Blessed Thistle Harvesting
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Les Richardson
Posted on: July 31, 1998

My Blessed Thistle is just about ready for harvest. The method of drying that I am going to try is to pull the whole plants and put them in paper sacks upside down with the roots exposed, until dry. My question is, how do I process the dried plant? Could I put the leaves and tops in a blender and powder them?

It is the above-ground parts of the plant that are used. Yes, you can dry and process the plant as you have suggested. We generally prefer to store herbs in their whole dried form, not powdered, because herbs last longer that way. We prefer to powder herbs just prior to use, a task which can be done with your blender.

Should I remove the sharp splines?

Yes, you can, although it is not really necessary when you make tea or tincture because you will strain the final product anyway.

According to John Lust (in his "The Herb Book" available from Richters), the tea is used for stomach and digestive problems, flatulence, and constipation, and also liver and gall bladder ailments, chronic headache and fever. The tea, made with two teaspoons of the herb steeped in one cup of water, is taken 1 to 1-1/2 cups a day.

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