• Distribution and Growing Environment of Milk Thistle
  • Milk thistle is used in traditional Chinese medicine to clear heat and relieve toxic material, to soothe the liver and to promote bile flow. Though milk thistle extract efficacy in treating diseases is still unknown, it is sometimes prescribed by herbalists to help treat liver diseases (cirrhosis, jaundice and hepatitis).

    milk thistle extract
    Milk Thistle Extract

    Besides, milk thistle is also used in food industry. The roots can be eaten raw or boiled and buttered or par-boiled and roasted. The young shoots in spring can be cut down to the root and boiled and buttered. The spiny bracts on the flower head were eaten in the past like globe artichoke, and the stems (after peeling) can be soaked overnight to remove bitterness and then stewed. The leaves can be trimmed of prickles and boiled and make a good spinach substitute or they can also be added raw to salads.

    Distribution and growing environment of Milk Thistle:

    Possibly native near the coast of southeast England. It has been widely introduced outside its natural range, for example into Iran, North America, Australia, and New Zealand where it is considered aninvasive weed. Cultivated fields for the production of raw-material for the pharmaceutical industry exist on a larger scale in Austria (Region Waldviertel), Germany, Hungary, Poland, China and Argentina. In Europe it is sown yearly in March–April. The harvest in 2 steps (cutting and threshing) takes place in August, about 2–3 weeks after the flowering.

    Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a thorny plant presenting decorative leaves with a white pattern of veins and purple flower heads. The plant originates from mountains of the Mediterranean region, where it forms scrub on a rocky base.

    The seeds of milk thistle are one of the most important herbal liver medicines. The sylimarin contained in them is an effective life-saving agent even in cases of poisoning with a lethal dose of death cap mushroom. Besides that, milk thistle seeds have other therapeutic properties. The plant is sometimes also used as a decorative element in gardens, and its dried flower heads may be used for the decoration of dry bouquet