The important component of milk thistle is silymarin, which is a mixture of molecules that are considered to be of potential medical benefit. Want to Know it? Goldfinches love milk thistle and use it for nesting material. [4][6] It is possibly native near the coast of southeast England. [18][19][20] Use of milk thistle may cause stomach upset and produce allergic reactions in some people. Vol. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on a dietary supplement. Almost all of the milk thistle plant can be eaten. © 1997-2020 Dr. Joseph Mercola. These qualities sound great, but they're also what make milk thistle plants so invasive. Today, milk thistle is grown around much of the world to provide natural medicine companies with extracts of the plant. [3] The approximate maximum base diameter is 160 cm (63 in). Place the flower heads in a paper bag in a dry place for a week to continue the drying process. Today, much milk thistle is grown commercially, but it still grows wild in many areas. Silymarin also may reduce inflammation and block the effects of toxins that harm the liver.footnote 2, Two studies on milk thistle presented conflicting results. .admin-label:before { In many of these regions milk thistle still grows wild today. Not only was milk thistle used to treat liver conditions, but the plant was also used as a source of food. Donations to UW Health are managed by the University of Wisconsin Foundation, a publicly supported charitable organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Although it can be used as food, milk thistle is better known as having medicinal benefits. width: 15px; Milk thistle is a plant that contains silymarin, a substance that improves liver function. Dietary supplements may not be standardized in their manufacturing. These include; a reduction of cholesterol levels, reducing cancer growth in certain types of cancer and reducing the effects of a hangover. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. [4] The flower head is surround by bracts which are hairless, with triangular, spine-edged appendages, tipped with a stout yellow spine. EnglishEspañol (Spanish)Hmoob (Hmong)繁體中文 (Chinese)Deutsch (German)العربية (Arabic)Русский (Russian)한국어 (Korean)Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)Deitsch (Pennsylvania Dutch)ພາສາລາວ (Lao)Français (French)Polski (Polish)हिंदी (Hindi)Shqip (Albanian)Tagalog (Tagalog – Filipino). XXIX. Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Mercola, unless otherwise noted. Once the seeds are dried, hack at the bag to separate them from the flower head. Milk thistle is an annual, full-sun plant that germinates in late winter in our climate zone (Ag Zone 7b). All Rights Reserved. Where does milk thistle grow? .admin-menu { display:none } height: 15px; Required fields are marked *, You can use these HTML tags and attributes

. This means that how well they work or any side effects they cause may differ among brands or even within different lots of the same brand. Seeds can also be caught in the wind and carried easily on clothes and shoes, spreading it to neighboring land. This species is an annual or biennial plant of the family Asteraceae. While safe for humans to eat, milk thistle is considered toxic to livestock, which is bad, as it often grows in pastures and is hard to get rid of. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club (Torrey Botanical Club, 1887), p. 163, The Rise of Capitalism on the Pampas: The Estancias of Buenos Aires, 1785-1870, By Samuel Amaral (Cambridge University Press,2002) p. 129, "CATALINA ISLAND'S INVASIVE PLANT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM, WITH AN EMPHASIS ON INVASION AND PROTECTION OF OAK ECOSYSTEMS", "ELEMENT STEWARDSHIP ABSTRACT for Silybum marianum", "Clinical Applications of Silybum marianum in Oncology", "Milk Thistle Nomenclature: Why It Matters in Cancer Research and Pharmacokinetic Studies",,, Pages using eFloras template without author names, Pages using eFloras template without volume, Taxonbars with automatically added basionyms, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 18 November 2020, at 04:55. Originally a native of Southern Europe through to Asia, it is now found throughout the world. The seeds can be stored in an air-tight container. Although the benefits of milk thistle to the liver is widely accepted (even by many medical professionals), there are many other uses of milk thistle that are so far unproven. [11], The "giant thistle of the Pampas" reported by Darwin in the Voyage of the Beagle[12] is thought by some to be Silybum marianum. To learn more about Healthwise, visit Additional water is rarely required when planted outdoors but should be supplied if the leaves start to wilt. It will tolerate any soil, and can get by even in drought conditions. In many places, milk thistle is considered to be extremely invasive. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Mercola and his community. Hints for Growing Milk Thistle. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. You can grow milk thistle in gardens with most types of soil, even soil that is very poor. The largest specimens have hollow stems. In many of these regions milk thistle still grows wild today. Your email address will not be published. Milk thistle is a plant that contains silymarin, a substance that improves liver function. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate dietary supplements in the same way it regulates medicines. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your health care professional before using products based on this content. The Harvard Classics.

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