Milk thistle - a useful medicinal plant

Milk thistle - a useful medicinal plant

Silybum marianum can be grown near St. Petersburg

We are talking about milk thistle, a plant that grows in the southern regions of our country.

However, as my personal experience has shown, milk thistle can be grown quite confidently in our North-West region. And not only to grow, but also to collect the seeds that are fully ripe for medicinal purposes.

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) belongs to the family of Compositae annuals or biennials up to 160 cm high with a stalk root.

It looks like a weakly branched plant with large oblong-oval glossy leaves, spotty with transverse wavy stripes and yellow spines on the uneven edges of the leaves.

Milk thistle blooms with lilac-crimson flowers from July to late autumn. Her flowers are collected in round baskets at the ends of almost leafless stems. Its fruits are black-yellow or brown-yellow achenes with a tuft at the top, which ripens in our zone in August-September.

Several years ago, advertising for milk thistle was very active, and pharmacies sold preparations from it in the form of various tablets, milk thistle oil and the seeds themselves, as well as in the form of powder meal.

How I grew milk thistle

I bought seeds for sowing at the pharmacy, not really hoping for the success of the undertaking, doubting their germination. But the fears were in vain, since the seeds gave 100% germination. And this, as it turned out, had a negative side for me. The fact is that I had no experience in growing milk thistle, and I did not know what it looked like in the garden.

I sowed the way I sowed a sunflower, with gaps between plants 40x50 cm. When the plants formed a rosette of four true leaves, it turned out that they covered the entire planting area and looked very impressive. Beautiful glossy variegated leaves were just a decoration of the garden.

As the thistle grew, it turned into a powerful plant, and when the main stem grew, it became very crowded in the garden. It's a pity, but I had to defuse the plants. Moreover, it was not so easy to work: the thorny plant required work with heavy gloves. It was interesting to observe the newcomers in my garden, and the neighbors, seeing huge, similar in size to the familiar mighty burdocks, but only the beautiful spotted leaves of the milk thistle, were interested: what kind of wondrous plant?

Their curiosity ended as soon as I asked them to touch the plant, which was unpleasant and painful because of the thorns.

The place for the milk thistle was chosen sunny, I always do this when planting a new plant for myself. And this time I knew that the plant was from southern latitudes, and the soil was well filled with organic matter, which, apparently, affected the results.

Milk thistle grew rapidly, its main stem already reached a height of 170-180 cm, the plant itself looked very impressive, I would even say - majestic. Many flowering baskets were formed, and all the baskets of the main stem, fading away, gave ripe seeds of a dark color. There were also many flowers on the side stems, and the seeds were tied, but by autumn they did not have time to ripen.

Collecting the seeds of this plant also has its own specifics. First of all, you should start collecting seeds at the end of August - mid-September, when the wrappers on the faded baskets dry up. It is better to start picking early in the morning, when the baskets have not yet blossomed, since, having blossomed, the seeds fly away on their parachutes with gusts of wind.

After cutting the baskets, I dried them additionally, freed the seeds from the parachute fluffs and took them out of the baskets sometimes with effort, since they sit there quite tightly. Ripe seeds are dark in color, and unripe seeds are pale, almost white, however, like sunflower seeds.

Imagine my surprise when the next year, and in all subsequent years, in the spring, I found the sprouted milk thistle in one or another part of the garden, although I did not sow it there. This means that the seeds, scattering in the wind and falling into the soil, then sprouted by self-sowing and grew quite successfully. But if the place was shady, then the plant grew to its usual size and bloomed, but the sun was not enough to ripen the seeds.

Medicinal uses of milk thistle

From the literature, I know that the medicinal raw materials of milk thistle are seeds, roots and even leaves. The seeds are dried, stored in bags and used as a decoction, tincture or powder to treat liver inflammation and varicose veins of the lower extremities.

To prepare a decoction, 30 g of powdered seeds are poured into 1/2 l of hot water, boiled in a water bath until the amount of water is halved, then filtered through 2-3 layers of gauze. Take 1 tbsp. spoon in an hour. The course of treatment is 1-2 months.

Dry seed powder is taken 1 teaspoon 4-5 times a day 20 minutes before meals.

That's exactly what I did: I got the powder from the grains using a coffee grinder. The condition of the liver is improving, I know this from my own experience, since milk thistle preparations increase the formation and excretion of bile, increase the protective properties of the liver in relation to various kinds of infections and poisoning.

I learned that milk thistle roots are dug up in the fall, shaken off the ground, washed in cold water and dried in the sun or in a dryer at a temperature of 40-50 ° C. Store in a closed glass container for one year. A decoction of the roots is prepared at the rate of 1 tbsp. a spoonful of raw materials for 1 cup of boiling water. All this is boiled in a sealed enamel container in a water bath for 30 minutes, filtered hot through 2-3 layers of gauze, squeezed out and the volume of boiled water is brought to the original. spoon three times daily before meals.

In folk herbal medicine, decoction of the roots is used for toothache as a rinse, for diarrhea, urinary retention, sciatica and convulsions. The juice of the leaves is drunk for constipation, inflammation of the colon and gastric mucosa.

Read also: Growing milk thistle (Silybum marianum)

Lyudmila Rybkina,

The medicinal properties of milk thistle

Milk thistle contains potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, boron, iodine, manganese, chromium, vitamins A, D, F, E, K, group B, alkaloids, flavonoids, flavonoligans, proteins, resins, tyramine, histamine, fatty oil.

One of the most valuable substances in milk thistle is silymarin. It is a biologically active substance that strengthens and regenerates the liver.

All parts of this plant - the roots, seeds and leaves of milk thistle - are used in medicine.

Decoctions from roots and seeds are used as part of complex treatment and for the prevention of diseases of the stomach and liver.

Crushed seeds improve the activity of the gastrointestinal tract, prevent the deposition of salts, have a positive effect on the state of the cardiovascular system.

Seed powder purifies the blood and lowers cholesterol levels.

The oil has anti-sclerotic, healing, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Well nourishes and rejuvenates the skin, fights burns.

Milk thistle

As a beekeeper, I wanted to ask the question: what value is milk thistle for bees? This medicinal plant has now begun to be sown in many farms of the Belinsky district.

Last year I was standing not far from such a field. The bee was reluctant to approach him. I would like to know if this is just a drought or if it really does not emit a lot of nectar, so bees are not interested.

In the special literature, they write about milk thistle from the standpoint of its use as a medicinal plant. And there is nothing about its melliferous properties. For clarification, we turned to the blacksmith company "Ivan da Marya", which is engaged in the production of milk thistle oil. The company's specialists reported that milk thistle belongs to the Asteraceae family and is related to such good melliferous plants as tartar, field thistle, field thistle, etc. Beekeepers constantly go to the fields of the company where milk thistle is grown. But the secretion of nectar and its amount in milk thistle is presumably associated with weather and soil-climatic conditions of growth. For example, in the fields of the neighboring Ulyanovsk region, milk thistle grows above two meters, and in some fields of the Kuznetsk region last year it barely reached a height of 30 cm. Naturally, such plants will give little nectar.

Annual medicinal and ornamental plant. The bush is up to 150 cm high. The inflorescences are baskets with a diameter of 3-6 cm. The flowers are purple.

Milk thistle seed decoctions are taken for diseases of the liver and gallbladder, hepatitis, for weight loss. The infusion is effective for varicose veins, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular and reproductive systems of the body. In addition to seeds, the root and leaves are used for treatment. Young leaves and cuttings are eaten.

For cultivation, you need to choose well-lit and heated areas, avoiding places with the formation of stagnant moisture. Seeds are sown in autumn (September-October) or in spring (March-April) for seedlings. Seeds require preliminary stratification within 10-15 days at a temperature of 5-7 ° C. The seeding depth is no more than 0.5 cm. At a temperature of 18-20 ° C, seedlings appear on the 10-14th day. Seedlings dive in the phase of 2-3 true leaves. They are planted in open ground after 4-6 weeks.

Oils for the body of women

It is often used in the field of gynecology. The use of oils during pregnancy will help you to give birth to a healthy and strong baby easily.

Why disputes about the benefits and dangers of oil, if even such a disease as oncology succumbs to it.

Oil will be of great help if you use it after surgery, or when your body is recovering from a long and difficult illness.

If your work is classified as harmful, or you live in an area with poor environmental conditions, you should also use milk thistle oil, it will help you with such problems. As you can see, the properties of milk thistle oil are extensive.

Milk thistle: growing in the garden

Milk thistle is an excellent honey plant

Many gardeners began to grow milk thistle as an ornamental plant, as well as to create hedges that are impenetrable for humans and animals.

Milk thistle is unpretentious and does not require any maintenance. Loves sunny places, but also tolerates partial shade. Cold and drought resistant. It can grow on any soil, but well-drained loams are most favorable for milk thistle.

Propagate milk thistle by sowing seeds or seedlings. Milk thistle seeds are sown in spring or early summer. Before sowing, the seeds are soaked on. It is advisable to use the seeds of the last year's harvest - after lying for several years, they lose their germination.

To grow seedlings, seeds are sown in grooves to a depth of one month before planting in the ground. Before planting, it is advisable to add 1 tbsp to each hole. spoonful of ash. Milk thistle shoots appear within days after sowing.

The growth of rosettes is stimulated by loose nutritious soil, and the formation of peduncles is stimulated by phosphorus and potassium fertilizing, in this case, milk thistle blooms in the year of sowing. Milk thistle rosettes tolerate frosts down to -6 ° C.

Milk thistle blooms in late July and blooms until autumn. When the baskets begin to turn yellow and fluffs appear from them - the seed carriers, the heads are cut off, and within a week they are allowed to dry out. After that, they are husked to obtain seeds - their main medicinal raw material. But the leaves and roots of milk thistle have medicinal properties.

What is this plant and where did we get it from?

There are several names for this plant, milk thistle, or it is more familiar to many as milk thistle. All this is one and the same, an ornamental plant that belongs to the beautiful Aster family. In addition to these two names, the people have several more, quite interesting and even funny: "Sharp-motley", they also call "Maryin Tatarnik", a more beautiful name - "Holy Thistle", or another one - "St. Mary's Thistle". And these are not all names, there are several more. For people who similarly called this plant, its white stripes on the leaves were a sign of St. Mary's milk.

Milk thistle came to us from afar, namely from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea itself. It was from there that she successfully conquered the whole world. It is known that a decoction of this plant was used even by the ancient Greeks, and it was about 2000 years ago. The Romans also knew about the usefulness of this plant, who used milk thistle to heal the liver. Milk thistle was also known in India. There it was used in folk and homeopathic medicine. In Europe, the extract, which was prepared from thistle, was also used for liver disorders such as cirrhosis or hepatitis.

Beneficial features

All Russian reference books on medicinal plants contain information about thistle. It is mentioned in the treatment of a fairly large number of various diseases. Today, the entire biochemical composition of this plant has already been deciphered. The main constituent component of rattle (and this is its main "horse") is a very rare, and biologically active, which means a very useful substance - this is the substance silymarin. Of course, in addition to this useful component, there are many other useful components in milk thistle. This is zinc, and selenium and copper, besides this, there is also the whole group of fat-soluble vitamins, as well as useful polyunsaturated acids. If we add up all the "usefulness" of milk thistle, then there are about 200 hundred different biological components. It is this variety of components that explains its very wide application.


This plant has been used for a very long time and also successfully for the treatment of many, moreover, very serious ailments.

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  1. Milk thistle is very beneficial for the liver. This powerful medicinal plant is capable of treating (and very successfully) various diseases associated with this important human organ. It is used for cirrhosis, jaundice, liver damage with alcohol, various medications, toxins, as well as radiation.
  2. You can also treat with this plant cholecystitis, inflammation of the bile ducts, cholelithiasis, as well as diseases of the spleen, blood, thyroid gland, varicose veins, salt deposition, with edema, from dropsy, with obesity, with radiculitis and various joint pains, from hemorrhoids, with allergic diseases and with various pathologies associated with the cardiovascular system.
  3. Also, many herbalists use milk thistle to successfully treat psoriasis, because its periods of exacerbation are directly related to a significant deterioration in hepatic function. Quite often, dermatological problems (these can be various rashes) may be the first indicators that the liver is not working normally.
  4. Rastropsha is also used in dermatology. She is treated for vitiligo, baldness and acne. Its seeds are the basis of many well-known drugs, for example, "Karsila", "Silibor" and "Hepatinol".
  5. Milk thistle is useful for us not only for many different diseases. It will also benefit perfectly healthy people. If you consume it, your liver's ability to rid itself of toxins will be greatly increased.

This term refers to a powder that is prepared from milk thistle seeds. He is very well able to "seize" and then "expel" from our body many toxins, as well as bile acids. By its actions, the meal does not allow the formation of excess cholesterol. In addition, it also helps to get rid of a very delicate problem - constipation, and is useful for dysbiosis.

You need to take such a powder just a teaspoon 3 or 4 times a day, and take it before meals. It is necessary to wash down the meal with warm water.

Also, the seeds themselves, as well as the oil and milk thistle sprouts, can be used in the treatment. The flour, which is prepared from the seeds of this plant, well lowers the total sugar level in our blood and is able to cleanse even heavily slagged blood, and also perfectly helps with varicose veins.

Those who abuse alcohol should be aware that in this case the liver cells are intensely affected, and if it is impossible to refuse alcohol at all, then 4 teaspoons of meal every day is simply necessary. You can add them to tea or take them directly with food.

Milk thistle oil

Oil from this plant has an even more serious choleretic effect than the same meal, and therefore meal should be preferred in case of exacerbation of cholecystitis.

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  • This oil should be taken a day for 1-3 teaspoons. It can be used as an independent remedy or in combination in the treatment of many dangerous diseases of our cardiovascular system. The oil from the seeds of rattle contains acids, these are Omega-6 and 9. They are able to correct the violation of lipid metabolism, as well as hormonal balance. They are also important for the cardiovascular, endocrine, digestive and reproductive systems. They well strengthen the general immunity and cleanse the entire body of many harmful toxins, while still being able to improve the condition of the skin.
  • This oil is very useful to introduce into the diet. This is done for general prevention, as well as as part of the complex treatment of atherosclerosis, with arterial hypertension, with ischemic disease, with varicose veins, as well as for the prevention of heart attacks and strokes that are dangerous to the body.
  • Both oil and meal have an anti-sclerotic effect. But they achieve this effect through various mechanisms. So the oil does this through vitamin F (these are unsaturated fatty acids), and the meal achieves the same effect due to a sufficiently large amount of useful fiber, which absorbs bile acids.
  • Healers also love milk thistle for its complete harmlessness. This is what makes it different from other herbs. Therefore, it is added to bread, various drinks and confectionery.

But in this video, in addition to what they will tell you about the beneficial properties of this plant, they will also show you how to make a salad from it and even add it when making healthy bread. We look.

Milk thistle is a natural remedy for many ailments

Milk thistle (it is also - sharp and motley, St. Mary's thistle, Maryin tatarnik, holy thistle, Virgin Mary's grass, variegated thistle, Silybum marianum) can often be found on abandoned fields and wastelands, road sides, dry soil. Thistle often grows in gardens and vegetable gardens as an aggressive weed. But milk thistle is not famous for this, but for its most valuable healing properties.

Milk thistle is cultivated as a medicinal plant in Southern Europe, Asia Minor, the Caucasus and Western Siberia. In the wild, Maryina thorns are common in North Africa and America, as well as in southern Australia. Historical documents indicate that the ancient Greeks used a decoction of the fruit of milk thistle 2000 years ago.

The ancient Romans knew about its beneficial properties and used it in the treatment of liver diseases. In India, it is used in homeopathic and traditional medicine, and in Europe, milk thistle extract has long been recommended for liver disorders such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. In an ancient medical reference book, the Greek herbalist Dioscorides recommended milk thistle for many diseases.

Another written mention of milk thistle is found in the writings of the abbess of the convent in Bingen - Hildergarda, who lived in West Germany in 1098-1179. The abbess kept a diary, which summarized the medical knowledge of that time. In all Russian reference books about medicinal plants, there is a mention of thistle, which is mentioned in very many diseases.

The chemical composition of milk thistle seeds
Useful properties of milk thistle
Milk thistle application

Milk thistle seeds are used in the treatment of hepatitis, gallstone disease, cirrhosis, liver dystrophy, in case of poisoning with poisons that disrupt liver function, in alcoholism and in the fight against its consequences. A number of well-known medicines for the treatment of the liver (Karsil, Silibor, Hepatinol) are made on the basis of milk thistle seeds. But the use of natural seeds, of course, is much more effective, and their general strengthening effect on the body is much wider.

People use thistle seeds for toothache, diarrhea (in the form of a decoction). The seeds crushed into flour treat varicose veins, cleanse even heavily slagged blood and lower blood sugar levels. Milk thistle is also widely used in the treatment of skin diseases such as vitiligo, psoriasis, acne, baldness.

The special value of milk thistle is that its use has no contraindications and side effects. It has a very positive effect on relatively healthy people, cleansing the liver of toxins.

Healthy recipes

A decoction of milk thistle seeds is prepared as follows: 30 grams of crushed seeds are poured into 500 ml of hot water and boiled in a water bath until the solution has evaporated by half, then filtered and taken 15 ml (1 tablespoon) every hour. The course of treatment is 1-2 months.

The seeds ground in a coffee grinder can be added to any dishes (cereals, soups, pastries, etc.), used as breading, etc. Milk thistle will do its job for almost any use. The main thing is that all components of milk thistle seeds enter the digestive system in their natural, natural form.

Watch the video: Milk Thistles cardus marianus, Marian thistle, Mary thistle, variegated thistle and Scotch thistle.