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Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. Asteraceae Milk thistle. Carduus Mariae. Distribution: Europe. Gerard (1633) calls it Carduus Mariae, Carduus Lectus, or Ladies Thistle, and Carduus leucographus [meaning 'white writing', in reference to the white markings on the leaves] because Pliny wrote about a plant he called Leucographis although Gerard notes that it would be 'hard to assume this to be the same [plant].' He also queries if it is the same as the Alba spina of Galen. Of the latter he reports that Galen recommended it for all manner of bleeding, toothache and the seeds for cramp. Gerard writes that Dioscorides recommends that a drink of the seeds helps infants whose sinews are 'drawne together'
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Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. Asteraceae Milk thistle. Carduus Mariae. Distribution: Europe. Gerard (1633) calls it Carduus Mariae, Carduus Lectus, or Ladies Thistle, and Carduus leucographus [meaning 'white writing', in reference to the white markings on the leaves] because Pliny wrote about a plant he called Leucographis although Gerard notes that it would be 'hard to assume this to be the same [plant].' He also queries if it is the same as the Alba spina of Galen. Of the latter he reports that Galen recommended it for all manner of bleeding, toothache and the seeds for cramp. Gerard writes that Dioscorides recommends that a drink of the seeds helps infants whose sinews are 'drawne together', result 1 of 1

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Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. Asteraceae Milk thistle. Carduus Mariae. Distribution: Europe. Gerard (1633) calls it Carduus Mariae, Carduus Lectus, or Ladies Thistle, and Carduus leucographus [meaning 'white writing', in reference to the white markings on the leaves] because Pliny wrote about a plant he called Leucographis although Gerard notes that it would be 'hard to assume this to be the same [plant].' He also queries if it is the same as the Alba spina of Galen. Of the latter he reports that Galen recommended it for all manner of bleeding, toothache and the seeds for cramp. Gerard writes that Dioscorides recommends that a drink of the seeds helps infants whose sinews are 'drawne together'
Description
as an antidote to snakebite and, worn round the neck, to keep snakes away. However Dioscorides (as translated by John Goodyear in 1655 (Gunther, 1959) writes that the new leaves are eaten soaked in oil and salt, and the roots, drunk with Melicrate [honey and wine] make one vomit. It is clear that there is no good link of the plant named Silybum mariae with the plants of ancient Greece and Rome. The fruit is licensed for use in Traditional Herbal Medicines in the UK to 'relieve the symptoms associated with occasional over indulgence of drink and food such as indigestion and upset stomach' based on traditional use only (UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)). Photographed in the Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians, London.
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Image and original data from Wellcome Collection
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B0009198.jpg
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24716662

Now viewing Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. Asteraceae Milk thistle. Carduus Mariae. Distribution: Europe. Gerard (1633) calls it Carduus Mariae, Carduus Lectus, or Ladies Thistle, and Carduus leucographus [meaning 'white writing', in reference to the white markings on the leaves] because Pliny wrote about a plant he called Leucographis although Gerard notes that it would be 'hard to assume this to be the same [plant].' He also queries if it is the same as the Alba spina of Galen. Of the latter he reports that Galen recommended it for all manner of bleeding, toothache and the seeds for cramp. Gerard writes that Dioscorides recommends that a drink of the seeds helps infants whose sinews are 'drawne together'