Medicinal plants

Runner thistle (Eryngium campestre)

Today we are going to talk about a plant that, due to its appearance, does not seem like anything from another world, but that has great medicinal properties. This is the running thistle. Its scientific name is Eryngium campestre. It is a perennial plant whose length can reach 50 centimeters and is used in the medical field for its beneficial health properties. In this article we are going to show you its characteristics and the uses that it is given.

Do you want to know more about the runner thistle and how you should use its medicinal properties? Keep reading because we will tell you everything.

Main features

It is a perennial and lively plant whose color is greyish. It is covered with thorns like most thistles (see Borriquero thistle ) to protect itself from herbivorous animals. It is usually found in isolation or in fairly abundant populations. It is one of the most widespread and well-known thistles.

The normal thing is that they have lengths that vary between 30 and 60 centimeters. It has leathery-type leaves that are divided into leaf segments with spines on the edges. They are well known and flourish in May and during the summer. The thistle is the typical plant that we find in summer when others are drying out due to high temperatures and little rainfall.

As for its flowers, they are gathered in tight umbrellas that form small greenish-white florets. These florets are surrounded by between 4 and 8 bracts. They have fruits covered with lanceolate scales and are not edible.

The most characteristic thing about this plant is its smell similar to that of carrots. This plant has nothing to do with it, but nevertheless gives off a similar smell. The root is more bitter. It grows in sunny and dry terrain, so its competition is not too high. Generally, the rest of the flowers that bloom in spring are drying up by this time of year where the rainfall is very low and the temperatures too high.

How to take runner thistle

As we have mentioned before, the runner thistle has great medicinal properties and can help with the treatment of some pathologies. What really helps in healing are the roots. They are the ones that, by beading them, it is possible to make an infusion with them. It is also recommended to grate them and add them as a garnish in some dishes.

Although it seems not, its leaves can be added to various salads to give them a more tasty touch. It also works for other cold dishes. If we want to make an external use of it, we must make tincture or plasters and, in this way, we can apply it locally in the place where there is damage.

Medicinal properties

We have mentioned how we should take the runner thistle, but we have not said what are the properties that make this plant so special. In the composition of the plant we find tannins, saponins, inulin and potassium salts. All these components give the runner thistle diuretic properties. In addition, it is very good for regulating blood sugar levels and has blood cleansing properties. It is capable of regulating the menstruations of many women who have a lack of control that takes its toll on them.

For those who are clogged with mucus, it has an expectorant effect and its infusion greatly helps digestion. It contains galactogogue that serves to increase the production of sweat and as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and spasmolytic. It is a fairly complete plant in terms of medicine.

People to whom these properties are beneficial

Next we are going to put a list of the people for whom the runner thistle is beneficial:

  • People who have diabetes.
  • Those with fluid retention problems thanks to the diuretic properties.
  • It stimulates the production of breast milk, which is why it is very good for women who are breastfeeding.
  • People who have high uric acid levels.
  • Eliminate the grit in kidneys that are somewhat saturated.
  • It is good to cut the continuous diarrhea.
  • It is applied for those insect bites and helps to eliminate and relieve symptoms.
  • They heal wounds on the skin more quickly.
  • Helps eliminate cystitis and urethritis along with toothache.
  • For those who suffer from kidney colic, this plant can relieve pain with an infusion.
  • It improves flu symptoms by providing greater expulsion of mucus from the respiratory system.
  • Edema and acne cases are reduced with runner thistle.
  • For those who go to the gym and have muscle and/ or joint pain, it is quite unfavorable due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Reduces hypertension.
  • Relieves nausea and vomiting.
  • Protects the skin from dryness or hives.
  • It is used to heal mouth sores and purify the body.
  • Helps fight psoriasis and eczema, in addition to improving digestive disorders.

Runner thistle cultivation

This is not a plant that you normally want to grow in your garden. However, there are people who love to have their own herbarium full of medicinal plants that you can use as the need calls. In this case, we are going to comment on some requirements and care that the runner thistle needs if we want to keep it healthy in our garden and provide us with those medicinal properties that we seek so much.

The first thing is to know that it blooms in the summer season, so we just have to talk about watering. If it rains constantly in winter and the soil remains wet for a long time, it ends up rotting. It is better not to water them.

It can be grown both directly in the ground and in a pot. It is recommended in a pot to be able to better control its populations and that we do not end up with the garden full of thistles.

You need a location in full sun. It is a plant that needs direct light and no shade or humidity. The soil needs to be well drained to avoid the accumulation of water. We can multiply it by seeds in spring and by cuttings in winter.

I hope that with this information you know more about the thistle and all the properties it has.

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