Milk Thistle is by far one of my favourite herbs. Used as a digestive tonic, liver detoxifier, estrogen balancer and galactagogue, this light purpled flowered plant can become a great addition to many lifestyles. Not only can the flowers be used but the seeds, young stalks, leaves and roots can be incorporated into a number of tinctures, teas, spice blends and salads if prepared properly. The active ingredient in milk thistle is silymarin—a combination of ingredients including silybianin, silybin and silycristin used to treat the liver. But this is not where the benefits of milk thistle stop.
Milk thistle also:
– detoxifies and stimulates the growth of new liver cells
– promotes bile flow for healthy digestion
– reduces cellulite
– has been said to reduce toxicity of chemotherapy
– improves estrogen balance in the body
– treat mushroom poisoning
– treatment for liver and gallbladder disease
– treatment for jaundice
– increases intracellular glutathione
– increases overall immune function
– is a powerful galactagogue
Galactagogue.. What is that? It sounds familiar (maybe you’ve read my blog post on lactation cookies hint hint). Galactagogues are substances that can be used to increase breast milk supply. If you are having difficulty producing breastmilk, you may feel drawn to adding galactagogues into your diet. Some other common galactagogues are fennel, fenugreek, alfalfa, hops, red raspberry, and oats to name a few.
Milk Thistle can be incorporated into almost every diet. If you’re not a big tea drinker, it can be hard to focus on drinking a cup or two of an herbal blend a day. If you’re not used to taking tincture or capsules (or constantly forget to take them), it’s not realistic to stock up your cupboards unless you’re ready to make a commitment to change these habits. But what if I told you there is a way to get a little bit of milk thistle onto every dinner without having to gulp down something you’re not comfortable with?
Well, one of the reasons why Milk Thistle is one of my favourite herbs is the peppery flavour of its seeds. Even better: you can throw milk thistle seeds right into a pepper grinder and keep it in your kitchen. I know I know, genius. I personally like to use a blend of peppercorns and milk thistle and keep it beside the stove just like I would a normal pepper grinder. So here’s my Milk Thistle grinder recipe if you’re thinking of giving Milk Thistle a try!
Milk Thistle Pepper Grinder:
Mix equal parts peppercorn and milk thistle seeds into a bowl. Fill a pepper grinder and enjoy!
(Try different colours of peppercorn if you want to spice things up a bit both flavour wise and visually.)
*Disclaimer: I am not an Herbalist, only a lover of the natural world. I am not dosing or medically prescribing Milk Thistle through this post, I am simply highlighting its health benefits. If you are seeking the use of Milk Thistle for medical treatment, please contact your health care provider as there are risks associated with putting anything new in your body.
With Love, from Ficus
Ficus Holistic Doula Services