Carduus. Silybum marianum.

Botanical name: 

Synonyms—Carduus marianus, St. Mary's Thistle, Mary Thistle, Milk Thistle.


A strong tincture; dose, from two to twenty drops.
The Homeopathic mother tincture, dose from one to twenty drops.

This remedy was spoken highly of by Rademacher, in hemorrhages, where there was congestion of the liver or spleen. Where there was periodical biliary lithiasis. He employed the tincture of the seeds, in dysuria, where there were caruncular growths, in the female urethra. He claimed it to be of value in hemorrhoids, and in venis stasis. Carduus has been frequently advised in the treatment of varicosed veins. Its influence in this line must be studied. This condition has been neglected by internists, they having been taught that it was a surgical condition only.

Tripier used in it pelvic congestions, with quick and permanent results. Its action has seemed to be similar to that of hamamelis and collinsonia. A case of chronic hematuria, with sensation of weight and tension in the pelvis depending upon varicose conditions of the rectal veins, was quickly relieved by it.

Specific Symptomatology—Felter and Lloyd say that its indications are found in dull aching pain over the spleen, which passes up to the left scapula, associated with pronounced debility and despondency, splenic pain, with no enlargement or with enlargement, when there are no evidences of malaria. Congestion of the liver, spleen and kidneys. General bilious conditions accompanied with stitches in the right side, with hard and tender spots, in this locality, gall stone, jaundice, hepatic pain and swelling. Also in the vomiting of pregnancy when these organs are complicated.

As it overcomes congestion within the pelvis, it is useful in certain forms of dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, or irregular passive uterine hemorrhages.

Therapy—Harvey, in the California Medical Journal, says the indications are so plain that a tyro can prescribe it with certainty. It is indicated where there is venous stasis, the true veins enlarged and clogged with blood. This is true of either the large or small veins. He says he cured one case, where the veins from the hips to the toes were as large and as hard and twisted as Manila rope. They could be felt through the clothing. He cured completely a varicose tumor in the popliteal space. It was about four inches long, and three inches wide. The skin of the neck and hands was discolored. There was a troublesome chronic cough with the expectoration of large quantities of offensive matter. He believed these symptoms to be associated with disease of the spleen. He had observed these colored spots in other cases, and sometimes found long continued soreness and tenderness of the joints of the feet. Carduus, in five-drop doses three or four times a day, cured all the symptoms in this case, restoring the patient to perfect health. The remedy acts slowly and must be persisted in.

The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy, 1919, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.
It was scanned by Michael Moore for the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.