A couple years back a friend of mine and I were talking about little known facts about ways to use local plants. This is about the same time we were deciding to true making our own walnut toothpaste. He passed along word about a detoxifying root from a surprising source: thistle. That’s right! That bane of farms and yards alike has its benefits. And yes I am talking about the basic purple flowering kind that we have all around here in Arkansas. Some call it musk thistle, but I’ve always just know it as thistle. As I was growing up there was no other.
Back to the present day, today was pretty and I decided to walk the yard for thistle. I had noticed several small plants while I was working outside over the past month. With Savannah venturing out more and wanting to play in the yard with the dogs, I didn’t want any of them where she might be playing. I spent maybe half an hour walking the yard in a grid to make sure I got them all. I thought now would be a good time to save the roots even though I hadn’t had a chance to research the rumor about its powerful detox abilities.
While I was checking to see how to dry the roots I ran across a reference to the book “The Wild Wisdom of Weeds” by Katrina Blair. It explained how to preserve, store, and use the root as a tea among other things. While the book doesn’t say that the root has the extra-potent detox abilities I heard it has, apparently the root tea does help cleanse the liver. I’ll be looking for more information and try to pass along anything else I learn.
I’ll have to look into the book more and maybe find me a copy. I think I am now ready to process my thistles. Hopefully my next post will show how to set them up for drying.