Milk Thistle: Multiple Benefits but Not a Good Garden Plant

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • The compound with the highest bioactivity in milk thistle is silymarin, which helps reduce inflammation
  • Milk thistle protects the liver against poisons such as alcohol, death cap mushrooms and chemotherapy
  • It’s used in dairy cows to increase milk production and has been found to help increase milk in lactating human mothers; it also has antibacterial and antiviral properties
  • The fast-growing, invasive species is poisonous to grazing animals; however, the flowers can be harvested for the seeds and used in salads, smoothies or brewed tea

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