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With all the talk about Canadian thistle, I did some light digging.  It didn’t take long to find this fun old bit about the plant.

This is taken from The Physiomedical Dispensatory by William Cook, M.D., 1869 Medical Herbalism.  I do hope you all enjoy.  I certainly have.

Description:  Natural Order, Compositae.  It would be superfluous to give any detailed description of that pest to all good farmers-the Canada thistle.  Suffice it to say that it contains qualities which really are deserving of medical investigation;  and it will be a pleasant thing to know that the unfriendly herb may yet be put to some good uses.

Properties and Uses:  The roots are slightly demulcent, with stimulating and mildly astringing properties.  An ounce simmered in a pint of milk is a famliy remedy for low forms of diarrhea and dysentery, after the actue symptoms have subsided.  Two fluid ounces of such a decoction may be taken every two or three hours.

An infusion is said to expedite labor very effectually, when the nervous system has become fatigued-also anticipating after-pains and flooding.  I knew one gentleman to use a syrup of this root in long-standing coughs, where the expectoration was free and the lungs feeble;  and he also used a wine tincture in mild leucorrhea and prolapsus.  The leaves made into a decoction and used somewhat freely, are said to increase the flow of milk, and gently to overcome hepatic obstructions;  and the juice makes a rather soothing wash (or ointment) for irritable sores, tender eyes, and piles.


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