Thistle Brighten Your Day
Photograph - Photography
Wheeler's Thistle grows wild underneath the cover of tall pines in the Coconino National Forest between Happy Jack and Flagstaff in Arizona.
Thistle is an herbaceous plant that grows all over the world. It has had many medicinal uses throughout history, one of which is to help reduce inflammation. In the past it has been used for treating headaches, plague, canker sores, vertigo, and jaundice, and has also been believed to help cure baldness. The challenge is that it can be very spiny and the risks of preparation often outweigh the benefits. In Portugal Thistle flowers are used in making cheese. Enzymes within the flowers help curdle the milk to form the cheese. Thistle is also a great source of nectar for pollinators like bees and butterflies.
The Thistle also hold great importance to some cultures, such as Scotland, where it has been an emblem for the country since the 1200's and has been heralded on currency, badges and coats of arms. It is somewhat symbolic that something so prickly can also be so incredibly beautiful.
September 8th, 2021
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