Botanical Name: Silybum marianum
Components: Native to Europe, milk thistle is an edible plant with reddish purple flowers and leaves decorated with a strong white pattern said to represent drops of the Virgin Mary’s breast milk. The interesting markings inspired the plant’s other names, Mary’s thistle and holy thistle, and gave rise to its folk use as a stimulant of breast milk.
Overview: Milk thistle contains antioxidants that protect the liver from toxins and viral invaders, and it has the ability to reverse damage caused by alcohol, medications, and heavy metals. The seeds contain high levels of lipophilic extracts which increase immunity and deter oxidative stress. Its protective qualities also reduce visible signs of aging by removing pollutants from the blood and digestive tract, the effects of which are noticeable on both the inside and outside of the body, particularly in the skin.
Uses: The dried seeds may be eaten, prepared as a tea or tincture, or powdered and encapsulated.