Herb of the Month - Milk Thistle

Herb of the Month - Milk Thistle

May 26th 2019

Milk Thistle Silybum marianum

Common Names: Silybum, holy thistle, Our Lady’s thistle

Most people see Milk Thistle as a weed, and while it is often overlooked in its natural habitat, this member of the Asteraceae family has a centuries-long history of use.

Its main active ingredient silymarin is found in the seed.

As far back as AD. 23, Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder noted it was beneficial for "carrying of bile.” British herbalist Culpepper recommended Milk Thistle in the treatment of the liver and spleen, the kidneys in promoting urine flow and to break and expel stones and also as a treatment for dropsy. Folklore says the violet flowers and white-veined leaves came from the Virgin Mary's milk.

Today, Milk Thistle is considered a superior treatment for various liver disorders ranging from a sluggishness, congested liver, to poisoning and even liver failure.

Milk Thistle may be taken as a tea (ground), in a tincture, added to sauces or stews or the seeds may be eaten raw.


  • Fatty Liver
  • Lowers Cholesterol
  • Reduces menopausal symptoms Improves digestion
  • Decrease varicose veins
  • Inflammatory bowel disorders
  • Psoriasis
  • Weakened immune system
  • Adrenal disorders
  • Mushroom poisoning
  • Allergic and inflammatory reactions

In-Store Products Containing Milk Thistle

(Milk Thistle is not recommended for those that have allergies to the daisy family)

Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Phyllis Balch
The Little Herb Encyclopedia, third edition, Ritchason
East West School of Planetary Herbology

This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, heal, mitigate, or remedy disease. It is for educational purposes only and should not be implemented without the express consent of your healthcare practitioner.