Ten Secrets About Sow Thistle: Facts and Health Benefits

Updated on January 24th, 2020
Sow Thistle

A very common sight in the garden and lawns are weeds. It is considered a troublesome growth by gardeners, as these weeds consume space, water, and nutrients that other plants require to grow. Having said that, not all weed plants are harmful to the growth of other plants; some are beneficial; for example, sow thistle.

Sow thistle weed(1) is common in Europe and North Africa, but now it is available globally. As it falls under the weed category, it grows almost anywhere. These plants belonging to the daisy family have plenty of medicinal benefits.

Nutritional Facts of Sow Thistle

This weed appears to be brownish and grows up to a length of 2.5-4 mm, and a width of 1mm. Its nutritional facts include:

  • For every 1 cup of, it contains 33K calories of energy.
  • Its major nutrients include Vitamins A, B complex vitamins like B1, B2, B3, B6 and C, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Iron, Copper, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Potassium.

Health Benefits of Sow Thistle

There are many sow thistle uses being practiced since ancient times.

  • Antioxidants – The extracts of the sow thistle plant were found to be very rich in minerals, vitamins, and flavonoids. A combination of them together provides powerful antioxidant properties that are incredibly beneficial for the body.
  • It is effective against lowering the risk of cancer. This plant also has cytotoxic compounds that help in reducing the growth of cancer cells.
  • Sow thistle is anti-inflammatory. Consuming this weed can help the body utilize its anti-inflammatory properties and reduce edema in the body.
  • This weed helps in calming the mind and reducing anxiety. It creates an increased locomotor activity that has an anti-thigmotactic effect on the body(2).
  • It has biotic compounds that prevent any triggering activity in the body in HIV and prevent the body from the disease.
  • It has been used to treat headaches, pain, fever, menstrual problems, eye problems, liver infections, and even rheumatism.
  • The leaves of this plant are known to act as a sedative and are diuretic.
  • The ancient practice of treating pyrosis or liver diseases was to consume this plant directly.
  • This weed helps to treat ear pain caused by the accumulation of ear wax. The leaf sap is very useful in easing out the ear wax and reduces symptoms of pain.
  • It helps to treat ulcers in the body as well.

Ways To Use

1.  Sow Thistle Edible Recipe For Gastritis And Ulcers

You need – Two handfuls of sow thistle, butter, water, a pinch of ground nutmeg, One tsp flour, salt, and pepper for seasoning.

Method- Take some butter and add to a pan. Add the leaves and stir to coat them thoroughly. Add some water and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for 10 minutes and add the flour, nutmeg powder, salt, and pepper. Stir and add more butter and melt it over low heat.

2. Slow Thistle for Inflammation

home remedies for inflammation

You need- Sow thistle leaves, grinder, or mortar pestle.

Method- Take a few leaves and clean them. Extract its juice by grinding in a mortar pestle or using a blender to blend the leaves. Apply the leaves-pack on inflamed area or around an abscess to treat it.

[Read: Inflammation: Natural Remedies and Treatment

3. Slow Thistle Salsa Recipe For Nutrition

You need- Two cloves of garlic, 50 gms of the leaves, 100 gms of soaked hazelnuts, 15 gms of parsley, salt, chili flakes, extra virgin olive oil, ten cherry tomatoes.

Method- Take boiling water and add the hazelnuts. Soak for an hour. Strain, rinse and keep aside. Now, soak the leaves clean and discard stalks and remove the leaf blades.

Then, crush the garlic cloves and keep it aside. Take a food processor and add the hazelnuts, sow thistle, parsley, garlic, salt, olive oil, and chili flakes. Mix all the ingredients until they are chopped. Finally, chop the tomatoes and place them with the other mixture in a salad bowl. Serve it with cooked meats.


  • Eating sow thistle moderately would be beneficial for your body. But, this plant is rich in oxalic acid, a compound found in plants that can lead to the formation of stones in kidneys.
  • People with kidney dysfunctions must avoid it.

This weed is a low maintenance plant and survives a very long time. Sow thistle weed can be grown without any problems. Grow it at your home and make the most of its benefits. You must be a little careful as it does take away too much of the soil space. It has the necessary vitamins and makes a great alternative to medications in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


1. What Is Sow Thistle Best Used For?

It works best to treat digestive disorders and also eases out problems during menstruation like cramping or premenstrual syndrome, amongst others.

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