Khar Maryam (Silybum marianum)

Khar Maryam (Silybum marianum)

Silybum marianum with the scientific name of Silybum marianum or it is also known by the name of “Mari Tiqal” near the Iranian persons. The known names of this plant in the world contain as English names and Scots names of “milk thistle”, “marian thistle” or “mary thistle”.

This plant is in the rows of dicotyledonous plants, the row of Aster and Chicory family. The time of growing this plant takes about one year or in some kinds two years. It is growing by itself. Appearance contains flowers with red, purple colours and fades leaves. The colour of that is green willing to yellow with white veins.

Description and Appearance

During its growth period grows about 30-200 centimeters and has the conical shape. The bush is on average grows until 168-centimeter diameters. The stem is in the shape of cotton around itself and the most parts of this stem are free. The leaves are mostly in the shapes of rectangular or in the shapes of spear around itself and usually dissipates of that is in the shape of multiple or two leaves. The colorful flower heads are about 4-12 centimeters width.

This plant grows in the northern hemisphere from the June until the middle of September and in the Southern Hemisphere, you can find that from December until first of February. The seeds have the colour of dark green or in some strains it is black. The calyx of flower that the seeds are locating inside it has the yellowish colour.


The most abundant area that this plant grows there is the southeast coast of England( the most abundant point of Earth), Iran, north America, Australia and New Zealand. The farms that they built by man, are estimated for the raw material industrial and pharmaceutical consumers that they are located in the large areas in Austria(Valdvyrtl area), Germany, Hungary, Poland, China and Argentina and in the Europe regions implant this plant, do every year in the middle of the March-April annually and harvest them are happen about 2-3 weeks after flowering the plant in two levels (cutting and cleaning or threshing)in August. Seeds of this plant are one of the most important natural industry resources of Liver disease.

Silymarin material that is located in the seeds of this plant is one of the most effective antidotes also even for the cases of poisoning due to a fatal fungus of Amanita phalloides. The flowers also have the aesthetic use for decorating gardens and baskets.

Chemical mixture

The seed of Silybum marianum contains about 4-6 percents of Silymarin and the extract of this plant contains 65-80 percents of Silymarin and 20-35 percent of fatty acid. The Silymarin of this plant contains 7 types of Aflavnvlygnan(Silybin A type, Silibin B type, Izusylibin A type, Izusylibin B type, Sylykrystyn, IzoSylykrystyn and Silydianin) and one Taksyfvlyn (Construction of the yellow colour or flavonoids ).

Conducted clinical trials

Silybum marianum consumes of many sicknesses such as Liver and it is coping with cancer either. But it must be pointed out that science experiments about this plant were contradictory and inconsistent. In some of the experiments, Silymarin that is located in this plant and it is on a regular basis from 420 to 480-milligram prescription in 2 or 3 behests daily. As well as for certain diseases higher doses of this material have been prescribed for example daily 600 grams prescribed for a person with second types of diabetes that it had excellent and notable results and also 600-1200 grams amount of that prescribed for a person with C hepatitis that of course, it had not notable results.

The extract of the Silybum marianum plant with the extract of the Dandelion, consume to fix pale skin in a state of the hangover and also excrete toxins due to excessive consumption of alcohol.

Experimental observations

In the past times Silybum marianum in the China traditional medicine consume as a cleaner of inside, Detoxification, Softening liver and Tonic for the gallbladder. Although the therapeutic properties of this plant are still unknown, this plant prescribes in some of the cases for the Liver Diseases (Jaundice, cirrhosis, and hepatitis), scientific tests on the animals show that the Symilarin that is in this plant has Hpatvprtktyv property. This property is the reason of protection of Livre cell from poisons. The research organization about cancer of Iran in England said that: On the internet, you can find some cases that they told that the seeds of Silybum marianum help to decrease the speed of growing center cells inside the body, but there is not any kind of document to prove that.

Food use

Silybum marianum because of the medicinal properties of itself that it was proved in the past it was using for the people in around the world as food either.

The roots of this plant can be consumed in the both shapes of raw and sodden with Butter and or in the grilled shape, you can cut young branches of that until their roots and then boil them and consume. In the past, fresh barbed branches around the flowers of this plant ate as same as Artichoke. Also, the stems of this plant can be consumed after cleaning and be soak in the water for one night (for removing its bitter taste) in the stew.  The leaves of this plant can be consumed in the shapes that it must first of all be clean from the thistles and then use in the shape of alternative for Spinach or you can add the leaves to the salad and consume them.

Also, you can cut or wear away the stems or remove the thistle leaves around the flowers, remove the pink petals in the way that the seeds don’t  remove from them, the bowl of the flower with its seeds can be consumed in both shapes of boiled, raw or in the salad. Also, the people in the south of Iran (Garash, Laar regions,…) make the bowl of this flower and its seeds in the shape of pickles and consume.

This plant is toxic to animals

Because of the existence of the potassium nitrate in this plant, observed that eating of that is harmful to the flocks of cows and sheep. When this plant is eating by the ruminants the existence bacteria in the stomach of these animals break the chemical structures and it has the result of product ion nitrate. The ion nitrate change hemoglobin to the mthymvglobyn and it is preventing a transfer of the Oxygen. The result of these events is strangulation or asphyxia.

Side effects

Silybum marianum when they consume in the little amount they don’t have special effects but with the overdose of this plant you can see the special effects of that such as follow:

  • Skin allergy
  • Eczema
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • The weakening of the taste power
  • Sweat
  • Weakness

Also, Silybum marianum will decrease the blood glucose levels. So the people whom they have diabetes or low glucose have warnings about consuming such these plants. Consuming this plant for the people whom they are pregnant or Breastfeeding must be under caution. Silybum marianum in the past gave to the pregnant people to make their milk tonic but today base on the researches the people understands that eating this plant has sides effects for the consumer.

Drugs that they make from this plant

Following of researches about this plant, drugs were made and produce from them in the recent years. Most of these kinds of drugs are in the shapes of the capsule in different weights from 70-14- milligram, liquid extract, solution, or the newest produce of drug, is the compound of silybin fesfatydl colin.  Different researches on this compound show that this one is more effective than the natural ones because fesfatydl Colin that is one of the key components of the cell is the reason of entrance the syblin easier in the cellular environment.