There are many flowers of the field. But as we make our way through life we also come upon the situations that are less than perfect and may feel like there is a thorn in ones side. But a good Medieval Herbalist could understand the ways of nature and could make best use of such plants. Milk Thistle may have many thorns around its beautiful leaf but when it is fully open and ready to release its precious seeds its center is so very soft to the touch.
Milk Thistle (Carduus Marianus) was called Mary’s Thistle. You may notice the latin name is Marianus, one of the sacred plants of Mary. Each Medieval village had different names for the same plant. This is why it became so important later in time to identify and classify plants in Latin.
Milk Thistle has a connection with a Medieval Legend. One day Mary was feeding the Baby Jesus and the milk from her breast fell to the ground and landed on a large broad leaf plant at her feet. The spirit of the plant felt so blessed that it absorbed the milk into its leaves and has carried this signature of milk stained leaves ever since.
The thorny Milk Thistle is a very effective liver cleanser. The seeds are ground, blended with juice or can be put into gelatin caps and taken 2 caps with meals 2 times a day for one month to cleanse the liver.
Chinese Medicine believes that emotion of anger is connected with the health of our liver. Milk Thistle is the Queen of the herb kingdom, capable of cleaning the liver and releasing the stored anger you might be carrying around with you. I find when one starts cleaning the liver after about 7 days you find yourself begin to process old anger issues or get angry very easily. This means Milk Thistle is doing its job and brings your attention to unresolved situations that need to be released and forgiven. Even though Milk thistle has many thorns, its soft center gives away its little secret. When we are angry at situations or people it is because our soft spot in our heart has been hurt. Anger is only the outer expression of having your feelings sometimes deeply hurt. Once we release our anger and move it out of our bodies through liver cleansing combined with exercise, then we are ready to move past the hurt and even forgive.
I used to do herb walks every Saturday for 8 years and I always carried my swiss army knife with its little scissors. I would carefully cut the thorny leaf of the Milk Thistle and then cut the outer edges of the leaf which removed the thorns. You then could eat the leaf which tasted a lot like lettuce.
So today we honor the thistles in our life and remove the thorns from our hearts and forgive those who may have hurt us over this year. We release the past. We let bygones be bygones. Amen. Hallelujah. Let move through it. Let us move on.A