Art, Body & Soul

Goldfinch Symbolism and Thistles For Healing

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Goldfinch eating thistle seed
Goldfinch eating thistle seed

Goldfinch Symbolism:

According to my animal symbolism “Bible”, Animal Speak, the goldfinch animal totem is about “awakening to the Nature Spirits”. To me, it’s also about being seen, heard, and about being active. I also see the goldfinch as being with others of your sort in community, of enjoying food together, of waiting (most of the time) politely and orderly in line and then zooming in when it’s your turn, and taking no guff if someone tries to cut the line. I love gold finches. They are so colorful, so perky, and so talkative. There is one near me, or was this spring, that sounded more like a canary than a finch, with beautiful melodious songs and an extensive repertoire. Goldfinches love thistle seeds, and will happily eat them out of a bird feeder or straight from the actual thistle plant, if one is available. Goldfinches are common here in New England, and are like a little dash of joy in the middle of a cold winter. Or a gray, dreary, supposedly summer day like today.

Thistles have been used for millenia to heal a variety of dis-eases.

Here are some uses of Blessed thistle (Cnicus benedictus L.)

  • abortifacient
  • anorexia
  • appetite stimulant
  • astringent
  • bleeding
  • blood purifier
  • boils
  • breast milk stimulant
  • bubonic plague
  • fighting cancer and improving efficacy of chemotherapy
  • cervical dysplasia
  • choleretic (bile flow stimulant)
  • colds
  • contraceptive (birth control)
  • diaphoretic (sweat stimulant)
  • diarrhea
  • digestion enhancement
  • diuretic (increasing urine)
  • expectorant
  • fever reducer
  • gallbladder disease
  • inflammation
  • jaundice
  • liver disorders
  • malaria
  • memory improvement
  • menstrual disorders
  • menstrual flow stimulant
  • painful menstruation
  • rabies
  • salivation stimulant
  • skin ulcers
  • wound healing
  • yeast infections
  • see MedlinePlus for more information on dosing, side-effects, interactions with pharmaceuticals and counter-indications.

Milk Thistle ( Silybum marianus ) has its own special holistic healing properties and is used for healing:

Milk thistle is also called Mary thistle, St. Mary thistle, Our Lady’s thistle, holy thistle, Marian thistle, wild artichoke, Mariendistel (German), and Chardon-Marie (French).

Thistle Resources:


Is this information helpful and useful for you? Please read our other posts on herbs, nutrition, holistic health, and alternative medicine at Peacock & Paisley Blog.  Or call 603-617-4963 for more information and coaching.  Or, email us.

Please remember that some of the illnesses discussed here are serious and warrant working with a health care professional to diagnose and treat.  Herbal treatments can be very powerful and can interact with pharmaceuticals – please discuss their use with your health professional before starting.
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