Milk thistle, Silybum marianum, is a wild beauty found in rugged places. Everyone should read about this plant at the beginning of spring. At that time of the year, multitudes of people start with what they call detoxing. They follow all kinds of complicated diet regimens, while there is only one thing that is important to know. Detoxification is not about eliminating certain foods and drinks from your diet for a short period of time, but about supporting your body in removing toxins every day.
You can juice fast until you are blue in the face, if your kidneys and especially your liver are not working properly, you will only move waste products around in your body. That can have disastrous consequences. Milk thistle is a great plant to support the liver, your most important organ when it comes to removing waste. It supports and restores the liver itself and the way it functions and works against numerous liver failure related disorders.
In addition, milk thistle has medicinal properties against several disorders of the digestive tract and blood vessels. But if you want to remember only one thing about milk thistle, it should certainly be its beneficial effect on liver performance.
The most obvious magical property of milk thistle shows through in its appearance. You can tell this plant is not to be trifled with. It is a strong protector of home, hearth and women. This plant reminds women that they are powerful and allowed to show their emotions. After hearing for centuries that a woman should be sweet and caring, we still forget that sometimes. However, if this plant shows us anything, it is that you can be soft and fierce at the same time.
Milk thistle, magically speaking, does much more. For example, you can employ it to summon and dismiss entities. And this plant is edible during a large part of the year. You can read all about it in the rest of the monograph!
Milk thistle stands on a large taproot surmounted by a leaf rosette. This plant can grow up to two metres high and has a grooved and cobwebbed stem.
Along that stem you will find the dark green, white-veined leaves with yellowish spines along the margins. At the bottom of the plant the leaves are sessile, large and deeply cut pinnatifid and more upwards clasping, lanceolate to cordate.
The pink, purple or sometimes white flower is large and stands at stem apex. It consists of tubular florets with dentate bracts that have a long spine at the end. After flowering, the seed appears in the form of a brown or black achene on a pappus.
Milk thistle seed was once used as a coffee substitute.
The plant owed its common name milk thistle to the milky white lines on the leaf, according to tradition caused by breast milk of fertility goddesses from various pantheons or the virgin Mary. Because of the latter, the plant is called marianum in the Linnaean system.
In some countries, the plant is widely cultivated because of its nutritiousness.
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