Milk Thistle

milk Thistlemilk Thistle, pestro - Silybum marianum Gaertn.
Family Asteraceae - Asteraceae Dum. The Russian name of the plant corresponds to its morphological features. This plant has a strong yellow spines along the edge of the sheet, and even more acute by sheet wrapper large colorful baskets. On a large sheet of dark green color dramatically striking white spots, which creates a beautiful mosaic.
In culture it is an annual or biennial plant. Stem is straight, reaching 60 to 150 cm height. The top of him and lateral shoots, ends with a flower representing big basket. Marginal flowers have ligulate, painted pink or purple.
Median female flowers also raspberry; on the blooming ends developed fruit - big shiny seeds with Pappus.
During the spring sowing (March) shoots appear in April. The plant blooms in the same year lasts until autumn. Often the seeds sprout self-sowing in the autumn, then in the first year produced rosette of leaves, on the second goal of the plant flowers and bears fruits.
Motherland - the southern and Atlantic Europe. As a weed widely distributed in Western Europe, Asia Minor, North America and South Australia. In the USSR it is distributed in southern areas of the European part, the Caucasus, southwestern Siberia, Central Asia. Grows on waste grounds, along roads, often grown in kitchen gardens as ornamental and medicinal.
The seeds found 32% of fatty oil, some of the essential oil, flavonoids. The fruit is included in the I, II, III edition of the State Pharmacopoeia of the USSR. They are used in tincture form, are included in the drug jollity used to treat gallstones, cholecystitis, in recurrence of jaundice. In national medicine for diseases of liver, gallbladder and spleen.