Field Milk Thistle - Sonchus arvensis Field Milk Thistle - Sonchus arvensis
Foto: botanika.wendys.cz

Herb: Field Milk Thistle


Latin name: Sonchus arvensis


Family: Compositae



Medicinal use of Field Milk Thistle:

The leaves are used as a poultice and are said to have anti-inflammatory activity. An infusion of the leaves has been used in the treatment of caked breasts. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of asthma, coughs and other chest complaints. A tea made from the leaves is said to calm the nerves.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
120 cm
(4 feet)

Flovering:
July to
October

Habitat of the herb:

Arable and waste land, ditches and on the drift line of salt and brackish margins, avoiding acid soils. A persistent weed of cultivation.

Edible parts of Field Milk Thistle:

Young leaves - raw or cooked. A slightly bitter taste, they can be added to salads or cooked like spinach. The leaves are rich in mineral salts and vitamin C, they contain about 47mg of vitamin C per 100g and 2% protein (dry weight). It might be best, though it is not necessary, to remove the marginal prickles. Stems - cooked like asparagus or rhubarb. Young root - cooked. The roasted root is used as a coffee substitute.

Other uses of the herb:

The plant is said to have insecticidal properties.

Propagation of Field Milk Thistle:

Seed - sow spring in situ. A common garden weed, this species should not normally need any assistance.

Cultivation of the herb:

Arable and waste land, ditches and on the drift line of salt and brackish margins, avoiding acid soils. A persistent weed of cultivation.

Known hazards of Sonchus arvensis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.