Thistle (Cynara cardunculus)
The thistle is a herbaceous plant stem gigantic, erect, densely covered with prickly leaves and lanceolate. The leaves are smooth on the upper surface, becoming tomentose on the underside. The stems terminate in globular flower heads that look like small artichokes, gooseberries, with blue flowers. The plant is native to the Mediterranean and was well known and appreciated by the Greeks and Romans under its culinary properties. Indeed, the thistle has been used in human food since long time and according to some it is even more tasty than artichoke itself, which is close relative.
FLOWERINGThe thistle blooms in summer. Being a crop plant, is easy to find in any area of the country and may be different depending blooms of the area you are. Collection of interest for therapeutic use, the leaves, which are usually collected by hand at the time of full bloom, after which they dry spread over hurdles and in the shade. In some areas, the drying is done in drying, not exceeding 40 º C. For human consumption the leaves are collected.
APPLICATIONSThistle can be found in the flavonoids, chlorogenic acid, a bitter juice called cynarin, potassium salts and a polymer that releases fructose on hydrolysis. It has also proved the presence of Lab or rennin ferment, capable of curdling milk. But what is most visible thistle is an excellent dietary food for people who do not tolerate the starch, especially for diabetics. Other properties are attributed to him as a choleretic, cholagogue, diuretic and hepatoprotective. It is used successfully against jaundice, and any disease of the bile ducts. Also used as a grass roots, by the ferment Lab, widely used in the manufacture of cheese. For the preparation of the rennet used is the flower, which should be cut when opening the alcachofilla thereafter is dried in the shade and kept sealed. In general, the best way to exploit the virtues of the thistle is eating it in any of the many preparations exist, even crude. Food is very grateful, capable of acquiring the taste that you want to give. According to legend, Henry VIII was a passionate thistle, so much so that it tasted at all hours, with a passion disproportionate. Another nice way to get this plant is in the form of bitter drinks and liquors.
ADMINISTRATIONDecoction. For each cup you use a tablespoon of dried leaves and chopped chard. It keeps the water boiling for 10 minutes. The dose is 2 to 3 cups daily after meals.
Using the thistle as rennet. As discussed previously, are used flowers that are put to soak in water for a few hours, after which time the water is filtered and added on milk, heated to no more than 40 º C. Then stir well to mix milk with water and allowed to stand for set.
SUMMARYFAMILY: Composite tubulifloras
FLOWERING: June and July
PART USED: Sheets
CASTILIAN: Cardo de comer
CATALAN: Card comú, herba colera
BASQUE: Kardabera, kazkarro
USESFort Hepatoprotector, Diuretic Moderate, Appetizer Moderate.