Wool thistle

Wool thistle

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Wool thistle card

This herbaceous plant, today is seen as a simple herbaceous plant that stands out among the magnificent flower fields. However, few will know by now that the use of woolen thistle has its roots in ancient Egypt thanks to its innumerable fields of use (wool carding, making fences) and to the beneficial properties of its roots and leaves (make diuretic herbal teas, for the treatment of eczema, acne, psoriasis and many other problems that today afflict many people). To better understand the thistle it is useful primarily to make a brief description: it consists of a stem that can reach a height of one and a half meters, it blooms between June and August; it is not an evergreen plant because, for some months it loses its leaves and becomes a sand or violet or pink color.

What makes the wool thistle extraordinary, are the active ingredients that compose it (glycoside scabiosid, potassium salts and tannic substances) able to confer many benefits to all those who use it. Its flower heads, or thorns, were used since ancient Egypt for wool carding, in particular for the first phase of combing so as to eliminate any residues from the fabric. It has long been manipulated by shepherds during the transhumance period, creating enclosures capable of protecting their flocks from the attack of any predators. After having properly framed the woolen thistle plant, it is important to preserve the roots and leaves in such a way as to avoid the formation of mold. First of all we must know that the roots can be harvested only between the months of September and October and only from those plants that are in the first year of vegetation (young plants); then it is necessary to clean them well and cut them into pieces with a length of five centimeters. The leaves, on the other hand, can only be harvested between the months of March and April, that is, before the formation of the structure that will later host the florescences.Beneficial properties of the thistle

As far as the beneficial properties are concerned, both the roots and the dried leaves are very important for the wool thistle. The first, from the bitter taste help colors that take them in digestion, stimulating diuresis, sweating and consequently bringing a general expulsion of waste harmful to the human organism. Many people do not know that it is very useful in the treatment of diseases such as gout, arthritis rheumatism and is a subsequent aid for those suffering from obesity and dropsy. All these benefits are also caused by the use of leaves, following precise recipes and certain dosages

Methods of recruitment of the wool thistle

It is possible to benefit from the properties of the wool thistle by following two short but effective recipes prepared both with the root and with the leaves. Using the roots as a base product, mix about two grams of them with one hundred milliliters of water and take a cup of decoction every morning on an empty stomach and in very small amounts as much as a cup of coffee. This compound will promote diuresis and purify the entire human organism without having to use medicines or other compounds whose composition we do not know. By finely chopping thirty or forty grams of previously dried leaves, immersing them in a liter of water and boiling them for about half an hour, it will be possible to cure diseases that afflict and stress the skin; in fact, it is possible to make washings or compresses on the areas of the skin attacked by psoriasis, eczema, acne and dermatosis, precisely because there is a purification of the apparatus both excretory and digestive.

Curiosity on the woolen thistle

Finally, as regards some curiosities about the name of woolen thistle, it is very useful to know that the name lanaioli has been attributed to this species of thistle precisely because since ancient Egypt it has been widely used for the first stages of combing fabrics , then ending with the advent of machines in the nineteenth century; for this reason the term Follonum refers to the medieval technique of fixing fabrics, better known as fullonica; the term Dipsacus means thirst instead and derives from the purely aesthetic conformation of the hollow that the leaves create during the rain.
As you can see, in this short guide it was possible to rediscover one of those innumerable plants that adorn our Mediterranean countryside. In the same way, many of the typical knowledge of men of the past re-emerged, who placed their health and well-being in the plants present in nature; making decoctions, being very careful with the dosages so as to alleviate those pains that hindered their work: gout, arthritis and rheumatism, the very annoying eczema and psoriasis, an improvement in the functioning of the digestive tract, a stimulation of sweating and a diuretic use of decoctions. These are some of all those benefits that can be drawn from the correct use of the wool thistle, as in addition to having a beautiful appearance, it has long been used also in the work through the creation of fences to protect the flocks; used in the production of mats typical of current billiard tables and widely used in the textile field (cuneiform spines were used in the elimination of foreign bodies from wool during carding).