Milk Thistle – Organic

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Organic Milk Thistle

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Silybum marianum

Commonly known as Milk Thistle, St Mary’s Thistle, Variegated thistle/

Originally from the Mediterranean & South Western Europe. Naturalised throughout New Zealand & Southern Australia along roadsides, in waste land, pastures & gardens. Classified as a noxious weed because it is so large & spiny

Part Used:

Seeds collected when the white pappus is visible & not too long after the head has opened. Leaves & Stems used in cooking.

Active Constituents are:

• Flavonoid – silymarine

• Flavolignans including silybin, silydianin, silychristin (called collectively silymarin) to 4-6%

• Amines including tyramine & histamine

• Bitter principle

• Polyacetylenes

Nutritional constituents:

• Phosphorus

• Magnesium

• Calcium

• Copper

• Zinc

Main Actions are:

• Hepatoprotective – silymarin

• Digestive tonic – bitter principle

• Galactagogue

• Antioxidant

• Choleretic

• Hepatotrophorestorative

Used traditionally in the following areas:

Gastrointestinal System:

The main use of this herb is found as a liver protector & tonic:

• Cirrhosis

• Hepatitis (including B & C)

• Drug &/or alcohol abuse

• Poor digestion due to liver dysfunction

• Jaundice

• Chronic active hepatitis

• Chemical poisoning

• Constipation

• Dyspepsia

• Gallstones

• Insulin resistance/diabetes

• Haemochromatosis


• Fatty Liver

• Sluggish Liver

• Jaundice

Reproductive Tract:

As a galactagogue, Silybum is used to:

• increase the milk flow of lactating mothers

Historical Uses:

Eaten as a vegetable for a spring tonic; Snake bites; the plague; urinary calculus; melancholy. Thought to cure rabies; for pains in the sides; internal griping; Eclectic use for varicose veins & pelvic congestion. Externally applied for cancer, as well as success with psoriasis.


Decoction 1-2gms tds (three times daily)

or in the winter time I find if you grind your daily seed amount and add in to your porridge mix in the morning, this is an easy and delicious way of taking.

If ANAEMIC (Iron deficient) I would advise against taking Milk Thistle (Silybum) and use more Ashwaghanda (Withania somnifera), Dandelion Root (Taraxacum officinalis) or Calendula (Calendula officinalis) instead for a liver cleansing/supportive herb.


Organic Milk Thistle Silybum marianum (foliage)


Available in black kraft bags.

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