Blessed Thistle vs. Milk Thistle: What's the Difference?

Blessed Thistle vs. Milk Thistle: What's the Difference?

At Dose, we're all about diving into the details of what makes our wellness shots work so well — but beyond our own products, we're huge advocates for understanding all the good stuff that nature offers, especially when it comes to herbal supplements that have stood the test of time. 

Today, we’re zooming in on two herbs that often get mixed up but serve unique purposes: blessed thistle and milk thistle. Though they share a name and family, their uses and benefits in your wellness journey couldn't be more distinct. 

What Is Blessed Thistle? 

Blessed thistle, or Cnicus benedictus, stands out not just for its prickly appearance but also for its rich historical backdrop. This plant, native to the Mediterranean, thrives in dry and rocky soils, flaunting its sharp leaves and yellow blossoms that capture the essence of its rugged habitat. 

The name "blessed thistle" originates from its revered status in medieval times, where it was commonly used by monks in their herbal remedies. They believed it possessed divine properties that could purify and protect, thus earning the moniker “blessed.” 

What Are the Benefits of Blessed Thistle?

So, why has blessed thistle been cherished through the ages? It’s not just its ability to survive in the harsh Mediterranean terrain that’s impressive. This sturdy herb packs a suite of benefits that have garnered respect in traditional remedies and modern wellness practices alike. 

Here’s what blessed thistle is known for:

  • Supports Energy Levels: Blessed thistle has been recognized for its potential in nourishing energy production, helping you stay ready for action throughout the day.
  • Optimal Liver Function: By helping cleanse your liver of unwanted elements, blessed thistle can support your body's filtration process, overall supporting healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients.
  • Digestion: Blessed thistle has been loved for aiding digestion and supporting a comfortable digestive process.
  • Breastfeeding Benefits: Favored by nursing mothers, blessed thistle may help support healthy milk production during breastfeeding days.

What's the Scoop on Milk Thistle?

On the flip side, we have milk thistle, a cousin of blessed thistle, which boasts a completely different repertoire. 

Officially wearing the badge of Silybum marianum, milk thistle has loved to cozy up in the sunny and rocky habitats of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East since ancient times.

Now, you may be wondering about the "milk" in its name. It draws from the plant's characteristic milky white veins that trickle down its bright purple-to-red flowers.

What Makes Milk Thistle a Must-Know Herb?

A staple in traditional medicine for over 2,000 years, milk thistle is nothing short of a green superstar. 

Here’s what it’s praised for:

  • Liver Support: Armed with silymarin, milk thistle lends a hand to your liver in its filtering processes, ensuring it operates smoothly.
  • Digestive Support: Milk thistle assists your gut in the breakdown and absorption of food and nutrients.
  • Antioxidant Properties: With an abundance of antioxidants, milk thistle helps support your body during exposure to free radicals and environmental stressors.
  • Skin Health: Milk thistle is also beneficial for your complexion, helping you maintain clear, elastic, and glowing skin.
  • Heart Health: Emerging research points to milk thistle's potential ability to support cholesterol levels already within the normal range, thus supporting overall cardiovascular heath.

What’s the Difference Between Blessed Thistle and Milk Thistle?

While both blessed and milk thistle share some common benefits, like aiding digestion and liver support, they excel in different areas. Blessed thistle might be your top pick when you're aiming for a natural source of support for energy levels or seeking some additional support during breastfeeding. On the other hand, milk thistle is a great choice when it comes to skin benefits and antioxidant properties. 

Essentially, your choice depends on the specific wellness goals that you're aiming to support. So, even though they share common ground, each herb can lead you down a distinct path toward enhanced well-being.

Are There Any Side Effects of Blessed or Milk Thistle?

Like every other herb or supplement, it’s important to keep potential side effects in mind.

Blessed thistle is a cousin to ragweed and fenugreek — plants known to trigger allergies in some people — so it's important to be mindful of any signs of a reaction. 

The tannins in blessed thistle and silybum in milk thistle might also interact with antacids, potentially inducing discomfort.

If you’re thinking about incorporating blessed thistle or milk thistle into your routine, it’s always best to consult your healthcare provider first. Your doctor can work with you to determine whether or not these herbs are suitable for your individual needs and circumstances. 

How To Include Blessed Thistle or Milk Thistle in Your Routine

Want to incorporate these potent thistles into your routine but not sure where to start? Whether it's the soothing benefits of milk thistle or the energizing qualities of blessed thistle, here are some handy tips for making thistles a part of your daily wellness practice:

Try a Tincture or Tea

Sometimes the simplest methods are the best. Brewing a cup of thistle tea is an easy way to introduce the health benefits of thistles into your day. Just steep the purple flowers of Milk Thistle or the rugged leaves of Blessed Thistle in boiling water. It’s a comforting ritual that supports healthy enzyme levels and aids your body’s natural filtration process.

Dose for Your Liver 

Not much of a tea fan? No worries — swap it out for Dose for Your Liver

Made with milk thistle and other healing herbs like dandelion, ginger, and curcumin, this shot offers an easy and effective way to support your liver's health and overall well-being. It's a straightforward, no-fuss addition to your daily routine. 

Pair With Other Healthy Habits

Make the most of the health benefits by combining herbs with other healthy habits. Think balanced meals, regular physical activity, and enough Zzzs at night. 

The Bottom Line

In wrapping up, the distinction between blessed thistle and milk thistle lies in their unique benefits and uses. 

While both can support your wellness journey, each offers something special. Whether you're looking to boost your energy, support liver health, or enhance your skin's radiance, incorporating these thistles can be a natural and effective way to elevate your health routine.

At Dose, we're passionate about bringing you the best of what nature has to offer, conveniently and effectively. Each of our supplements is packed with potent, natural ingredients like milk thistle, dandelion, chamomile, elderberry and lemon — designed to support various aspects of your health from liver function to skin vitality. 

Ready to enhance your daily wellness routine? Try Dose Daily today and feel the natural difference.


Blessed Thistle: Supplements | Medline Plus

Milk Thistle: 6 Potential Benefits | Cleveland Clinic

Milk thistle Information | Mount Sinai - New York

Silymarin as Supportive Treatment in Liver Diseases: A Narrative Review | PMC

Effect of Silybin on Lipid Profile | PMC