The Abbaye Saint Magloire, south of the picturesque Brittany town of Dinan dates back to the 6th century AD. Over the centuries the abbey has fallen victim to war and destruction and was rebuilt in the 14th century, thus facilitating an interesting architectural transition from Romanesque to Gothic.
This summer it is an exciting venue for historical and artistic exhibitions that are being held inside the abbey and in and around the extensive grounds outside. There is also a restored herb garden which boasts some fine examples of both culinary and medicinal herbs, one of which is pictured above - Dipsacus sylvestris, which is commonly known as Teasel and in Chinese medicine as Xu Duan.
The plant blooms every two years, it is not however the flowers but the root that medicinal herbalists use to produce medicine. Extracts from the root are thought to be very good at tonifying both the liver and kidneys. Teasel is used to strengthen bones, tendons and joints, as it has sweet, pungent and also slightly warming properties. It can be used to treat cases of bone fracture and tendon damage.
Teasel is considered as a suitable remedy to assist aching backs and dodgy arthritic joints in the knees and other places. It promotes good circulation, alleviates pain and also helps tackle excess flaccidity in skeletal structures, especially those associated with kidney and liver deficiencies. So some accompanying symptoms to look out for, when deciding if to use it to treat skeletal problems, include secondary symptoms people may have, such as weakness, exhaustion, dizziness and mental and physical apathy.
Although the following are not necessarily its primary indications for usage,
it has been used as an auxiliary herb in cases of enuresis, impotence and spermatorrhea.
It should only be used cautiously and under strict professional supervision in cases of Lyme's Disease.