how to use milk thistle

Often, these are Asian immigrants who eat aptly named Death Cap mushrooms (Amanita phalloides) due to their similar appearance to edible straw mushrooms popular in Asia. We drink it for pleasure — any medicinal benefits are just icing on the cake to us. Writers / Editors. We’ve been growing milk thistle in our garden for over a decade and have come to regard it as one of our favorite pollinator plants and tea producers. Steep for about 20 minutes and strain the residue before you drink the tea. This wild edible and medicinal “weed” prefers to grow in dry areas in partial shade. Place the flower heads into a paper bag and bring them indoors (or into a garage) to continue to dry – at least 14 days. Then you're ready to use the milk thistle seeds in homeopathic preparations. The reason why is because of its versatile and potent active ingredient called silymarin, which is extracted from the seeds of this plant. Complicating matters, much of the current research is conducted using only one primary milk thistle compound, silymarin, rather than using the entire seed and the potential synergies that take place between the full compounds found therein. Click here to learn more about our story, and please subscribe to get our freshest content delivered to your inbox! If you’re hoping to use a milk thistle supplement that is formulated for humans, you … Aaron is the former farm manager at Oak Hill Cafe & Farm, a no-till, permaculture, farm-to-table restaurant & farm located right down the street from his alma mater, Furman University, in Greenville, SC. Milk thistle was one of the most popular liver herb "alteratives" used in European herbalism and folklore, mentioned in books and documented in herbals throughout the ages. Although the taste is not unpleasant, some people don’t like it, so try it in small amounts until your taste buds adjust. Milk thistle extract has a high amount of silymarin (between 65–80%) that has been concentrated from the milk thistle plant. Originally native to Southern Europe, Asia Minor, and the Mediterranean region, the plant now grows wild throughout the world. Wearing gloves, thresh individual flower heads into a container or onto an old bed sheet. Maintain lightly damp soil (not wet) AND temperatures around 70°F (21°C) until the seeds have germinated. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how to use milk thistle for liver detoxification and the best milk thistle extract to use for a healthy liver. In the fall you should begin to see white or silver seeds appear near the tops of the milk thistle. We love the protective benefits of milk thistle so much that we’ve incorporated it into a convenient, easy to use tincture that can be used for many applications. In this article, you’ll learn all about milk thistle (Silybum marianum), including how to grow, identify, and use milk thistle seeds as a delicious tea and medicinal 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. Almost any capsule, tablet or powder of milk thistle can be obtained from a specialized store or Amazon without any problem. Here are 5 of our favorite ways to incorporate an antioxidant punch into any meal, plus the many benefits you stand to gain by doing so. The method of administration depends on the convenience of the user. Each year, hundreds of people in the US mistakenly eat poisonous mushrooms. Milk thistle is an immunomodulating agent, meaning it boosts the ability of the immune system to fight diseases. Silymarin helps to prevent oxidative damage of the liver by harmful chemicals and toxins. A freshly harvested bag of milk thistle flowers with about 6″ of stem left on for easier threshing and handling. The green and white veined leaves are strikingly beautiful. Milk thistle has been shown to cause weight loss in, showed that milk thistle helped reduce the levels of cholesterol, Milk thistle reduces insulin resistance and improves the symptoms of type. This treatment method is called the “Santa Cruz Protocol”, thanks to University of California Santa Cruz professor Dr. Todd Mitchell’s life-saving interventions using milk thistle to treat patients who would have otherwise died from mushroom toxicity/liver failure. There are different products on the market that contain the active ingredients and dosage instructions vary. Although the liver benefits of milk thistle are praised the most, there are several studies that suggest it can also lower the levels of cholesterol in the body and manage the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. 3. Warning: Despite their beauty, milk thistle leaves, stems, and flower heads have abundant, sharp spikes on them that can be quite painful. Milk thistle tea is also quite popular. Due to its tendency to readily reseed if not harvested, it’s earned a reputation as an invasive weed. When making a milk thistle tincture, use 1 part natural matter to three parts alcohol or glycerin. Using a box fan (or a very windy day), winnow the seeds to separate the seeds from the chaff. The steps below outline how to make milk thistle tea. You can then sprinkle the powder onto your baked goods, … : Now that the flower heads have dried thoroughly, separate the seeds from the chaff by shaking the bag or container. This will remove most of the seeds, but some will remain lodged inside the flower heads. For dogs silymarin is given as an oral supplement, usually via a pill or capsule. Milk thistle may produce allergic reactions, which tend to be more common among people who are allergic to plants in the same family (for example, ragweed, chrysanthemum, marigold, and daisy). Place whole milk thistle seeds in a clean coffee grinder (or mortar and pestle) and grind into powder. The safety of milk thistle is worth mentioning here because it underlines how good an option this herb can be for your dog. If any chaff falls into the bucket, just pick them out by hand. This is about as far developed as you want a milk thistle flower head to be at harvest otherwise the plant will begin dropping seeds. Take one tablespoon of seeds and crush ‘em using a mortar and pestle. It’s an excellent alternative to coffee. Syrphid fly foraging milk thistle. We love the protective benefits of milk thistle so much that we’ve incorporated it into a convenient, easy to use tincture that can be used for many applications. Often, multiple pollinator species are foraging together on a single flower, including our personal favorite: Agapostemon splendens, a native, metallic green ground-dwelling bee. The oil is primarily known for its essential fatty acids. Milk thistle plants typically yield up to 190 seeds per flower - that’s roughly 6350 seeds per plant! The sooner the better, so their long tap roots don’t get too wrapped around in the seedling cells. STEP 1. You might want to put on some protective gear like thick gardening gloves before you set out for harvesting. Milk thistle tea can also be used … There is no standard amount of milk thistle, so it is best that you read the dosage indicated on the packaging. We don’t usually advocate putting garden debris in your trash versus your compost bin. Once they are crushed, the silymarin is released through the cracks in the seed shell. Place powdered seeds into tea ball. On warm, sunny spring days, we marvel at the number of pollinators visiting our milk thistle flowers. Serve and enjoy! Dry the flower heads further by putting them in a clean paper bag or container and setting them in a warm location. Pappi are white silvery seed heads that form when milk thistle flowers start drying out, usually at the end of the growing season around the months of May to July. * The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional … As fantastic as its anti-aging properties are, milk thistle uses for the skin don’t stop there. People with diabetes should use caution. Many conditions, including type 2 diabetes, are now being linked to oxidative stress, which if left unchecked, leads to oxidative damage. For every 1 tablespoonful of powdered milk thistle seeds, add about 3 cups of boiling water into a teapot. The fact that thistle plants also pose a health risk to cattle and other ruminants due to their unique digestive systems, has also earned milk thistle a negative reputation with ranchers and farmers throughout the US. Use Milk Thistle to Fight Acne, Treat Liver Disease and More. Long-term use may not be … Silymarin is a flavonoid that studies have shown contain powerful antioxidant properties. It is important to always buy from a reputable company and to follow the instructions for taking this herbal remedy. There are few people who use milk thistle for the traditional use of mushroom poisoning or insect stings, but millions in the western world can find particular benefit after drinking alcohol. Cut the spiky clusters while the plant is blooming. Silymarin has antifibrotic properties that help to prevent liver fibrosis. Grind the seeds into a fine powder. It has been reported to raise hepatic and intestinal glutathione levels by 50% in animal studies106 and to increase levels of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase in other animal models.”. Plan to harvest the milk thistle in the fall. Milk thistle flowers are quite popular with honeybees.

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