Milk Thistle

(latin: Silybum Marianum)

Popular names:

Marian Thistle, St. Mary's Thistle, Mediterranean Milk Thistle


The plant grows up to 2 m tall, having an overall conical shape with maximum 160 cm diameter base. It has basal leaves with stalks, and up ones without stalks. All of them are white spotted or veined, lobed and spiny. The flower heads are 4 to 12 cm long and wide, of red-purple colour. The parts used are ripe seeds.

Health benefits:

addiction alcholism anti-cancer depurative galactagogue hepatic liver-treatment

Medicinal uses:

As an herbal remedy, milk thistle in the form of standardized extracts made from the seeds of the plant, is used for liver protective and therapeutic purposes (hepatitis A, alcoholic cirrhosis, and exposure to hazardous chemicals). Milk thistle helps to repair damage to the liver, and to regenerate liver tissue. Silymarin in milk thistle has been shown to inhibit damage from toxic substances including alcohol, drugs and other chemicals. Some of silymarin’s protective activity is as an antioxidant.

This page is for informational purposes. It may rely on scientific studies but it isn't scientific as a whole. Do not use any treatment before consulting a phisician; if you do use any herbal plants don't over abuse them (even water in large quantities is bad for the body). Extra precaution during pregnancy and breastfeeding !