Although the sharp spines of Bull Thistle is a nuisance for livestocks, they bear many traditional medicinal uses that we humans can leverage.
Thus, read on till the end of the article to uncover all of the medicinal uses of Bull Thistle plant.
Is Bull Thistle Poisonous to Humans?
Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare) is not poisonous or toxic to humans in smaller quantities. But the prickly spines of the plant can cause skin irritation.
Having that said, do not eat it as there lacks proper evidence to back the edibility of Bull Thistle.
Nevertheless, the plant is dangerous because its stem contains sharp spines that can prick and hurt your skin.
Thus, if you got pricked by Bull Thistle, carefully remove the spines and clean the area with soap and water.
You should see a doctor if you begin experiencing allergic reactions like swelling and redness.
Big animals like deer, elk, and bison enjoy the flower heads as they are not poisonous to animals.
Bull Thistle Medicinal Uses
The medicinal uses of Bull Thistle dates ages back to native Americans. As the plant is edible head to toe, our ancestors ate parts of Bull Thistle for various aids.
For instance, people used Bull Thistle to treat hemorrhoids, muscle or joint pains and inflammation. Furthermore, they used roots of Bull Thistle to improve digestion and ease in stomach cramps.
Besides that, here are other traditional medicinal uses of Bull Thistle.
- Aid Liver Health: Promote liver function and detoxify the liver.
- Regularize Urination: It helps to increase urine production and reduce chances of uninary infection.
- Anti-Inflammatory: Used to treat minor skin burns, rashes and allergies.
- Balance Blood Sugar: The chemical compounds present in the plant is believed to lower blood sugar level.
- Aid Digestion: It was used to lower bloating, constipation and indigestion issues.
Though Bull Thistle has various traditional medicinal benefits, they lack proper scientific evidence. So, always consult healthcare professionals before eating or applying them.
Furthermore, the use of Bull Thistle for their medicinal use may interfere with other medications. It may show side effects like nausea or diarrhea.
Therefore, we do not recommend you to try Bull Thistle as a medicine despite its traditional use.
Obnoxious, Invasive Bull Thistle!
Except for Antarctica, Bull Thistle grows in all continents and is considered invasive. They can easily outcompete native plants and spread its colony easily with seeds.
So, opt for biocontrol methods like introducing a natural enemy of Bull Thistle like beetle or moths. Or, manually remove them from your garden to control damage to native plants.
All The Best!