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Milk Thistle

Scientific Name:Silybum marianum


Silybum marianum has other common names including cardus marianus, milk thistle, blessed milkthistle, Marian thistle, Mary thistle, Saint Mary's thistle, Mediterranean milk thistle, variegated thistle and Scotch thistle. This species is an annual or biennial plant of the family Asteraceae.

Family: Asteraceae

Parts Used:

Root, Leaves, Flowers, Seeds

Major nutrients:

Potassium (15.28%)
Calcium: (13.20%)
Vitamin B9: (10.43%)
Copper: (8.94%)
Total dietary Fiber: (6.58%)


Dried, Fresh, Steamed, Sauté.

Use fresh leaves in salads once spines have been removed. Leaves can also be used in cooked recipes as a substitute for spinach. Dried leaves and seeds can be used to make teas.


Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if milk thistle is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: Milk thistle is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth, appropriately, for up to 9 months in children 1 year of age and older.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Milk thistle may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking milk thistle.

Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Milk thistle extracts might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don't use these extracts.

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