( شوك الجمل )Milk Thistle
They are native to the Mediterranean regions of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
The name "milk thistle" derives from two features of the leaves:
they are mottled with splashes of white and they contain a milky sap.
seeds of milk thistle that herbalists have used for 2000 years to treat chronic liver disease and protect the liver against toxins.
Only two species are currently classified in this genus:
S. marianum is the more widely known species.
Traditional milk thistle extract is made from the seeds, which contain approximately 4-6% silymarin.
The extract consists of about 65-80% silymarin (a flavonolignan complex) and 20-35% fatty acids, including linoleic acid.
Milk thistle has been reported to have protective effects on the liver and to greatly improve its function.
It is typically used to treat liver cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis (liver inflammation), toxin-induced liver damage (including the prevention of severe liver damage from Amanita phalloides (death cap) mushroom poisoning), and gallbladder disorders.