They can be used in place of lettuce in salads, as an asparagus substitute in recipes, and in place of rhubarb. Water does not extract milk thistle well and alcohol is often contraindicated for those seeking liver protection. Milk thistle may be a natural antioxidant that is especially helpful with liver ailments by enhancing glutathione levels, reducing damage from drug toxicity, helping battle infectious disease, and in the development of insulin resistance. Use a … Since it grows in clumps, it is … Grind the seeds into a fine powder. Sources for Today’s Article: Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***. Roots and stalks were also cleaned and used in the same types of common menu items. Milk thistle, a member of the Asteraceae family of plants from which daisies and sunflowers belong to, has been used for over 2,000 years to treat gallbladder and liver problems. Prized for its medicinal properties, it is also considered highly invasive and is being targeted for eradication in some areas. Preppers who do not have to bug out still may find themselves in a position where food and medicine stockpiles need replenished. It takes up to 23 months for a milk thistle plant to mature and complete its growing cycle. The virgin Mary was sheltering herself from the elements and possible evil doers beneath the prickly leaves of the milk thistle plant while nursing the baby Jesus, according to some ancient stories. Milk thistle is a sturdy annual or biennial plant. The herb has been shown to be very safe when taken internally, and studies have reported no side effects when taken in large doses over a long period of time. While milk thistle grows abundantly in the wild nearly throughout the United States, it is possible to purchase seeds to cultivate this plant – or purchase it in supplement form at health food stores. “Liver,” Innerbody web site; https://www.innerbody.com/image_digeov/card10-new2.html, last accessed February 25, 2016. Silybum marianum, commonly known as milk thistle, Mary thistle, and holy thistle is a flowering plant in the daisy family. What Are These Tiny Red Spots on My Skin (Petechiae)? Silymarin is also formed by betaine, apigenin, fatty acids, proteins, silybon, polyphenolic, and fixed oils. The white fluff are the seeds. “Cell Phones and Cancer Risk,” National Cancer Institute web site, last updated February 1, 2016; http://www.livestrong.com/article/519605-does-milk-thistle-cleanse-a-fatty-liver/, http://www.webmd.com/men/features/liver-detoxification—-fact-fad, http://www.heartspring.net/detoxification_liver_health.html, http://www.needs.com/product/NDNL-0608-01/a_Milk_Thistle, http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/radiation/cell-phones-fact-sheet. “Cell Phones and Cancer Risk,” National Cancer Institute web site, last updated February 1, 2016; http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/radiation/cell-phones-fact-sheet, last accessed February 25, 2016. Again, do not attempt to harvest milk thistle without wearing durable work gloves. While I will defer to experts about much of the Bible, that yarn about the Virgin Mary is DEFINITELY not in the Bible. Milk thistle is used internally in the tre… Silymarin is the active ingredient in milk thistle. Milk thistle is one of the easiest to identify fall foraging offerings. The process is quite easy and the plant also does not require a lot of maintenance. In the spring … To grow milk thistle, spread the seeds over the loose soil in the spring or fall. To do this, put the milk thistle seeds into a blender or a coffee grinder. The flowers typically range in size from about 1 1/2 inches to nearly 6 inches long. Talk to your doctor before beginning a milk thistle supplement regimen. When fatty, rich foods or alcohol are consumed, the liver has to work harder than normal to filter the toxins. There is no need to remove the roots or leaves from the stem to air dry. The fruit portion of milk thistle is found in the pappus that falls away when the plant dries, and is not used to make an extract. When dealing with a particularly dry or spikey plant, I can even feel the tiny yet sharp thorns through my lined leather work gloves. [2] X Research source The scientific evidence behind many of the medicinal uses of milk thistle is still inconclusive. Milk thistle hails from the mountain regions of the Mediterranean. The soil also needs to be well-drained. Required fields are marked *. Sign Up for the Latest Health News and Tips, Home » General Health » How to Use Milk Thistle for Liver Detox. After the liver cleanse has been done, you can continue taking milk thistle, at lower levels, as a nutritional supplement every day to keep the liver healthy going forward. Even if you have planned extensively to bug in, the possibility that you could be forced to bug out instead and rely perhaps solely upon your survival foraging knowledge, does exist. Protecting and supporting the liver is milk thistle’s most well-known benefit. Liver support. The milk thistle seeds should be stored in a cool dry place until ready to use. In fact, the buds, roots, leaves, and stalks — the entire plant — is edible. It is a great tonic, increases appetite and aids in digestion. If left unattended, milk thistle can take over a field thanks to the easy and rapid dispersal of its seeds by even a slight wind. Milk thistle (also called silybum milk thistle) is a tricky plant. It is native to the Mediterranean region but is now naturalized around the world. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of the ground powder per cup of water. When using the potent power of the sun to dehydrate milk thistle, the amount of time the process will take will depend upon both the temperature and humidity level. After decades of compensating for poor nutritional habits, chemicals in our food, and heavy metals in our main sources of water, the liver can become tired and over-exerted, and needs a good cleansing and detoxification to get it back to where it can operate at optimal levels. Unlike milkweed that grows in the spring and blooms in the middle of summer, milk thistle grows in the summer and blooms just as the season is ending – in most climates. Your email address will not be published. Studies regarding the potential impact of milk thistle when treating asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, drug-induced hepatotoxicity, drug-induced nephrotoxicity, dyslipidemia, and cancer are still ongoing – clinical trial results that support claims of milk thistle being viable treatments for the above noted conditions are limited with some showing equivocal results. It is only the gray or black mottled and shiny portion of the fruit that are regularly referred to as seeds that are used to make milk thistle extract. Milk thistle is a hardy plant that grows well in all different environments, although it prefers high temperatures and dry conditions. Milk thistle plant parts can be eaten either cooked or raw – with the exception of the need to boil the leaves to remove their prickles. The plant may boast substantial anti-inflammatory qualities, as well. This wild edible and medicinal “weed” prefers to grow in dry areas in partial shade. I am chuckling. Milk thistle is a thistle of a flowering plant in the daisy family. Milk thistle seeds only take two weeks to germinate. If you choose to use milk thistle, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. “Liver Health and Milk Thistle,” Heartspring web site; http://www.heartspring.net/detoxification_liver_health.html, last accessed February 25, 2016. Storing the dried milk thistle plant in a cool and dry place is highly recommended. Leaves will not usually take more than 3 – 4 hours to dry completely in a typical home dehydrators on the nut and herb setting. Some milk thistle formulations are combined with phosphatidylcholine complex; you can take a lower dose of these (100 to 120 mg, once or twice a day) because the complex makes the milk thistle easier to absorb. Non-Dairy Milk Recipes: 10 Easy and Delicious Concoctions. 10 Ways to Control Blood Sugar without Medication. As we all know, grocery store shelves will be emptied in mere hours – and pharmacies will be looted – so learn as much as you can right now about how to identify and use milk thistle and other valuable plants growing in your region. I will never SPAM you. Put the flower heads into a sack to prevent the pappus from flying away in the wind. Milk thistle is often promoted for its liver … Scoop 1 tablespoon (5 g) of ground milk thistle seeds into a tea bag or filter … Cooked flower buds have a slightly sweet taste, and are delicious when brewed into a tea. The cone flower portion of the plant was commonly used at the time as a food that was eaten in a similar manner as the artichoke is consumed today. The most common amount administered for a milk thistle liver cleanse is anywhere from 140 mg to 300 mg, taken two to three times a day. A milk thistle liver detox is quite simple to do and can be done without the help of a naturopathic doctor or health professional. A milk thistle liver detox is an ideal way to cleanse the liver. Don't add the seed powder directly to the water. Scientific research into the potential benefits of milk thistle have not been extensive and are still ongoing. Remove the seeds from the freezer … The stems taste better when eaten while the plant is still young. This wild plant is first known to have been used in ancient Greece more than 2,000 years ago. Store dehydrated portions of the milk thistle plant in an airtight container like a Mason jar, or seal them with a vacuum sealer machine. Sometimes, just the movement of your hands while popping off the cone or snipping it away can dislodge at least part of the pappus. Side effects that may indicate an allergic reaction to milk thistle include: Avoid using milk thistle if taking metronidazole, Simeprevir, and drugs to treat hepatitis C. Typically, milk thistle dosing guidelines are recommended to be no more than 140 mg consumed orally three times per day for adults. Milk thistle is a plant that is native to Europe and was brought to North America by early colonists. An entire plant can contain (and release) around 6,350 seeds. The white heads that are present on the cone are known as pappus. Expect solar dehydrating to cut the standard air drying or sack drying time approximately in half. Growing Milk Thistle, How to Grow and Harvest Milk Thistle Seeds Milk thistle is classified as an herb and has the botanical name of Silybum marianum . “Does Milk Thistle Cleanse a Fatty Liver?” Livestrong web site; http://www.livestrong.com/article/519605-does-milk-thistle-cleanse-a-fatty-liver/, last accessed February 25, 2016. This fall foraging all star has a branched stem filled with leaves that boast a prickly appearance and texture. Milk Thistle Plant Care . In North America, the flowers generally bloom from June to August, but in the southern hemisphere milk thistle flowers tend to bloom from December through February. “Liver Health and Milk Thistle,” Heartspring web site; “Milk Thistle Improves Liver Health and Detoxification,” Needs web site; Narayanapillai, S., et al., “Silibinin Inhibits Ultraviolet B Radiation-Induced DNA-Damage and Apoptosis by Enhancing Interleukin-12 Expression in JB6 Cells and SKH-1 Hairless Mouse Skin,”. This makes milk thistle versatile enough to use … Milkweed and milk thistle are not the same plant. The upper leaves on this wild edible ultimately clasp together at the stem. Milk thistle is a plant named for the white veins on its large prickly leaves.One of the active ingredients in milk thistle is silymarin, which is extracted from the plant's seeds. Each cone shaped flower on the milk thistle is capable of producing approximately 200 seeds. Prickly yet pretty, milk thistle is a plant with a long, thin stem, spiny leaves, and a purplish-pink thistle at the top. The liver … This information is for research and entertainment purposes only. The plant’s extract might cause estrogenic effects. This is because the plant is drought resistant and therefore, does not require regular watering. A study published in the journal Molecular Carcinogenesis revealed that milk thistle could actually help the body detox from the effects of radiation. A drop of Mary’s milk dropped onto one of the leaves, and caused the milky veins that are present in the plant to form. When shopping for milk thistle, look for a high content of silymarin (the name of the group of plant compounds found in the plant). To air dry milk thistle, simply tie the stems to a piece of twine or rope and hang as you would herbs. Dehydrating the harvested roots from the plant may take up to 12 hours in a standard home dehydrator. https://www.tyrantfarms.com/how-to-grow-and-use-milk-thistle Ask a bird-watching enthusiast and they will tell you that planting thistle is a great way to attract birds like finch and woodpecker who dine on thistle seeds. You can then sprinkle the powder onto your baked goods, use the powder to bake, and/or add some texture … If you roast the seeds, they can be used as a coffee substitute – at least to replicate the flavor of the morning drink if not the caffeine intake. The liver provides an incredibly important function in the human body. Milk thistle has been considered nothing more than an annoying weed by farmers, and is often brush hogged down during routine field maintenance. The plant derives its name from the milky sap it produces when the leaves are broken. The pappus on the heads will be dispersed or fall out during the air drying process, so they must be removed and placed in a sack as noted above. It typically grows up to at least 3 feet tall. Using the Harvested Milk Thistle 1 Brew tea to enjoy the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Milk thistle … “Liver Detoxification: Fact or Fad?” Web MD web site; http://www.webmd.com/men/features/liver-detoxification—-fact-fad, last accessed February 25, 2016. By entering your e-mail you consent to subscribe to my newsletter. They are hairless and alternate up the stem of the plant. Leaves on the milk thistle plant are lanceolate or oblong in shape. Nicholas Cuplepper, a 17th century English herbalist, used the wild plant to treat jaundice and remove obstructions in both the spleen and liver. The most common amount administered for a milk thistle liver cleanse is anywhere from 140 mg to 300 mg, taken two to three times a day. Stems from this fall foraging survival plant taste best when peeled and soaked in cold water to reduce their bitter taste, before being eaten either raw or cooked. Pregnant and nursing women are also cautioned against the consumption or use of milk thistle because testing on this population just has not been extensive and too many potential health unknowns exist. I would recommend using the herb or nut setting on a standard home dehydrator, allowing it to dry for about 5 hours. Cooked milk thistle leaves make a superb substitute for spinach. It is the number-one herb (a weed, actually) used to detoxify the body, in particular a liver detox. One of the most common uses of milk thistle is to treat liver problems. In addition to being used to treat boils, skin rashes, and as a wound wash, milk thistle is becoming a common ingredient in many beauty products. naturalized in North and South America and Australia. Milk Thistle Medicinal Uses: Plant Preparations. Milk thistle seeds contain the highest level of its beneficial silymarin compounds. Over the years the liver gets bogged down by heavy metals, fatty foods, alcohol and chemicals, and becomes sluggish. Like stinging nettles, you MUST wear gloves when harvesting any part of this plant – or suffer the consequences of having tiny and clear little thorns embedded into your fingers. Pour the dried seeds in to a storage container with an airtight lid and pick out any chaff that did not blow away during the harvesting process. 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You will know that it is time to begin harvesting the flower cones turn begin to dry out and the purple heads on the cones turn to white. Some people might experience loose bowels for the first few days, but this will eventually pass. Yes. Share on Pinterest. A milk thistle liver detox is an important step in maintaining a properly functioning liver. Milk thistle is considered very easy to grow and can tolerate most conditions, but this means it is also extremely invasive. Cooked milk thistle leaves make a superb substitute for … Milkweed is a bright plant that produces large and colorful flowers that attract butterflies in great abundance. If you make any of the items on the list … As the second-largest organ in the body, the liver is in many ways a workhorse because it performs many functions involving digestion, the immune system, the metabolic system, and how nutrients are stored in the body. After the cone heads have dried, remove them from the sack, and separate out the seeds after giving it several solid shakes and pressing down on the flower cones to separate them thoroughly. Although it can be used as food, milk thistle is better known as having medicinal benefits. This survival knowledge just might save your life – or the life of someone you love. Milk thistle seeds only take only around two weeks … The Greeks used milk thistle to treat snake bites and liver problems. Your doctor can also discuss any possible side effects and drug interactions with you. Silymarin is a flavonoid believed to have antioxidant properties.Milk thistle is sold as an oral capsule, tablet, powder and liquid extract. Milky and whtie veins are visible on the leaves via a close inspection of them. Women with ovarian, uterine, or breast cancer, as well as those suffering from a hormone sensitive conditions like uterine fibroids or endometriosis, should not consume or use milk thistle unless doing so under the supervision of their doctor. Assists Antioxidant Activity. The milk thistle plant should not be expected to mature at the same time. It was in both Europe and in the early days of America that milk thistle leaves had their spines removed so they could be eaten as a vegetable and tossed in salads. Learning how to identify milk thistle or how to grow it in your prepper apothecary, could help increase your chances of survival during a long-term disaster. Just about all parts of the plant have been used as food with no reports of toxicity. Even a slight wind is all it takes to broadcast the white flowery seeds. The wild plant can be dehydrated in the sun or a dehydrator machine to speed up the drying process, if necessary. Keep reading for information about planting milk thistle in gardens, as well as combating milk thistle … Milk thistle plant parts can be eaten either cooked or raw – with the exception of the need to boil the leaves to remove their prickles. Simply because a remedy ingredient is natural, does not mean it is safe to use for everyone. This attractive yet prickly fall foraging wild edible belongs to the same plant family as artichokes and daisies. While I am not a doctor or any type of medical professional, I am going to share with you the traditional natural uses for milk thistle – some of which date back centuries. The plant is used in natural medicinal remedies, to brew as a tea, and as a recipe ingredient. Even though milk thistle is indigenious to Asia, Europe, and North Africa, it has now been naturalized in the United States, Australia, and South America. Milk thistle or silybum marianum, is a fall foraging plant with many nicknames. Plant milk thistle … These plants behave and spread much like weeds, which … People mainly use the supplement to treat liver conditions. This component of the plant is comprised of a 65% to 80% grouping of flavonolignans: iso silychristin, taxifolin, silychristin, silybin A, silybin B, isosilybin A, isosilybin B, and silydianin. Milk thistle liver detox dosages vary from person to person depending on weight and overall health, so the following numbers are meant as guidelines and can be adjusted. It is used by many people, including those who were addicted to alcohol to cleanse the liver. Supports liver health. Before embarking on any type of natural remedy journey, always do your own research and consult with your physician first. It was Dioscorides, a Greek botanist and doctor who first prescribed milk thistle to treat hepatobiliary diseases. “Does Milk Thistle Cleanse a Fatty Liver?” Livestrong web site; “Liver Detoxification: Fact or Fad?” Web MD web site; “Liver,” Innerbody web site; https://www.innerbody.com/image_digeov/card10-new2.html, last accessed February 25, 2016. There are two peculiar features of the leaves; they have splashes of white color and they contain a milk … Some supplement bottles containing milk thistle in capsule or pill format suggest that use of this wild edible may be safe at a level of 420 mg daily for up to 41 months. Do not use more of this product than is recommended on the … Stems should also be dehydrated on the same setting, and will likely take up to at least 8 hours to dry, depending upon their girth. The entire plant is edible, when properly prepared and harvested, and can be used in a wide variety of recipes to bolster their nutritional content and flavor. These flowers are native to the Mediterranean regions of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Native American tribes often used milk thistle to treat skin rashes, diseases, and boils. Get it back in working order so it can function at optimal levels by detoxing your liver with a milk thistle flush. To grow milk thistle outdoors, spread the seed directly over the desired area in the spring or fall. This is a concern to some people, because radiation waves are found in cell phones, microwaves, and other common items, though study results on the matter are inconsistent and more research is needed. When shopping for milk thistle, look for a high content of silymarin … This is because the plant is resistant to drought, hence does not require regular watering. 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 (though not to be confused with Onopordum acanthium).This species is an annual or biennial plant of the family Asteraceae.This fairly typical thistle … “Milk Thistle Improves Liver Health and Detoxification,” Needs web site; http://www.needs.com/product/NDNL-0608-01/a_Milk_Thistle, last accessed February 25, 2016. Narayanapillai, S., et al., “Silibinin Inhibits Ultraviolet B Radiation-Induced DNA-Damage and Apoptosis by Enhancing Interleukin-12 Expression in JB6 Cells and SKH-1 Hairless Mouse Skin,” Molecular Carcinogenesis, January 2013; doi: 10.1002/mc.22000. It's important that you always consult with a medical professional before taking any herbal supplements. Milk thistle seeds can be easily ground and incorporated into baked dishes like bread. This edible weed is also known as: It is during the initial days of fall when milk thistle begins to fade. This edible and healing weed gets its name from the Bible. Your email address will not be published. The health benefits of milk thistle lie in its seeds, the extract of which is … Leave the flower heads inside of the bag, and hang in a cool dry place for about a week to allow them to dry thoroughly. It was herbalists from Great Britain that significantly enhanced the use of milk thistle’s use by early medical care providers, especially for the treatment of kidney and spleen disorders. Milk Thistle Protects Your Liver. They somewhat resemble the top of a dandelion that children love to blow like bubbles. Your e-mail is 100% safe. When dehydrating the flower cone head, plant pieces should be extremely brittle to the touch when the drying process is complete. Not only are the leaves edible, the seeds are as well. The process is quite easy and not much maintenance is required for the plant as well. It is most often found in grocery stores in a tea format. Milk thistle … The skills we have honed are just as vital to our survival as the tools and gear we stockpile. Herbalists often prefer to use the whole seed of milk thistle, freshly ground, and added to foods (I like it in yogurt and oatmeal). A milk thistle liver flush will help get it back on track and remove the toxic buildup. Because milk thistle is related to ragweed, folks with seasonal allergies to this wild plant should avoid consuming it as either a fall foraging for edible or medicinal purposes. To make milk thistle tea, grind the seeds in a coffee grinder. If you are allergic to chrysanthemums, daisies, or marigolds, it may be best to avoid using milk thistle as well. Use sturdy work gloves and cut the flower cone blossoms away from the stem. For over 2,000 years people around the world have enjoyed milk thistle in their diet. During your fall foraging, keep an eye on the plant just about daily during the final days of September and into the first week or so of October for signs of drying and pappus. Conditions Milk Thistle Has Been Used To Treat Or Prevent. In addition to being used as an herb, the plant … The purple cones that grow atop the tall and thin “branches” of this bush-style plant die off, leaving white fluffy where the thin purple flower petals had grown. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and a milk thistle liver detox is used to help increase bile production and create better digestive function. Always bring the milk thistle plant pieces being dehydrated by the sun inside at night to prevent dampness from infusing into them, and cause drying delays. As noted above, the leaves and spines of the milk thistle plant are filled with little prickly hairs that will act as tiny thorns if given the chance to get under your skin. 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