Monday, October 7, 2013


Teasel-Dipsacus Fullonum, Dipsacus Sylvestris
Also known as:  card weed, gypsy's comb, barber's brush
Parts Used: root, flowers (as an essence)
Meridians/Organs affected:  kidney, liver, musculoskeletal, immune system, circulatory
Properties:  tonic, diuretic, sudorific, stomachic, ophthalmic, antibiotic
Teasel is a biennial that can get up to 10 feet tall given the proper growing conditions.  It has prickly rigid stalks, pale purple flowers (depending on the variety) on their cone shaped heads and large, prickly basal leaves.
Teasel has long been used by the Chinese for its medicinal benefits, something that this country is still struggling to realize.  Since ancient times teasel water (collected by the cups that surround the stem of the cone) has been referred to as the 'bath of Venus'.  It was used as an eyewash and a beauty wash for the skin, especially good for warts.  The flowering tops are tipped over into a bowl of water to impart their 'essence' so that the plant itself is not destroyed.
Teasel has some interesting history.  There are about 15 different species of teasel, one of which is called Fuller's teasel.  This was used to tease the nap on wool to clean the cloth without ripping or breaking it-something the new metal cars are known to do when they meet a snag.  In fact, some dedicated spinner's still use teasel today even though teasel needs to be replaced every so often-but they swear by it.

In Chinese medicine, teasel root is used for lower back pain, knee issues, weak legs, issues with cartilage and joints and to tone the kidneys and liver.  They also believe it reduces inflammation and enhances the body's circulation.

There are a few herbalists here in the states who have taken the history of teasel with the Chinese and run with it here in the states.  They found in their own use with this plant in their own practices that it is indeed invaluable for joint injuries and chronic inflammation of the muscles making it beneficial in cases of fibromyalgia, sciatica, rheumatic conditions, chronic arthritis and lyme disease.  Teasel flower essence has been found to bring relief to chronic fatigue and lupus as well as fibromyalgia and lyme.  The root tincture (the root must be dug of the first year plant) strengthens the liver, tendons and bones as well as stimulating blood circulation and to prevent miscarriage.

The teasel cone contains about 2000 seeds and will readily reseed itself if they are not eradicated by man.  They are an important food source for birds in the cooler months.  Some people actually grow this as an ornamental for floral arrangements, wreaths and as unique holiday décor.

Teasel is NOT a weed.  It is a wonderfully amazing plant for those who are suffering unnecessarily with a variety of diseases.  It should be utilized by those who need it most.  Teasel blooms from June to September and during this time a floral essence can be made for use without killing the plants.

As is customary for my posts I am including links below for you benefit.  Use them as you see fit in health and happiness!

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