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