Silybum marianum is a common flowering herb and is related to aster, daisy, dandelion, sunflower and ragweed. The name derives from its milky sap that the leaves produce when broken. Milk thistle is a plant native to Europe and is found mostly in North America and California. It has been used for over 2,000 years for its medicinal purposes and healing properties. Rich in vitamins A, C and also contains antioxidants. Can be eaten in salads, smoothies or steamed, best to use the younger plants, be sure to remove the spines first.