What Is Milk Thistle? Facts And Information On The Plant


What Is Milk Thistle? Facts And Information On The Plant

What is milk thistle? Milk thistle is a plant which was first used for medicinal purposes over 2,000 years ago.

It is most well-known, both traditionally and with the support of modern scientific research, as an herb with potent health benefits for the liver. It also helps numerous other health conditions.

Here are some interesting and useful facts and information about the milk thistle plant and milk thistle herb.

• Milk thistle is also known by other names such as holy thistle, St Mary’s thistle, Marian thistle, Mary thistle, and wild artichoke.

• Its scientific names include silybum marianum and carduus marianus.

• Milk thistle is a perennial plant.

• It grows in various parts of Europe. This plant has also been naturalized to California and Australia. It has also been mentioned that milk thistle can be found in Asia as well.

• The milk thistle plant can typically grow to a height of between 2 to 7 feet, although it has also been stated to only grow to a height of about 5 feet. [5][3]

• Milk thistle is a common weed that is often found in the wild, growing in different settings including the roadside.

• Milk thistle’s leaves are coarse, lobed and prickly-edged or spiny with very clear white veins or marks. Traditionally, in Europe, these white marks were thought to be from the milk of the Virgin Mary. [3][5][10]

• Milk thistle grows flowering heads which are crimson to reddish-violet or purple in color and typically bloom in May to June. These heads can be consumed fresh. The flowers are thistle-shaped and surrounded by spiny bracts. [3][5][10]

• At the turn of the 20th century, different parts of the milk thistle plant were used for various purposes in England – the leaves, after the removal of the spines, were used like lettuce; its stalks were used like asparagus; its seeds were roasted like coffee; its roots, after overnight soaking, were used like oyster plant; and its leaves and seeds were used for health purposes like boosting breast milk production and treating jaundice. [5]

• Food usage for milk thistle include as a salad green or a cooked vegetable. [10]

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