The Milk Thistle plant is known for its properties to support and cleanse the liver and gall bladder and it turns out that it also helps with quite a few other problems arising from a liver that is not functioning properly.

The thistle plant (scientific name Silybum marianum) is a popular medicinal plant that has been used for over 2,000 years. The Greek physician and botanist Dioscorides was the first to describe the healing properties of milk thistle in 40 AC. There are two types of thistle and in our country we enjoy the type called “common thistle”

This thorny plant has unique purple flowers and leaves decorated with white veins, it can be found in abundance in nature and is known for its properties to help and even cure many different medical problems.

What’s Good About Milk Thistle?

The active ingredients in Milk Thistle that enable all its benefits are a group of plant compounds collectively known as Silymarin. The Silymarin extracted from thistle seeds is known to have very powerful antioxidant, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

In addition to Silymarin compounds, milk thistle seeds and flowers also contain several other polyphenols that benefit our health:

Seeds contain the highest amount of silymarin compounds. Depending on the species, milk thistle plants contain between 1.0%-8.0% beneficial silymarin.

Milk Thistle Seeds - זרעי גדילן מצוי - Miss_Ageless 0
Milk thistle seeds – the part of the plant where silymarin is found

Milk Thistle In Medicine

Thistle is best known as a natural liver supporter and is often used to treat liver diseases such as cirrhosis, jaundice and hepatitis, as well as gallbladder problems and prevention of stone accumulation. It helps increase breast milk production (one study showed that certain milk thistle extracts can increase daily breast milk production by up to 86%!). The thistle also helps in the treatment of acne as well as the prevention and treatment of cancer, type 2 diabetes, cholesterol and even protects the liver from snake bites, alcohol and other environmental toxins. Thistle even helps as an antibody in case of eating the amanita mushroom which attacks the liver and destroys it.

Pay Attention

Milk thistle may lower your blood sugar, so it should be used with caution because it may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in people taking diabetes medications.

Milk thistle can also change the way your liver processes certain medications, causing interactions with:

Antibiotics, anticoagulants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Advil (ibuprofen), Voltaren (diclofenac) and various statin drugs.

Possible side effects of thistle: headaches, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal swelling and gases. There were also reports that included muscle pain, joint pain and sexual dysfunction.

Thistle can also cause an allergic reaction in some people. If a you have an allergy to Daisies, artichoke or kiwi, it will be better to avoid the consumption of the thistle plant.

In order to avoid complications, it is always advisable and recommended to consult your doctor about any supplements or natural medicines you take.


Milk Thistle In Cosmetics

Studies have proven that thistle helps and even corrects conditions of acne, dry skin, hyper pigmentation (spots on the skin), psoriasis, wrinkles and loose skin.

Use of cosmetic products containing milk thistle showed an improvement in the quality of the skin and its elasticity, and also contributed to the uniformity of the skin tone and its firmness.

Milk Thistle in its bloom

How and where do you get it?

The thistle can be easily obtained in most natural health stores in the various departments according to your preference. For example, you can find the dried flower and the seeds in the dried plants department, the thistle bran (bran from ground seeds) you will usually find in the refrigerator and the thistle oil you will find in the oils department, but if you want an experience that includes a trip to harvest in nature, you can find the thistle and enjoy it even at the beginning of its flowering stage in the winter days So you can collect its leaves and eat them fresh (young leaves) or cook them (young or mature leaves) and also in the first days of summer then you will find the thistle already dry and ready to collect the seeds (to be eaten in whole or ground salad/yogurt) and chop the other parts of the plant For a great brewing tea mix.

ליקוט גדילן מצוי - Milk Thistle Harvesting
Picking thistle is on my way back from a visit to the Dead Sea

Chose to go out into nature and collect? Important Things To Know.

If you chose to collect the whole plant and seeds, take thick gloves, garden shears for easy pruning and a container to store the plant and seeds.

The thistle is very prickly and pruning without all of these can become an unpleasant experience.

If you chose to collect only the seeds, one glove should be enough to hold the plant while the seeds can simply be collected with your other bare hand. Be gentle so that the seeds don’t fly away before you get to put them in your bag ; )
Dry Milk Thistle - גדילן מצוי יבש - Miss_Ageless 5
Common thistle is dry and seeds are ready to be collected

Is the Milk Thistle suitable for everyone?

Thistle is not safe for everyone. Some people may be allergic to thistle. If you are allergic to argam or certain flowers such as daisies, marigolds or chrysanthemums, milk thistle is not for you.

Pregnant or breastfeeding? You should avoid thistle. That’s because there isn’t enough data to know for sure if it’s safe for your baby.

It is highly not recommended to use thistle if you have prostate cancer, breast cancer, uterine cancer or any other hormone-related cancer.

Animals: Thistle is not suitable for use in cattle.



*** Natural face masks that include thistle ***

*** Delicious recipes containing Milk Thistle ***

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