Thistle: A Translation from The Garden of Blossoms

General Information

Wild and cultivated coming in many varieties, the cultivated is artichoke, and under the wild variety there is the cardoon, which is well-known cooked with meat and both the stems and the heads of the plant are eaten. There is also the ‘badhward’ thistle (which can be found under ‘B’ in this book) and also ‘afzan’, which grows prolifically in tlmaght, near the town of Sale and tafaghit, known by the people of Fes as tafgha. There is also ‘ilk al-shuk’ but the most well known by the Moroccan people is kharshuf, mentioned first, which is used in cooking.

Its Nature

Cold and damp, some say temperate.

Uses and Characteristics

Clears swelling that can lead to putrified stomachs, helps urinary flow, calms the stomach, gets rid of phlegm. It’s water helps itching, hair loss and kills lice.



From Hadiqat al-Azhar (The Garden of Blossoms) by al-Wazeer al-Ghassani, a 16th Century pharmacopoeia. Translated by Miriam Hicklin.

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