Latin Name: Silybum marianum
Origin: Croatia, Germany, Morocco
Aroma: Barely perceptible, characteristic
Flavor: Bland, slightly bitter
History: The history of milk thistle dates back to the first century, where it was mentioned by a Roman naturalist, Pliny the Elder who said it had virtues of “carrying of bile”. It has since been used as a remedy for several ailments, most notable for its effects on the liver.
Farming/ harvesting: The thorny heads of the flowers makes harvesting these seeds a bit of a burden, and deters many people from growing them in private gardens. However, with heavy gloves it becomes quite simple. Once seed heads turn brown, they are cut off of the plant and put into bags and stored for 48 hours. They are then laid out and the seeds picked out one by one.
Culinary applications: Teas, oils, extracts
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