Herbs Guide

Milk Thistle

Family Name: Asteraceae

Botanical Name(s): Silybum Marianum

Popular Name(s): Holy Thistle, Marian Thistle, Our Lady's Thistle and Wild Artichoke

Parts Used: The seeds

Habitat: For more than two thousand years milk thistle has been cultivated throughout Europe, but it was always especially popular in Greece, Italy, and Germany.

Description: Milk thistle is a tall plant (generally 2-5 feet high, sometimes up to 10 feet) with an erect, branched and furrowed but not spiny stem. It has large, thorny green root-leaves, which are attached to the stem without petiole; the upper leaves have a clasping base.

Uses: The herb has lactation improving abilities, therefore, is good for use by nursing mothers.