California Botany Lesson: Purple Milk Thistle

The purple Milk Thistle (not to be confused with the common milkweed) comes from southern Europe. It’s now found all over the world. The USDA and many U.S. States classify it as a noxious weed because it displaces native species. However, this particular thistle is the one whose seeds contain 4–6% silymarin, a chemical that prevents and heals liver damage from drinking, disease or diabetes – the THREE D’s.

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