Herb Spotlight: Milk Thistle for Liver Health

Herb Spotlight, Herbalism

The milk thistle is from the same family of plants as the artichoke, but unlike that tasty treat, it doesn’t have a large bulb-shaped flower. It is commonly known as holy thistle and Mary thistle. Based on folklore we have surmised that this plant got its name when three drops of milk from the Great Goddess’s breast dropped onto the leaf. As religion shifted the lore began to tell the tale using the Virgin Mary. It is commonly known as a powerful and nourishing liver herb as well as a protective herb in pagan herbalism.

Scientific Name: Silybum marianum

Magickal Stats: Elementally fire, ruled by Mars

Parts Used: Seeds

Improves Function Of:

  • Liver Restorative
  • Spleen Tonic
  • Vascular Tonic

Aides in Relieving Symptoms Of:

  • Inflammatory, infections, & degenerative liver disease
  • Swollen spleen
  • Asthma
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Varicose veins

Assists Spiritually With:

  • Protection
  • Fending off evil
  • Attract Good

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How Does It Work?

The main ingredient in milk thistle is Silymarin, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. According to many sources, milk thistle has been used historically for liver disorders like cirrhosis and hepatitis. In the 2008 HALT-C study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that Hepatitis C patients who did use milk thistle had both milder and fewer symptoms of liver disease with a somewhat better quality of life. Milk thistle was also suggested as a factor in enhancing standard treatment for pneumonia.

What Do I Do With It?

Milk thistle is taken as an herbal supplement, found usually in capsules. It can also be made into a tea. It has shown to have very few side effects if any. Most people just cite gastrointestinal discomfort. Those with diabetes, heart condition, fibroid tumors, and endometriosis should consult their doctor before taking milk thistle internally.

Magickally it can be used in multiple ways. Simply place a bowl of milk thistle seeds in a room and restore the vitality. We can gather strength from growing milk thistle or carrying a seed in our pocket. Many witches suggest it can be used to expel demons, some also call spirits by boiling the seeds in water. Or divine questions by boiling water and adding thistle seeds before meditating on a question.

 

 

 

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