Greetings from the Great Lakes

Teasel - Wild Medicinal

Fullers Teasel- Dipsicus Fullonom--another “invasive weed” that is not only nice to look at but has historic relevance and medicinal use. I’ve photographed them many times before I knew their name. I collected them and dried them for arrangements before I knew their healing significance. Teasel or Teazel, brought here from Europe, noted for attracting wildlife.

The seed heads are extra noticeable in the barrenness of winter here in the Great Lakes, and they are a nice treat for birds, producing nearly 3300 seeds per plant. (edibles wilds.com) Through out my natural health career I was not made aware of these common beauties that occupy roadside meadows. Medicinally, a tonic from the root is used in conjunction with other therapies to treat Lyme’s Disease, other bacterial infections, Candida and other conditions resulting from digestive dysbiosis.

The fiber in inulin is soluble, which means it dissolves in water. It dissolves in the stomach and then forms a gelatinous substance that:
-slows digestion
-increases fullness
-removes cholesterol as it passes through the digestive tract
— dailymed | US National Library of Medicine

Like Chicory root and artichoke, teasel contains Inulin which is an indigestible prebiotic — this means it feeds the beneficial bacteria in our intestinal tract as well as helping control blood sugar. its use in preventing digestive cancers is actively being researched. One study showed immune modulation in elderly population likely as a result of its ability to improve digestion. { Guigoz Y, Rochat F, et al. Effects of oligosaccharide on the fecal flora and non-specific immune system in elderly people.Nutr Res. 2002;22:13-25.} The study was small but suggests more research is needed.


Homeopathic preparations, different from traditional herbal medicine, uses the flower part of teasel (not the seed head depicted here) in a homeopathic tincture - not to be confused with an herbal tonic. Homeopathic teasel preparations are intended to treat muscle aches, joint pain and act as an anti-inflammatory- although this form of treatment is controversial.

Ancient people of the Americas have also used Teasel, in different ways. The Iroqouis considered the powdered root poisonous and they also used it as a hair brush while the Navajos used it to card wool. Beyond these uses, it has been widely used in many folk traditions like as in Traditional Chinese Medicine for “cleansing.” It has very practical uses like a comb for textile weaving in the US, and is known as a great source of kindle for starting fires.

Maybe you’ll notice that weed on roads sides in a different light!

Disclaimer: for educational purposes only- not intended to be used as medical advice.

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