Merry Meet :))) Milk thistle is a flowering plant that is part of the daisy family. It has beautiful purple flowers on it. This plant is native to Europe and the Mediterranean region. It can also be called St. Mary's Thistle, silymarin, Marian Thistle, Mediterranean Thistle, Mary Thistle, Holy Thistle and Silybum Marianum. It likes sunny, dry areas. Milk thistle can reach 5 - 10 feet in height. A white sap comes from the leaves when you crust them, which is part of how it got it's name.
Milk Thistle has been used as an herbal remedy for over 2,000 years. The main use of this plant throughout history has been for issues with the liver and the gallbladder. There is a substance in Milk thistle called silymarin. Silymarin is extracted from the seeds of the plant. that can help protect the liver from toxins. Scientists think that it can actually help to protect it from drugs that can cause damage to your liver. Studies done have shown that milk thistle can improve liver function. It is suggested that it may be very helpful for people with cirrhosis or chronic hepatitis. In studies done though, it has not been effective in all patients. This is part of the reason that it is not widely used. They are also in early research stages to see if milk thistle can help with cancer. Studies are showing that milk thistle can stop cancer cells from dividing and reproducing. It can shorten the lifetime of the cancerous cells. However this has not been proven.
If you are going to plant milk thistle, take care as this plant spreads very easily and is actually considered a weed in most of the world.
Milk thistle is typically considered safe, however use extreme caution if you are pregnant or nursing. Do not take milk thistle if you are allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, chamomile, yarrow, or daisies. If you are on any other medications you should consult a doctor before starting to take milk thistle.
Love and Blessings,