Milk Thistle (SilybumMarianum)

 
 
MilkThistle1

MilkThistle2

MilkThistle3

 

Habitat:

 

Milk thistle grows in dry, rocky soils, preferring sunny or lightly shaded areas in India.

 

Description:

 

Milk Thistle is an annual or biannual plant which is a fairly typical thistle with red to purple flowers and shiny pale green leaves with white veins. It grows 40-100 cm tall. The stem is grooved and more or less cottony. Leaves are oblong to lance shaped. They are either lobed or pinnate, with spiny edges, hairless, shiny green, with milk-white veins. The flower heads are 4-5 cm long and wide, red-purple in color. Flowering Time is June-October.

 

Medicinal Uses:

 

Milk Thistle is unique in its ability to protect the liver and has no equivalent in the pharmaceutical drug world. In fact, in cases of poisoning with Amanita mushrooms, which destroy the liver, milk thistle is the only treatment option. It has been so dramatically effective that the treatment has never been disputed, even by the traditional medical community. This species is an annual or biennial plant of the Asteraceae family.

Milk thistle was approved in 1986 as a treatment for liver disease and it is widely used to treat alcoholic hepatitis, alcoholic fatty liver, cirrhosis, liver poisoning and viral hepatitis. It has also been shown to protect the liver against medications such as acetaminophen, a non-aspirin pain reliever.

The active ingredient, or liver-protecting compound in Milk thistle is known as Silymarin. This substance, which actually consists of a group of compounds called flavonolignans, helps repair liver cells damaged by alcohol and other toxic substances by stimulating protein synthesis.