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Blessed thistle (generic name)

treats Bacterial infections, Viral infections, and Indigestion and flatulence
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Blessed thistle (Cnicus benedictus L.)

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

Traditionally, blessed thistle is believed to stimulate stomach acid secretion and it may reduce the effectiveness of drugs such as cimetidine (Tagamet®), famotidine (Pepcid®), nizatidine (Axid®), or ranitidine (Zantac®).

Based on laboratory studies, blessed thistle may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that also increase the risk of bleeding (although effects in humans are not known). Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).

Many tinctures contain high levels of alcohol and may cause nausea or vomiting when taken with metronidazole (Flagyl®) or disulfiram (Antabuse®).

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Based on laboratory studies, blessed thistle may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs or supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding (although effects in humans are not known). Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this may not be proven in most cases.

Attribution

This information is based on a professional level monograph edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com): Ethan Basch, MD (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center); Dawn Costa, BA, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Cynthia Dacey, PharmD (Northeastern University); Paul Hammerness, MD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Sadaf Hashmi MD, MPH (Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Mamta Vora, PharmD (Northeastern University); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration).

Bibliography

DISCLAIMER: Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

Cobb E. Antineoplastic agent from Cnicus benedictus. Patent Brit 1973;335:181.

Eich E, Pertz H, Kaloga M, et al. (-)-Arctigenin as a lead structure for inhibitors of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 integrase. J Med Chem 1996;39(1):86-95.

Kataria H. Phytochemical investigation of medicinal plant Cnicus wallichii and Cnicus benedictus L. Asian J Chem 1995;7:227-228.

May G, Willuhn G. [Antiviral effect of aqueous plant extracts in tissue culture]. Arzneimittelforschung 1978;28(1):1-7.

Novitch M, Schweiker R. Orally administered menstrual drug products for over-the-counter human use. Federal Register 1982;47:55076-55101.

Perez C, Anesini C. In vitro antibacterial activity of Argentine folk medicinal plants against Salmonella typhi. J Ethnopharmacol 1994;44(1):41-46.

Perez C, Anesini C. Inhibition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by Argentinean medicinal plants. Fitoterapia 1994;65(2):169-172.

Ryu SY, Ahn JW, Kang YH, et al. Antiproliferative effect of arctigenin and arctiin. Arch Pharm Res 1995;18(6):462-463.

Schimmer O, Kruger A, Paulini H, et al. An evaluation of 55 commercial plant extracts in the Ames mutagenicity test. Pharmazie 1994;49(6):448-451.

Schneider G, Lachner I. [Analysis and action of cnicin]. Planta Med 1987;53(3):247-251.

Vanhaelen-Fastre R. [Constitution and antibiotical properties of the essential oil of Cnicus benedictus]. Planta Med 1973;24(2):165-175.

Vanhaelen-Fastre R. [Polyacetylen compounds from Cnicus benedictus]. Planta Medica 1974;25:47-59.

Yang L, Lin S, Yang T, et al. Synthesis of anti-HIV activity of dibenzylbutyrolactone lignans. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 1996;6(8):941-944.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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