Saturday, September 21, 2013

Milk Thistle // Carduus Marianus

Several weeks ago, I happened upon this lovely thistle flower next to a pond. I love thistles. Part of my love of thistles may have to do with my Celtic heritage, as the thistle is a strong Celtic symbol. I love the story about Scotland being saved from a Viking invasion by a single thistle...

One night, when approaching for a surprise attack in the dark, a Viking stepped on a thistle and his cry woke the sleeping Scotsmen. King Kenneth III adopted the thistle as a symbol of Scotland which continues to endure today. 

In general, I am a big fan of weeds; the wild and free plants growing all around us that we so often consider to be a nuisance. There is so much to learn about them and from them. And I notice that the weeds that are the least liked in one's lawn, such as thistles and dandelions for example, are so often the ones that contain the most potent medicine for us. 

Milk Thistle (Silybum Marianum) is a potent detoxifier. It can actually assist in repairing liver cells! And it protects the liver against the damaging effects of alcohol and other poisons. Although my practice focuses on homeopathic medicine, I will quite often suggest a few other beneficial natural health supplements to my clients that I know will assist in their treatment. I recommend milk thistle to any of my patients who appear to have a sluggish liver and need some additional support. In our modern age, I feel that many of us can benefit from additional support for our over-worked livers. If you are considering a cleanse, which I think is a good idea in the spring and fall, think about taking milk thistle tincture as part of your cleanse.

St. Mary's Thistle (another name for milk thistle) is also a lesser known homeopathic remedy. Carduus Marianus, is not surprisingly used as an organ specific remedy for the liver. This remedy is used to treat inflammation of the liver (especially the left lobe) that is worse from lying on the left side and from motion but better from pressure. Terrible attacks of gallstone colic, fullness and soreness in the hepatic region and cirrhosis with it's characteristic jaundice with clay coloured stools and dark urine can be treated with this great homeopathic remedy. But please don't treat yourself or others for advanced or chronic ailments. Contact a trained homeopath.

Didn't I tell you this plant is amazing? So next time you get pricked by a thistle or find one growing in your garden, please remember how fortunate we are to have such a powerful ally, growing wild and free among us!

♥ Andrea ♥

*The information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice from a qualified health care practitioner.*


  1. Hi Andrea! its so thrilling to read your views about "weeds". My dad felt the same way and I feel truly passionate about them. There are few who think like us. Thanks for this beautiful work!

  2. Quite an interesting blog. Wish to read more from you. To know more read at Silymarin Milk Thistle.

  3. Andrea, can we give milk thistle at the same times as Thuja and Chelidonium?

  4. Oops, I forgot the notify me button so will ask again - can I give milk thistle, thuja and chelidonium all at the same time?

    1. Thank you for your question, Sandypants.
      This is a question best directed towards your practitioner.
      I typically only use single homeopathics, one at a time. Sometimes I recommend intercurrent remedies, but in this case they would be taken at seperate times. Whereas I do use herbal tinctures in combination.


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