Cnicus Plant Information
Cnicus grows in the following 22 states:Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, Wisconsin, Oregon, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington
Cnicus benedictus (St. Benedict's thistle, blessed thistle, holy thistle or spotted thistle), is a thistle-like plant in the family Asteraceae, native to the Mediterranean region, from Portugal north to southern France and east to Iran. It is known in other parts of the world, including parts of North America, as an introduced species and often a noxious weed. It is the sole species in the monotypic genus Cnicus. Largely reclassified to Cirsium, Carduus, Centaurea
It is an annual plant growing to 60cm tall, with leathery, hairy leaves up to 30cm long and 8cm broad, with small spines on the margins. The flowers are yellow, produced in a dense flowerhead (capitulum) 3-4cm diameter, surrounded by numerous spiny basal bracts.
The related genus Notobasis is included in Cnicus by some botanists; it differs in slender, much spinier leaves, and purple flowers.
It has sometimes been used as a galactogogue to promote lactation. The crude extracts contain about 0.2% cnicin. It is also a component in some bitters formulas.
The roots of the blessed thistle is used by Algerian locals to heal burns and wounds. When root powder mixture was added to rat wounds during a study, the powder proved more effective in healing the wounds than in natural time.
In Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing, this thistle, in tincture form, is recommended for a cold.
These thistles are not considered edible, unlike Cirsium, Arctium and Onopordum species; the leaves are considered unpalatable if not bitter.
studies of roots of Cnicus benedictus L.
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