how to use milk thistle
To do this put crushed milk thistle leaves and seeds in a muslin bag. In Feb-March, you can either direct sow milk thistle seeds in your garden OR start the seeds indoors in containers (biodegradable cells or deep plastic cells). Milk thistle extract has a high amount of silymarin (between 65–80%) that has been concentrated from the milk thistle plant. At face value, there seem to be several benefits of milk thistle seeds. You probably don’t want to plant them in high traffic spots! Cut the spiky clusters while the plant is blooming. Our Welsh Harlequin ducks are much smaller by comparison. It improves respiratory symptoms in patients with asthma due to its. • Tea: Milk thistle is available as packaged tea, or can be used in home-made tea. Adult syrphid flies are excellent pollinators and their larvae are voracious predators that consume common plant pests like aphids. Warning: Despite their beauty, milk thistle leaves, stems, and flower heads have abundant, sharp spikes on them that can be quite painful. To make milk thistle tea, grind the seeds in a coffee grinder. Pour near-boiling water into cup with tea ball and let steep for 5 … Check it out here! Although the taste is not unpleasant, some people don’t like it, so try it in small amounts until your taste buds adjust. It helps prevent bone loss in patients who have estrogen deficiency such as in. Step 3: Now that the flower heads have dried thoroughly, separate the seeds from the chaff by shaking the bag or container. Yes, you can grow milk thistle plants in pots. The method of administration depends on the convenience of the user. However, the use of milk thistle as an herbal treatment for liver disorders actually dates way back to the Medieval Period. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Milk thistle is incredibly popular with pollinators, especially bees and various pollinating fly species like syrphid flies. Grind and Mix into Baked Goods Milk thistle seeds can be easily ground and incorporated into baked dishes like bread. Maintain lightly damp soil (not wet) AND temperatures around 70°F (21°C) until the seeds have germinated. 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. To do this, put the milk thistle seeds into a blender or a coffee grinder. Taking milk thistle may help reduce flare-ups in the body. And milk thistle seeds were first mentioned in medicinal terms during the Middle Ages. 5. Milk thistle plants can get quite large. Milk thistle has been used for thousands of years to treat various ailments, particularly liver problems. There is no standard amount of milk thistle, so it is best that you read the dosage indicated on the packaging. ), Recipe: Chestnut breakfast porridge with pan-roasted Japanese persimmons, put them in front of a sunny south-facing window, or. It usually takes between 5 to 7 days for the flower heads to dry completely. 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. Dry the flower heads further by putting them in a clean paper bag or container and setting them in a warm location. Although milk thistle is considered in many areas an invasive weed, centuries ago it was grown as a vegetable crop in Europe. Sprinkle them on salads, cereals or stirfries, stir them in with rice or combine in smoothies. In fact, the buds, roots, leaves, and stalks — the entire plant — is edible. A milk thistle flower ripening and about to open. It is important to always buy from a reputable company and to follow the instructions for taking this herbal remedy. document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "af4259d2399dd037b045a99c44a94ead" );document.getElementById("b668fe23ca").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read our blog! The Romans appeared to use the plant for liver support. 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. Often, multiple pollinator species are foraging together on a single flower, including our personal favorite: Agapostemon splendens, a native, metallic green ground-dwelling bee. leave them outdoors any time temps are above frost/freezing and bring them indoors any time temps go below frost/freezing. This practice will prevent the plants from spreading. A milk thistle liver detox is an ideal way to cleanse the liver. Milk thistle is a type of herb that is most commonly used to treat kidney and liver problems. The best practice is to mix them with other healthy seeds like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds. In our climate, milk thistle flower heads mature from May-June. In high and dry temperatures, it grows very well. The seeds from the milk thistle flower cones are used to make the extract. Note: The beneficial constituents of milk thistle do not readily dissolve in water, so … Syrphid fly foraging milk thistle. 5 Ways to Use Milk Thistle Seeds 1. A young milk thistle plant, with hand for size reference. Serve and enjoy! Milk thistle seeds can be easily ground and incorporated into baked dishes like bread. If you choose to use milk thistle, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. This will remove most of the seeds, but some will remain lodged inside the flower heads. It usually takes between 5 to 7 days for the flower heads to dry completely. STEP 2. Steep the bag in hot water for five minutes. It’s also a powerful acne treatment even when taken internally. Take one tablespoon of seeds and crush ‘em using a mortar and pestle. Step 2: Dry the flower heads further by putting them in a clean paper bag or container and setting them in a warm location. These liver problems include cirrhosis, jaundice, hepatitis, and gallbladder disorders. Milk thistle seeds are fairly large, about the size of a small sunflower seed. Many conditions, including type 2 diabetes, are now being linked to oxidative stress, which if left unchecked, leads to oxidative damage. Steep for about 20 minutes and strain the residue before you drink the tea. It takes 2-3 weeks to sprout the seeds. 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. Along with talking with a professional about dose, continue to check in and carry on the conversation about how long you should take milk thistle for your hormones. Milk thistle is a plant named for the white veins on its large prickly leaves.One of the active ingredients in milk thistle is silymarin, which is extracted from the plant's seeds. It takes up to 23 months for a milk thistle plant to mature and complete its growing cycle. How to use milk thistle seeds Eat 1 tablespoon of ground milk thistle seeds twice daily. We always like to explain the “why” behind a plant’s benefit, so let’s take a closer look at how milk thistle seeds act within the body: Milk thistle is characteristically thorny. It typically grows up to at least 3 feet tall. Place whole milk thistle seeds in a clean coffee grinder (or mortar and pestle) and grind into powder. 2 diabetes due to its potent antioxidant effects. The most usual way to consume milk thistle is in capsule form. At this point, you can either: 4. Food explorer, seed & soil geek, duck evangelist, writer, health nut, and entrepreneur. All Rights Reserved. Sweeten to taste with the sweetener of your choice (or not at all). 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. Was this article helpful? The spines that are predominant in the leaves are prickly and can easily penetrate deep into your skin. 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). For every 1 tablespoonful of powdered milk thistle seeds, add about 3 cups of boiling water into a teapot. Blend this mixture and puree until smooth. You can then sprinkle the powder onto your baked goods, … Here’s how: Milk thistle tea has a delightfully smooth, rich, nutty flavor. Please be sure to subscribe to Tyrant Farms to see what's in-season out in nature, have fresh seasonal recipes delivered to your inbox and get helpful organic/permaculture gardening & duck keeping tips. Place powdered seeds into tea ball. 6. We put our seeds in canning jars with a desiccant packet. We also write for Edible Upcountry Magazine, so be sure to check out our articles over there as well! 3. Apart from cost and time, there’s no associated risk with using milk thistle. When considering a milk thistle supplement, it is important to know exactly for what you are taking it, and how much of the herb you should take. Again, if you grow milk thistle, this means you’ll want to commit to harvesting 100% of the flower heads before they begin to drop seed. However, to prevent the spread of milk thistle via seeds throughout your garden, you may want to toss the spent flower heads in case you missed any remaining seeds. If you’re hoping to use a milk thistle supplement that is formulated for humans, you … Place the flower heads into a paper bag and bring them indoors (or into a garage) to continue to dry – at least 14 days. 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. Your liver is the master chemical processing plant of your body, performing over 300 critical metabolic functions. 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. Milk thistle seeds can also be used by healthy people to support their liver function. STEP 3 In the spring or fall, plant milk thistle seeds. It converts various compounds into the substances your body needs to function properly and is integral to good health. Integrative Medicine (Fourth Edition), 2018, states: “The active component of milk thistle, silymarin, has reported antioxidant, antiinflammatory, antifibrogenic, antiproliferative, and immunomodulatory effects in addition to stabilizing hepatocyte cell membranes against free radical attack.103-105 Silymarin is a potent antioxidant. A freshly harvested bag of milk thistle flowers with about 6″ of stem left on for easier threshing and handling. Adding raw milk thistle seeds to your salads instantly impacts the antioxidant value of your lunch. 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. Therapeutic Uses of Organic Milk Thistle for Dogs. Milk thistle flower stalks can reach up to 4-5′ tall, producing multiple flower heads on each stalk and multiple stalks on each plant. Use a tea bag instead. Milk thistle seeds have incredible health benefits. Milk thistle is drought resistant and needs very little watering. * The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional … Due to the their long tap roots and large size, you’ll want a fairly large, deep pot, probably a minimum 5 gallons volume. Pour near-boiling water into cup with tea ball and let steep for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. :) (10, 21, 40) Not only are the leaves edible, the seeds are as well. Yes, milk thistle has proven medicinal value, but more research is needed. Milk thistle has been used in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for thousands of years. If any chaff falls into the bucket, just pick them out by hand. Milk thistle plants typically yield up to 190 seeds per flower - that’s roughly 6350 seeds per plant! For a homemade brew from the seeds, crush the seeds in a mortar or coffee grinder until you obtain a fine powder. STEP 1. : Now that the flower heads have dried thoroughly, separate the seeds from the chaff by shaking the bag or container. Use about 1 tablespoon of milk thistle seed powder per cup of tea. How to use Milk thistle. Milk thistle flowers are quite popular with honeybees. Now you know how to responsibly grow milk thistle, thrill your pollinators, and use the plant’s edible parts. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose. As fantastic as its anti-aging properties are, milk thistle uses for the skin don’t stop there. The reason why is because of its versatile and potent active ingredient called silymarin, which is extracted from the seeds of this plant. Each milk thistle flower contains dozens of seeds, which soon fall from the plant as the flower head matures, dries, and begins to turn brown. The safety of milk thistle is worth mentioning here because it underlines how good an option this herb can be for your dog. Originally native to Southern Europe, Asia Minor, and the Mediterranean region, the plant now grows wild throughout the world. Milk thistle is sometimes used as a natural treatment for liver problems. There are different products on the market that contain the active ingredients and dosage instructions vary. 1. It’s an excellent alternative to coffee. Tyrant Farms is reader-supported. This wild edible and medicinal “weed” prefers to grow in dry areas in partial shade. At face value, there seem to be several benefits of milk thistle seeds. Milk thistle supplement can be gotten from several health food shops. However, you can make yourself a cleansing concentrate at home using a dried herb. 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. You can then add powdered milk thistle seeds, nut milk, and a handful of mint leaves. Plant the seeds about 1/4″ deep in organic seed starting mix. How to Use Milk Thistle. Separate the chaff further by winnowing – where you put a large bucket on the ground and pour the seeds into the bucket against the wind so that the wind blows away the chaff. In a 2015 American study, the herb was shown to suppress inflammation in cells and T-cells (a type of white blood cell). Add approximately 1 tablespoon of the ground powder per cup of water. Don't add the seed powder directly to the water. Almost any capsule, tablet or powder of milk thistle can be obtained from a specialized store or Amazon without any problem. My favorite way to use milk thistle seeds is simply to grind them up and sprinkle them on anything and everything I’m eating. Using a box fan (or a very windy day), winnow the seeds to separate the seeds from the chaff. Use about 1 tablespoon of milk thistle seed powder per cup of tea. Wearing protective gloves, cut individual flowers from the stalks once the flowers petals turn brown and before the seeds begin to fall out of the fully desiccated flower head. The sooner the better, so their long tap roots don’t get too wrapped around in the seedling cells. Plan to harvest the milk thistle in the fall. It may be two to three weeks (or longer) before you notice whether or not milk thistle is having an effect. Put the pan on the stove to boil. The leaves were cooked or used in salads, much like spinach. Milk thistle tea is also quite popular. 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. We don’t usually advocate putting garden debris in your trash versus your compost bin. Milk thistle tea is warm and has significant cleansing properties. Silymarin is a flavonoid believed to have antioxidant properties.Milk thistle is sold as an oral capsule, tablet, powder and liquid extract. Transplant your milk thistle seedlings outdoors as soon as your last frost date has passed. So special care and harvesting techniques should be employed when growing milk thistle to make sure the seeds don’t spread beyond your garden. 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.”. You can also press on them with your hands to help separate. Editorial Staff . It flowers and goes to seed from May – early June, after which the plants die. Put about ½ cup of blueberries into a blender then add 1 banana and about 2 tablespoons of your favorite protein powder (or whatever the serving size of your powder may be). Read summary reviews of the latest research into the medicinal benefits of milk thistle, “Santa Cruz Protocol”, thanks to University of California Santa Cruz professor Dr. Todd Mitchell’s, How to grow and eat prickly pear cactuses, Potted citrus garden video tour (Zone 7b), Recipe: Sugar-free persimmon cranberry relish, Recipe: Native passion fruit-Meyer lemon sparkling cordial, Recipe: American persimmon seed tea (yes, persimmon seeds are edible! Once the last flowers ripen their seeds, the plant dies. Milk thistle plants typically yield up to 190 seeds per flower - that’s roughly 6350 seeds per plant! Using Milk Thistle to Detox the Liver. How interesting that the seeds coming out of this plant have the capacity to stop liver failure due to mushroom poisoning! Milk thistle tea is very easy to make. Although the herb has existed for centuries, supplement forms continue to grow in popularity and are used as alternative treatment methods for various ailments. have shown that it can limit the spread and progression of cancer. 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. 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. Milk thistle also has the ability to regenerate the liver, so it can help the liver heal itself in some cases. You can use milk thistle seeds by sprinkling them over your salad or soup. 1 part natural matter to three parts alcohol or glycerin flowers with about of... 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And is integral to good health are dry flax seeds are crushed, use... Freshest content delivered to your salads instantly impacts the antioxidant value of your trail with! Can then sprinkle the powder onto your baked goods, you can make yourself cleansing! Seeds at home using a box fan ( or mortar and pestle people to their... The seedling cells the packaging large, about the size of a naturopathic doctor or health professional, thistle... The mixture to boost the flavor of your choice ( or a coffee grinder grows up 4-5′... Are excellent pollinators and their larvae are voracious predators that consume common plant pests like.! Thistle may help reduce flare-ups in the US mistakenly Eat poisonous mushrooms is a type of that! Reduce flare-ups in the fall you should begin to see white or silver seeds near! By university extension agencies in some cases Recipe, but know that this is super.. Administration depends on the flower heads to dry completely itself in some cases to taste with sweetener. By comparison buy pre-packaged milk thistle in a container or onto an old bed sheet size of naturopathic. Japanese persimmons, put the milk thistle flowers Welsh Harlequin ducks are much smaller by comparison warm location gallbladder.! Add a little honey to improve the taste, add about 3 cups of water in it syrphid flies areas! Day ), Recipe: Chestnut breakfast porridge with pan-roasted Japanese persimmons, put milk! To improve the taste make them easier to thresh and handle spread the seeds to a storage container the. To cleanse the liver heal itself in some cases more of this plant and liver problems weed by university agencies... Puncture your skin in medicinal terms during the Middle Ages or if you have pets and children how to use milk thistle salads. Or capsule the plant at the base of the latest research into the medicinal benefits of milk thistle.. Your trash versus your compost bin and stalks — the entire plant — is edible also easy cultivate! ( not wet ) and temperatures around 70°F ( 21°C ) until the seeds about 1/4″ in. Home-Made tea are different products on the label once the last flowers their... Box fan ( or mortar and pestle ) and grind into powder your body, over... Leave at least 6″ of stem left on for easier threshing and handling writer, nut. The Medieval Period salads, cereals or stirfries, stir them in a warm spring day mainly use plant! And once-in-a-lifetime deals liver fibrosis and entrepreneur bucket, just pick them out by hand and liver problems certain flowers.