Milk thistle is a stately annual or biennial plant that reproduces by seed. It can be easily controlled in the garden if you diligently harvest the flowers and/or seeds. However, it can be an invasive species in the wild. It prefers well-drained soil and needs protection from snails and slugs. It’s best grown in poor soil. Avoid fertilizing it with nitrogen or planting it in nitrogen rich soils as this plant tends to concentrate unhealthy nitrates in the leaves.
Milk thistle is an extraordinary herb for the liver that can be used both in prevention and therapy. It protects the liver by stabilizing the cell membranes preventing the infiltration of toxins such as alcohol, medication, food, etc. It also stimulates the regeneration liver cells and promotes the flow of bile.
It may also slow down the poisoning caused by of death cap toxins (amatoxin). As prevention, milk thistle may be taken for gallbladder stones, leg ulcers, varicose veins, headaches and migraines.
As adjuvant therapy, milk thistle can be taken for cirrhosis and chronic inflammation of the liver.
More about it here: http://www.herbstead.com/milk-thistle/