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Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)

December 25, 2019

Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)

The fruit of this herb is also known as St Mary's milk and is commonly used for its protective effects on the liver. Legend has it Mary's milk was spilled when breastfeeding baby Jesus and St Mary's milk thistle grew where the milk had spilt with its milk stained leaves. 

Milk thistle is one of the largest types of thistles growing up to 1.5m tall. It is an annual plant which is mostly odourless with a nasty bitter taste. Milk thistle is native to Asia and Africa and today is found growing all over the world. In Australia it is classed as a noxious weed but is also cultivated commercially as a medicine in some parts. The white hairs are removed and the fruits and roots can be used for medicinal purposes.

The active constituents found in milk thistle are used as a mild laxative and its liver protective properties, they include;

  • silybin
  • silydianin
  • silychristin
  • silymarin
  • mucilage
  • other proteins

Milk thistle is used in supportive treatments for inflammatory inflammatory liver conditions and liver cirrhosis. It can also be taken as a mild laxative and for gallbladder problems. Milk thistle is most frequently used to protect the liver and in some cases to help treat varicose veins. Milk thistle is most commonly taken as a tea, tincture or as herbal capsules.

(Not intended as medical advice)

http://cms.herbalgram.org/ABCGuide/Monographs/MilkThistleGuideMonograph.html?ts=1577313090&signature=5018a8314da2df5673e34a59fe68e5ed 




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