One of the milk thistle uses that is often overlooked is the fact that milk thistle is an edible plant. The leaves make an interesting, spinach-like addition to salads—but it is important to remember to snip off their thorns first.
In addition, the mature flower head can be eaten like a tiny Globe artichoke, but again, remember to remove the thorns. Furthermore, the peeled stalk can be cooked like celery, and the taproot tastes something like a Jerusalem artichoke. Furthermore, the seeds can be used in crackers and ground to make teas.
Most of us, however, don’t have milk thistle growing conveniently in our kitchen gardens. Rather, most of us use either milk thistle seed, or an extract called silymarin that contains the most important healing chemicals in the seed, or a combination of both.
However, milk thistle is not always taken orally. Sometimes it is used in cosmetics. That is because one of the antioxidants found in silymarin, silibinin, can even improve your skin tone.