Milk thistle is a common name for Silybum marianum, a flowering plant in the Asteraceae family. It also has many other common names, including Marian thistle, Mary thistle, Saint Mary's thistle and Scotch thistle.
Milk thistle is commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), primarily for the purpose of relieving toxic materials and clearing heat. It’s also used in TCM to support liver function, especially bile flow. Modern herbal medicine uses milk thistle to support liver health, especially in the presence of chronic liver conditions. Multiple studies also indicate that milk thistle protects the liver from toxins.
Milk thistle extract is commonly taken to maintain liver functions. Additional uses of milk thistle extract include support for the digestive system, maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels and management of menopausal symptoms.
Although it is the seeds that are primarily used for therapeutic benefit, I like the leaves for making a nice support tea. I combine Milk Thistle with other herbs, but it may also be used alone.
Historical and traditional uses in magical practices, lore, and alternative religions:
This herb was dubbed "Milk Thistle Leaf" because it grows with white veins appearing as though milk were spilled upon them. According to many legends, this appearance of milk is actually the milk of the Virgin Mary.
Historical magical uses include strength, perseverance, wisdom, aid in decision making. It is also thought to enrage snakes, causing them to fight against one another.
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please be advised: you should always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet!!
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