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  Silybum marianum-2.jpg  Silybum marianum 0001.JPG    Milk thistle flowerhead.jpg  XN Silybum marianum 115.jpg  Silybum marianum 1 beentree.jpg

 

NAME: Milk Thistle

SPECIES / FAMILY:  Silybum Marianum / Asteraceae or Compositae

OTHER COMMON NAME(S):  Saint Mary's thistle, Mediterranean milk thistle

CONDITIONS: full sun, sandy and rocky soil
 

PARTS:

EDIBLE cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

TASTE

RAW/COOK

SEASON

All

 

 

 

 

Shoots

 

 

 

 

Leaves

Mild/young
bitter/old

RAW/COOK

Spring

Stalk/Stem

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

slightly bitter

PEEL/RAW/COOK

Spring

Buds

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

MILD

COOK

Spring

Flowers

 

 

 

 

Fruits

 

 

 

 

Pods

 

 

   

Seeds

coffee sub

ROAST

 

Nuts

 

 

 

 

Roots

mild/salsify

RAW/COOK

Fall

Bark

 

 

 

 

 

PORTION: small-medium

 

COMMENT: Root somewhat mucilaginous texture. Leaves very sharp leaf-spines must be removed first, which is time-consuming.  When cooked they make an acceptable spinach substitute. Flower buds a globe artichoke substitute. Stems can be soaked to reduce the bitterness. Palatable and nutritious, they can be used like asparagus or rhubarb or added to salads. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. A good quality oil is obtained from the seeds. (1)

 

CAUTION: https://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Silybum+marianum

 

NUTRITION/MEDICINAL:  Astringent;  Bitter;  Cholagogue;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Emetic;  Emmenagogue;  Hepatic;  Homeopathy;  Stimulant;  Stomachic;  Tonic. (1)

o   https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-138/milk-thistle

o   https://draxe.com/milk-thistle-benefits

 

LOOK-A-LIKES:  other thistles, such as Bull and Field thistles

 

POISONOUS LOOK-A-LIKES: 

 

OTHER USES: Green manure;  Oil from seed (1)

 

SOURCE LINKS (may include nutritional and medicinal info, plus other uses):

  1. https://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Silybum+marianum
  2. http://www.eattheweeds.com/thistle-touch-me-not-but-add-butter-2/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silybum_marianum
  3. http://www.foragingtexas.com/2006/05/thistle-milk.html  (good photos)
  4. http://www.ediblewildfood.com/milk-thistle.aspx (good photos)