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Blessed Milk Thistle Silybum Marianum Seeds
Packet of 30+ home grown seeds!
This fella is a powerful liver tonic with 1000’s of years of historical consumption as a vegetable and for the treatment of liver and gall bladder illness.
It is also a famed hangover cure and this is how I first heard of it.
While it bugger all to me when I tested it out in a super scientific experiment I ran one new years morning, many folks do swear by chewing the seeds to get rid of general seediness and nausea on the day after a big celebration.
The seeds are high in fats and oils which I’m told works the same way as a greasy fry up does. It also sort of jams up the liver cells short term which prevents some toxins being able to get in and cause damage.
Means that only a little bit at a time can get through so the body copes better with the poisoning, instead of a whole heap overpowering the system.
I guess I was too far gone by that stage..
Anyway, may or may not help in the case of hang-over.
It’s also commonly used for treatment of liver and gall bladder diseases, jaundice, cirrhosis, hepatitis, adrenal disorders, candida, inflammatory bowel syndrome, psoriasis, lowering cholesterol, and Amanita mushroom poisoning.
The only reason I grow it is as a cool looking spiky ornamental and as a root, shoot, and leaf crop.
What I do is grow some seeds, and when the plant gets five big leaves like a fairly even star I cut the top off making sure to take out a small part of the centre bit too.
Just a straight cut across the top like you do topping and tailing carrots, but much more shallowly. Gotta leave a little leaf base so the plants can reshoot.
Those harvested leaves can be fried up in butter with onions or mushrooms and wacked on toast for a tasty snack.
Now the plant has lost all its leaves and it’s super stressed so it puts a heap of energy into storing energy in it’s roots.
It doesn’t dare grow leaves as it worries herbivores will get them again and this ensure big fat roots.
Fast forward a couple months and the plant is growing leaves again.
As soon as the centre starts to lift in anticipation of a flower spike the plant can be harvested as a root crop.
You can also trim the spines off the larger leaves with scissors and fry them up as a vegetable too.
If you wait too long the root will get woody and if the leaves get too big they get quite bitter so if you miss a couple they are the ones to leave behind to flower and set seeds for the next crop.
You can peel the flower spikes and cook them up too but it’s a bit fiddly so I don’t bother.
As a medicinal species I only eat it in moderation, but yeah, it’s a good one.
The Milk thistle extract you see commonly available is made from the pressed seeds which contain 4–6% silymarin.
Grown all around the world especially in China, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Argentina and Germany where its grown on a huge commercial scale for the pharmaceutical industry.
Known by the common names blessed milk thistle, bull thistle, cabbage thistle, Gundagai thistle, gundy, holy thistle, lady’s thistle, lady thistle, legalon, Mariana lactea, Marian thistle, Mariendistel, Mary thistle, Mediterranean milk thistle, milk thistle, our lady’s thistle, Saint Mary’s thistle, Scotch thistle, silimarina, silybin, silybum, silymarin, spotted milk thistle, spotted thistle, St. Mary thistle, St Mary’s thistle, variegated artichoke, variegated thistle, wild artichoke, and the synonums Carduus lactifolius. Carduus marianus, Cardus marianus, Centaurea dalmatica, Cardui mariae, and Carduus marianum.
The last thing I better discuss is germination.
There are always two results when I plant the seeds.
One or the other and even after all these years I can’t see any pattern to it at all.
I’ve even had both results from planting two exactly the same conditions plots, only metres apart!
The first possibility being that I plant a heap of seeds and they all come up immediately over a couple weeks.
100% germination super quickly to the point I worry I have too many plants to deal with.
A couple weeks later just as they are looking good and getting their third leaves I always have the majority wiped out by insects, always within the first month.
Normally cut worms or hoppers and I have no idea why, just what happens.
Isn’t really an issue as each plant produces hundreds of seeds, but amazingly predictable.
The second possibility is that I plant a heap of seeds and nothing happens for a month at which point ~5% germinate.
A month later another 10-20% germinate with the rest coming up every now and then for up to a year.
No idea why it’s staggered, can’t see any pattern to it?
Half the time they all come up, and the other half the time they are really staggered taking months, and things like season, rain, weather, humidity, none of it seems to be having any consistent causal effects to the results?
It’s still a mystery at this stage.
Keep that in mind and if they don’t all pop quickly, make sure you don’t overwater the seeds.
If you do they will drown , rot, or die from damping off before they get a chance to shoot.
I have seen weed studies where the seeds remained viable in the soil for more than 9years but that was in a dry well draining test plot in a paddock, not a soggy pot of poorly draining potting mix.
Grown by me and the Mrs organically, no chems, no nasties, no problems!!!