Mrs Grieve on the Holy Thistle
Type of spiritual experience
A diaphoretic is anythuing that induces sweating or diaphoresis, - the production of fluids secreted by the sweat glands in the skin of mammals.
Although the medical community will say that sweating is primarily a means of thermoregulation which is achieved by 'the water-rich secretion of the eccrine glands', the primary purpose of sweating is to excrete toxins and other pathogens, it is thus an essential part of the healing function.
Vomiting is also a means of excreting toxins, thus together this plant works by ridding the body of pathogens via sweating and being sick.
As pathogens circulate in the blood, the 'purification' of the blood is simply an extension of its general use in removing pathogens
A description of the experience
---Medicinal Action and Uses---Tonic, stimulant, diaphoretic, emetic and emmenagogue. In large doses, Blessed Thistle acts as a strong emetic, producing vomiting with little pain and inconvenience. Cold infusions in smaller draughts are valuable in weak and debilitated conditions of the stomach, and as a tonic, creating appetite and preventing sickness. The warm infusion - 1 OZ. of the dried herb to a pint of boiling water - in doses of a wineglassful, forms in intermittent fevers one of the most useful diaphoretics to which employment can be given. The plant was at one time supposed to possess very great virtues against fevers of all kinds.
Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm.
It is said to have great power in the purification and circulation of the blood, and on this account strengthens the brain and the memory.
The leaves, dried and powdered, are good for worms.
It is chiefly used now for nursing mothers the warm infusion scarcely ever failing to procure a proper supply of milk. It is considered one of the best medicines which can be used for the purpose..............
Four different ways of using Blessed Thistle have been recommended: It may be eaten in the green leaf, with bread and butter for breakfast, like Watercress; the dried leaves may be made into a powder and a drachm taken in wine or otherwise every day; a wineglassful of the juice may be taken every day, or, which is the usual and the best method, an infusion may be made of the dried herb, taken any time as a preventive, or when intended to remove disease, at bed time, as it causes copious perspiration.
Many of the other Thistles may be used as substitutes for the Blessed Thistle. The seeds of the Milk Thistle (Carduus Marianus), known also as Silybum Marianum, have similar properties and uses, and the Cotton Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, etc., have also been employed for like purposes.
The source of the experience
Observation contributed by: John Bryant