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Milk thistle seed, whole Organic image
[ 678 ]Silybum marianumORG

Milk Thistle Seed Whole, Organic

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1/4 Pound:  $5.53 Pound:  $12.29 out of stock   |   ETA: 09/09/2024  
Milk thistle seed, whole image
[ 1162 ]Silybum marianum

Milk Thistle Seed Whole

1/4 Pound:  $3.22 Pound:  $7.16 
Milk thistle seed, powder image
[ 1515 ]Silybum marianum

Milk Thistle Seed Powder

1/4 Pound:  $4.11 Pound:  $9.14 
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Wholesale Milk thistle

Silybum marianum
plant overview
the holy thistle

Milk thistle is a Mediterranean plant in the daisy family that is characterized by tufts of purple flower heads surrounded by a halo of protective thorns. Because the plant is associated with the Virgin Mary, who is reputed to have wept over the plant, it is also called Holy Thistle, Blessed Thistle, Mary Thistle and Lady’s Thistle. The plant is harvested for its seed, which contains a significant amount of amino acids, protein and, most notably, a group of chemical compounds referred to as silymarin. Milk thistle seed can be added to salads and other foods, but is most commonly used to produce teas, infusions, tinctures and extracts.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.

A Bit of Botany

a little botanical information on milk thistle

Silybum marianum is an annual or biannual plant of the Asteraceae family. This plant can take on impressive proportions: it grows from 1 to 6 1/2 feet in height with its base at times reaching nearly 5 feet in diameter. Our wholesale milk thistle grows in a conical shape, the stem being grooved and somewhat cottony. In the larger specimens the stem is hollow.

Milk thistle's leaves are oblong to lanceolate— and they are either lobate or pinnate, with spiny edges. The leaves also have milk-white veins, are devoid of hair, and are shiny green.

The red-purple flower heads are 1 1/2 to 4 3/4 inches long and wide. They flower in the summer through autumn (more specifically from June to August in the North and from December to February in the Southern Hemisphere). Like its leaves, milk thistle's bracts are hairless, but have triangular, spine-edged appendages, that are tipped with a stout yellow spine.

The achenes (small, dry, one-seeded fruits) are black, with a simple long white pappus, surrounded by a yellow basal ring.

common names & nomenclature
Legend states that the milk-white veins of the leaves originated in the milk of the Virgin which once fell upon a plant of Thistle, hence it was called Our Lady's Thistle; the Latin name of the species has the same derivation.

Also known as:
Cardus marianus, milk thistle, blessed milk thistle, Marian Thistle, Mary Thistle, Saint Mary's Thistle, Mediterranean milk thistle,variegated thistle, Scotch thistle.
Not to be confused with Centaurea benedicta (aka Cnicus benedictus, aka Blessed Thistle).

Milk Thistle, the holy thistle

Where in the World

habitat and range for milk thistle

Silybum marianum is a native of Southern Europe through to Asia and is now found throughout the world.

Cultivation & Harvesting

considerations for growing and harvesting milk thistle

Grows in waste places, areas by the sea, and in cultivated garden beds in full sun.

Our milk thistle plant for sale will succeed in any well-drained fertile garden soil but prefers a calcareous soil.

Sow seeds directly into the garden beds during March or April; the plant will usually flower in the summer and complete its life cycle in one growing season.

Alternatively the seed can be sown from May to August when the plant will normally wait until the following year to flower and thus behave as a biennial.

Seed harvest occurs in 2 steps: cutting and threshing. Harvesting occurs in August, around 2–3 weeks after flowering.

Store dried milk thistle seeds and powdered dried milk thistle seeds in airtight containers in a cool, dry place.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised:  Before making any changes to your diet you should always consult with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or have existing conditions.

All reviews solely reflect the views and opinions expressed by the reviewer and not that of Monterey Bay Herb Co. We do not verify or endorse any claims made by any reviewer. None of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.