fact men who carry Thistle become better lovers! A shirt with Thistle woven into the cloth will protect the wearer from evil spirits. Thistle can be burned as an incense for protection and also to counteract hexing. Thistle powder can also be added to ritual baths to give added protection. Thistle can be grown in the garden to ward of those dreaded vegetable thieves, and a bowl of fresh Thistle will give off such good strengthening energies that it is the perfect thing to have in a
sickroom. Thistle is a wonderful material to use to make magic wands for spirit conjuring and magical walking sticks. In England, the wizards of old were said to select the tallest thistle and use it as a wand or walking stick. For a Witchling child, a thistle wand would be good because it might protect him or her from giving in to peer pressure. If you have a dream about Thistle this is a good thing because Thistles are good omens in dreams. Boil some thistle, then remove it from heat and lie or sit beside it as the steam rises. Listen carefully, and you should be able to get the spirits to answer your questions.

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

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