Milk thistle is an annual or biennial herb that grows 60 - 150 cm high. It has glossy leaves with distinctive white veins and a flower of violet-pink colour.
It is a very important food supplement for the treatment and prevention of liver and kidney diseases. Because the liver plays a very important role in the overall detoxification and the removal of dangerous substances from the body, preventive use is recommended. Milk Thistle is also suitable for treating spleen, gallbladder, and kidney issues, and has a positive effect in the treatment of skin diseases like psoriasis, eczema, pigment spots, etc.
Milk thistle should not be used by pregnant or nursing women. Its use can also interfere with the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.
In European conditions, sowing is carried out in April in rows 50 cm apart at a depth of 2-3 cm.
Seed germination can be accelerated by soaking them in warm water before sowing.
It thrives in sunny and warm locations, protected from the wind, and it likes lightly calcareous soils.
The seeds are harvested at the end of summer (August), when the whitish fluff begins to appear on the flowers.
If you do not want the seeds to spread further into the garden, cut the whole flower and collect the seeds.
Dry the seeds in a dry, well-ventilated place.
The crushed seeds can be used as a tea or as an oil. They can also be added to yoghurt, juices, etc.
Milk thistle is to be consumed cold because the active substance is lost upon contact with hot water.