Australian Gardener- Beautanicals


St. Mary's Thistle -Seeds

St. Mary's Thistle -Seeds Image

St. Mary's Thistle is a spectacular garden plant from the Victorian era.
It's generous green leaves are laced with a white venous pattern that provide a glorious background to the large magenta flowers.
St. Mary's Thistle will grow just about anywhere but the best harvest is to be had from full sun exposure.
The seeds do not often germinate in the colder months but sit and wait for the soil temperature to rise.
We have our best crops of St. Mary's Thistle from late Autumn to Spring.
The flower spikes at around 2 meters tall. Always allow at least 1 metre around them for their spread.
We use St. Mary's Thistle herbally and homeopathically for it's tonic properties, benefiting the heart, liver and kidneys.
Ground up seeds ( a coffee grinder works well) can be sprinkled on morning cereal as an excellent heart tonic.

Seed is now available only from our new, secure shop at

Degree of difficulty in germination.....1/10 (1 is easy - 10 very difficult) Seasonal

Milk Thistle fruit

Cardui mariae fructus
Published March 13, 1986
Name of Drug
Cardui mariae fructus, milk thistle fruit.
Composition of Drug
Milk thistle fruit consists of ripe seed of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertner [Fam. Asteraceae], freed from the pappus, and its preparations in effective dosage.

The drug contains silibinin, silydianin, and silychristin.
Crude drug:
Dyspeptic complaints.
Toxic liver damage; for supportive treatment in chronic inflammatory liver disease and hepatic cirrhosis.
None known.
Side Effects
Crude drug:
None known.
A mild laxative effect has been observed in occasional instances.
Interactions with Other Drugs
None known.
Unless otherwise prescribed:
Average daily dose of drug:
12 - 15 g;
Formulations equivalent to 200 - 400 mg of silymarin, calculated as silibinin.
Mode of Administration
Powdered drug for making infusions and other galenical formulations to be taken by mouth.
Silymarin acts as an antagonist in many experimental liver-damage models: phalloidin and -amanitin (death-cap toxins), lanthanides, carbon tetrachloride, galactosamine, thioacetamide, and the hepatotoxic virus FV3 of cold-blooded vertebrates.
The therapeutic activity of silymarin is based on two sites or mechanisms of action.