In a 2015 American study, the herb was shown to suppress inflammation in cells and T-cells (a type of white blood cell). Once they are crushed, the silymarin is released through the cracks in the seed shell. My favorite way to use milk thistle seeds is simply to grind them up and sprinkle them on anything and everything I’m eating. Milk thistle is an annual, full-sun plant that germinates in late winter in our climate zone (Ag Zone 7b). Milk thistle can also be consumed as a tea, and if you want to drink milk thistle tea, it … For every 1 tablespoonful of powdered milk thistle seeds, add about 3 cups of boiling water into a teapot. A freshly harvested bag of milk thistle flowers with about 6″ of stem left on for easier threshing and handling. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Steps. He also serves on the board of the Diversified Agriculture Committee for the South Carolina Farm Bureau. Method 1 of 2: Gathering Milk Thistle 1. The Importance of Your Liver. How to Use Milk Thistle. 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. To do this put crushed milk thistle leaves and seeds in a muslin bag. The Romans appeared to use the plant for liver support. 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. Separate research in the journal PLOSOne in 2017 found that silymarin triggered anti-inflammatory activity in white blood cells. Use Milk Thistle to Fight Acne, Treat Liver Disease and More. Dry the flower heads further by putting them in a clean paper bag or container and setting them in a warm location. If so, please add this image to Pinterest! Cut off the pappus from the plant at the base of the flower head once you’re certain the flowers are dry. Originally from Europe and Asia, milk thistle is not native to the United States. Milk thistle is incredibly popular with pollinators, especially bees and various pollinating fly species like syrphid flies. Although the herb has existed for centuries, supplement forms continue to grow in popularity and are used as alternative treatment methods for various ailments. Milk thistle has been used in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for thousands of years. : Now that the flower heads have dried thoroughly, separate the seeds from the chaff by shaking the bag or container. Milk thistle is drought resistant and needs very little watering. Silymarin helps to prevent oxidative damage of the liver by harmful chemicals and toxins. However, beware that the leaf edges have sharp spikes on them which can easily puncture your skin. Take one tablespoon of seeds and crush ‘em using a mortar and pestle. 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. There are different products on the market that contain the active ingredients and dosage instructions vary. Click here to learn more about our story, and please subscribe to get our freshest content delivered to your inbox! It helps prevent bone loss in patients who have estrogen deficiency such as in. 3. Use about 1 tablespoon of milk thistle seed powder per cup of tea. However, the use of milk thistle as an herbal treatment for liver disorders actually dates way back to the Medieval Period. Adult syrphid flies are excellent pollinators and their larvae are voracious predators that consume common plant pests like aphids. Aaron also writes for Edible Upcountry Magazine, WordPress (.com), Daily Harvest Express, and other food and tech-related organizations. You can grow your own milk thistle tea using the seeds, and enjoy their health-promoting benefits and delicious flavor. To grow milk thistle, spread the seeds over the loose soil in the spring or fall. Once they reach maturity and start producing flower stalks, they have a similar growth habit to collard green plants, with leaf growth about 3-4′ wide x 3′ tall. 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. 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. Almost any capsule, tablet or powder of milk thistle can be obtained from a specialized store or Amazon without any problem. A young milk thistle plant, with hand for size reference. Pour near-boiling water into cup with tea ball and let steep for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 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. Then you're ready to use the milk thistle seeds in homeopathic preparations. You can also add some roughly chopped nuts such as cashews, almonds, and walnuts. 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. All Rights Reserved. People mainly use the supplement to treat liver conditions. have shown that it can limit the spread and progression of cancer. Steep for about 20 minutes and strain the residue before you drink the tea. The ducks of Tyrant Farms staring warily up at a milk thistle flower. Milk thistle (Silybum marianum), a member of the Asteraceae family, is a therapeutic herb with a 2000-year history of use in traditional Chinese, European, and Ayurvedic medicine. The best practice is to mix them with other healthy seeds like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds. Milk thistle is a well-known herb that’s gaining popularity in natural medicine. 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. 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. Transfer the seeds to a storage container so the chaff floats away. 1. Milk thistle is an immunomodulating agent, meaning it boosts the ability of the immune system to fight diseases. Milk thistle plants typically yield up to 190 seeds per flower - that’s roughly 6350 seeds per plant! How to Make Milk Thistle Tea. We put our seeds in canning jars with a desiccant packet. The method of administration depends on the convenience of the user. It is important to always buy from a reputable company and to follow the instructions for taking this herbal remedy. Crush milk thistle leaves and seeds with a mortar until they're finely powdered. Like many thistle species, it’s even regarded as an invasive weed by university extension agencies in some states. Take a pan and pour four cups of water in it. Immediately after germination, your milk thistle seedlings will need direct sunlight. And rather than treating yourself with milk thistle for mushroom poisoning, we strongly advise you to use our 12 rules of foraging to avoid ever eating a poisonous plant or mushroom in the first place! Pour near-boiling water into cup with tea ball and let steep for 5 … Milk thistle plants can get quite large. Put 14.3 g (1 tablespoon) of crushed milk thistle in a teapot. Milk thistle seeds can also be used by healthy people to support their liver function. Adding raw milk thistle seeds to your salads instantly impacts the antioxidant value of your lunch. 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. Milk thistle seed benefits are widely researched and well-documented. Each year, hundreds of people in the US mistakenly eat poisonous mushrooms. 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. 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. These seeds have an oily taste, are somewhat sweet, but can be bitter at the same time. Was this article helpful? Just adjust to your taste buds! Grind the seeds into a fine powder. People with diabetes should use caution. Tyrant Farms is reader-supported. You can add a little honey to improve the taste. • Tea: Milk thistle is available as packaged tea, or can be used in home-made tea. leave them outdoors any time temps are above frost/freezing and bring them indoors any time temps go below frost/freezing. When taken orally, it flushes toxins from the liver, helping to clear and purify the skin. Milk thistle is a type of herb that is most commonly used to treat kidney and liver problems. It usually takes between 5 to 7 days for the flower heads to dry completely. Long-term use may not be … 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. Privacy Policy. Use about 1 tablespoon of milk thistle seed powder per cup of tea. Silymarin is a flavonoid believed to have antioxidant properties.Milk thistle is sold as an oral capsule, tablet, powder and liquid extract. ), Recipe: Chestnut breakfast porridge with pan-roasted Japanese persimmons, put them in front of a sunny south-facing window, or. 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. These can be carefully removed using a butter knife, but you’ll want to wear gloves if you try to avoid getting pricked by the flower spikes. Place powdered seeds into tea ball. Milk thistle tea is warm and has significant cleansing properties. Some people apply milk thistle directly to the skin for skin damage caused by radiation. 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. Ever wondered how to use milk thistle seeds? At face value, there seem to be several benefits of milk thistle seeds. Technically, all parts of the milk thistle plant are edible: Milk thistle sun tea being made on a warm spring day. Skippers and butterflies also frequent milk thistle flowers. Put the pan on the stove to boil. 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. Its herbal remedy is known as milk thistle extract. 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. How to use milk thistle seeds Eat 1 tablespoon of ground milk thistle seeds twice daily. Milk thistle seeds only take only around two weeks to germinate. Here’s a delicious recipe, but know that this is super customizable. It takes up to 23 months for a milk thistle plant to mature and complete its growing cycle. You can then sprinkle the powder onto your baked goods, … Apart from cost and time, there’s no associated risk with using milk thistle. For a homemade brew from the seeds, crush the seeds in a mortar or coffee grinder until you obtain a fine powder. In addition to their collaboration on Tyrant Farms, Aaron and his wife, Susan, are cofounders of, a USDA certified organic seed & gardening education company. Using Milk Thistle to Detox the Liver. You can then sprinkle the powder onto your baked goods, use the powder to bake, and/or add some texture to burger patties or any other snack. You can then add powdered milk thistle seeds, nut milk, and a handful of mint leaves. Sweeten to taste with the sweetener of your choice (or not at all). 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. Originally native to Southern Europe, Asia Minor, and the Mediterranean region, the plant now grows wild throughout the world. You might want to put on some protective gear like thick gardening gloves before you set out for harvesting. Due to the their long tap roots and large size, you’ll want a fairly large, deep pot, probably a minimum 5 gallons volume. “Milk thistle comes in capsules, liquid, or powder,” says Krause. As fantastic as its anti-aging properties are, milk thistle uses for the skin don’t stop there. If any chaff falls into the bucket, just pick them out by hand. Milk thistle uses in medicine have a long history, dating back to a mention in the writings of the Greek physician Dioscorides who lived from 40-90 AD. It improves respiratory symptoms in patients with asthma due to its. Milk thistle has been used for thousands of years to treat various ailments, particularly liver problems. For dogs silymarin is given as an oral supplement, usually via a pill or capsule. The seeds from the milk thistle flower cones are used to make the extract. It converts various compounds into the substances your body needs to function properly and is integral to good health. Allow the finished seeds to dry indoors for another 7-10 days before storing in containers. Grind and Mix into Baked Goods Milk thistle seeds can be easily ground and incorporated into baked dishes like bread. They are not only easy to use but are also easy to cultivate, generating high yields per plant. At this point, you can either: 4. 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. Do not use different forms (tablets, liquid, extract, teas, etc) of milk thistle at the same time without medical advice. In fact, the buds, roots, leaves, and stalks — the entire plant — is edible. Plant the seeds about 1/4″ deep in organic seed starting mix. Taking milk thistle may help reduce flare-ups in the body. Our Welsh Harlequin ducks are much smaller by comparison. Silymarin has antifibrotic properties that help to prevent liver fibrosis. Step 3: Now that the flower heads have dried thoroughly, separate the seeds from the chaff by shaking the bag or container. Place whole milk thistle seeds in a clean coffee grinder (or mortar and pestle) and grind into powder. The oil is primarily known for its essential fatty acids. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until seeds are lightly toasted. The sooner the better, so their long tap roots don’t get too wrapped around in the seedling cells. When making a milk thistle tincture, use 1 part natural matter to three parts alcohol or glycerin. Modern science is beginning to show that milk thistle has a wide range of health and medicinal benefits. Milk thistle plants typically yield up to 190 seeds per flower - that’s roughly 6350 seeds per plant! This will remove most of the seeds, but some will remain lodged inside the flower heads. Milk thistle tea is also quite popular. has anti-inflammatory effects, which help prevent the progression of liver disease. Cut the spiky clusters while the plant is blooming. How to use Milk thistle. In the fall you should begin to see white or silver seeds appear near the tops of the milk thistle. Milk thistle seeds are fairly large, about the size of a small sunflower seed. It flowers and goes to seed from May – early June, after which the plants die. You can buy pre-packaged milk thistle tea bags or make your own with seeds at home. Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is not widely known outside of the herbal world.And that’s a shame, because it is an incredibly healthful herb that can easily be incorporated into anyone’s daily routine. It’s also a powerful acne treatment even when taken internally. You can also press on them with your hands to help separate. However, you can make yourself a cleansing concentrate at home using a dried herb. Drink milk thistle as a tea for its calming, cleansing properties. * The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional … Here’s how to harvest mature milk thistle flowers for seed: 1. Milk thistle extract has a high amount of silymarin (between 65–80%) that has been concentrated from the milk thistle plant. A milk thistle flower ripening and about to open. 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. On warm, sunny spring days, we marvel at the number of pollinators visiting our milk thistle flowers. The steps below outline how to make milk thistle tea. 2 diabetes due to its potent antioxidant effects. Subscribe to get special offers, free giveaways, and once-in-a-lifetime deals. Read summary reviews of the latest research into the medicinal benefits of milk thistle. Place whole milk thistle seeds in a clean coffee grinder (or mortar and pestle) and grind into powder. And milk thistle seeds were first mentioned in medicinal terms during the Middle Ages. Milk thistle is sometimes used as a natural treatment for liver problems. Yes, milk thistle has proven medicinal value, but more research is needed. If any chaff falls into the bucket, just pick them out by hand. Steep the bag in hot water for five minutes. The spines that are predominant in the leaves are prickly and can easily penetrate deep into your skin. We don’t usually advocate putting garden debris in your trash versus your compost bin. 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). STEP 1. To do this, put the milk thistle seeds into a blender or a coffee grinder. document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "af4259d2399dd037b045a99c44a94ead" );document.getElementById("b668fe23ca").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read our blog! Here’s how: Milk thistle tea has a delightfully smooth, rich, nutty flavor. Transplant your milk thistle seedlings outdoors as soon as your last frost date has passed. Here’s how to use milk thistle for liver detoxification and the best milk thistle extract to use for a healthy liver.