I make a tea from the stinging nettle plant. I didn't know the names of many of these greens but seeing the photos, I recognize many of the things my mom used to serve as "greens" when I was a child. Sonchus oleraceus, with many common names including common sowthistle, sow thistle, smooth sow thistle, annual sow thistle, hare's colwort, hare's thistle, milky tassel, milk thistle, soft thistle, or swinies, is a plant in the dandelion tribe within the daisy family.It is native to Europe and western Asia.. Its specific epithet oleraceus means "vegetable/herbal". I seem to get it mixed up with that. Sow thistles are like the more rough-and-tumble Patty. Well, I am. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. The stems are a 5 angled hollow stem that is dark green (sometimes tinted with a reddish-purple tinge). Identification, health, They taste better if the outer skin is removed. So let's take some time to get better acquainted with the sow thistle. Stems and leaves are also used in cooking by local peoples. This is the best lens I have seen. I pick and dry my sow thistle in the budding stage... lots here in Canada.. every road allowance.! We are not health professionals, medical doctors, nor are we nutritionists. My favorite way to eat sow thistle is to pick and steam the young plants before they've produced any flower buds. Sow thistle Sonchus oleraceus, is Vitamin K and Vitamin C dense herb support for headaches, diarrhea, menstrual problems, fever, hepatitis, eye problems, liver infections & rheumatism It got the name Sow Thistle from the fact that when cut the plant exudes a latex like milk which was believed to help lactation in mothering sows. A couple of times I've had edible flowers as part of salads. SOW-THISTLE, COMMON---Synonyms---Hare's Thistle.Hare's Lettuce. Sonchus oleraceus has many medicinal properties like Antidepressant, Antinociceptive, Anxiolytic, Antioxidant, Antimicrobial, Antitumor, Antimalarial, blood purifier, hepatic, sedative, febrifuge, tonic, Anti-inflammatory, Anticancer etc. The three common ones are Sonchus oleraceus, (SON-kus oh-ler-AY-see-us ) Sonchus Asper (SON-kus ASS-pur) and Sonchus arvensis (SON-kus ar-VEN-sis.) You certainly are awakening me to the edible weeds. A report from Garden Organic (formerly the Henry Doubleday Research Association) notes that 150-year-old sow thistle seeds recovered from excavations have been reported to still be viable for germination. Notice how the sow thistle has many flower buds sprouting from one stalk. It does not invade pastures because it is eaten by livestock. Alisha Vargas from Reno, Nevada on August 19, 2009: I've always been confused over the difference between sow thistle and dandelions. Infusion of sow thistle … The latex in the sap is used in the treatment of warts. They are respectfully the common sow thistle, the spiny sow thistle and the field sow thistle. Very informative, nicely formatted, and wonderful photos! I've never heard of this before, but it sounds interesting. The leaves, stalks, flowers and flowerbuds are edible raw. Now I know I've seen this many times and wondered if it was a super dandelion, now I know! Common sow thistle likes most soil types, fields, pastures, roadsides, gardens and edges of yards, vacant lots, construction sites, and waste places. The leaves contain about 30 - 40mg of vitamin C per 100g [173], 1.2% protein, 0.3% fat, 2.4% carbohydrate, 1.2% ash [179]. Dandelions are like Cathy, the graceful and glamorous one. Native to Europe, they grow in many countries around the world. To think I just pulled a lot of these out of my herb garden today. A tincture is prepared (H.) for medicinal use from equal parts of the root, and the seeds (with the hull on) together with spirit of wine. Thanks for this, very helpful! nutrition, recipes, history, uses & more! They have a slight bitter edge (just like some lettuces do), but they're less bitter than dandelion leaves. I'm working on a nature journal right now, so thanks! How to grow sow thistle in your own home. And it's a great friend, edible from the top of its bright flowers to the bottom of its beneficial taproots. According to Plant lore, legends, and lyrics by Richard Folkard, Theseus, the king of Athens was said to have received sow thistle as a gift from the goddess Hecate. Some more folk names for this herb are; annual sow thistle, smooth sow thistle, milky tassel, hare’s colwort, hare’s thistle, hare’s lettuce and swinies, there are more! 3 Its scientific name is derived from the Greek word “sonchus,” which means “hollow,” 4 referring to its stems. I do recall some multi-flowered versions somewhere, so I know they are around. Dandelion leaves are only at the base. It is tasteless but contains many vitamins. This is a nutritious plant that contains several minerals (calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and zinc) and vitamins ( A, B1, B2, B3, B6, & C). Anita Hasch from Port Elizabeth on April 06, 2019: Thanks for all the info. A zero moisture analysis is also available [218]. Common sow thistle has hollow stems that exude latex if damaged. It is also reported to have a mild opiate-like effect and has been used as a pain reliever in some cultures. The perennial sow thistle (Sonchus arvensis) is often confused with the annual sow thistle (Sonchus oleraceus). Milk thistle is generally considered safe when taken by mouth (1, 45). But both are beautiful in their own way. You'll get us all eating our weeds and using natural medicine! Learning to recognize sow thistle leaves on their own is helpful in foraging because the leaves are tastiest when they're picked before the plant flowers. Sow Thistle with Red Onion, Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts From Foraging Foodie. Information, recipes, and fun facts about one of my favorite weeds, the sow thistle. The binomial name for sow thistle is Sonchus oleraceus. Chris Hope explains the medicinal benefits of the thistle, an abundant 'weed' with many uses. Sow thistles have been used as fodder, particularly for rabbits, hence the other common names of "hare thistle" or "hare lettuce".They are also edible to humans as a leaf vegetable; old leaves and stalks can be bitter but young leaves have a flavour similar to lettuce.Going by the name puha or rareke (raraki) it is frequently eaten in New Zealand as a vegetable, particularly by the native Māori. The leaves are also great to use as an antioxidant. Thanks for clearing that up! Great work, Joan! Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. It is one of the most common weeds found throughout Australia, not so much where I live now in the wetter sub tropics, but in the colder drier south that I grew up in, I remember it being everywhere a s a child. The latex in the sap is used in the treatment of warts. great lens. Learn more about Milk Thistle uses, effectiveness, possible side effects, interactions, dosage, user ratings and products that contain Milk Thistle ... and Strenge-Hesse A. A passage from Sonoran Desert Food Plants:. Investing in Stocks, Bonds, Real Estate, More, Sow thistle usually has many flowers sprouting out on each stalk. It prefers highly disturbed areas, and is a weed of many crops. Sow thistle has a hollow stem. Both the stem and the leaves exude a sticky white sap when broken. Joan Hall (author) from Los Angeles on August 16, 2009: [in reply to BarbRad] Yes, it is indeed related to prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola, which is also edible). Here is a video to help you to properly identify Sow Thistle: Spiny-Leaved Sow Thistle, by the New Survivalist More information on the medicinal properties of this plant: Earth Medicine Institute: Sonchus oleraceus Here you can get a thorough course on this plant: Sonchus oleraceaus - Survival Plants Memory Course Maybe i will let the rest grow and try eating them. Sow thistle (Sonchus) refers to a group of plants belonging to the daisy (Asteraceae) family, and many species fall under the Sonchus branch, most notably the common sow thistle (Sonchus oleraceus). The common name 'sow thistle' derives from its attractiveness to swine and the similarity of its leaf to the pig's ear. Miha Gasper from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU on September 01, 2012: We don't appreciate what nature gives us. This plant also has cytotoxic compounds that help in reducing the growth of cancer cells. On the sow thistle, leaves are seen going all the way up the stalk, as well as at the base of the plant. The leaves contain vitamin C, protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Sow thistle and dandelion remind me of the cousin characters from the Patty Duke Show. Thanks for posting all of this great information. The main difference between the two is that the annual sow thistle has much smaller flowers (less than 2.5 cm across) than the perennial sow thistle. Stems are used as sedative and tonic. While we strive to be 100% accurate, it is solely up to the reader to ensure proper plant identification. Thank you so much for this info. You have given me a graduate seminar on it, which I appreciate. Juice of the plant used for cleaning and healing ulcers. Will be on the lookout! The Oleraceus has green leaves with a bit of blue, Delta- arrow-shaped end lobes and distinctly pointed lobes where it clasps the stem. Gosh, I have to run and see what I have in my yard, too. EdibleWildFood.com is informational in nature. Old sow thistle leaves (photographed in a yard in Carson). Medicinal Plants of China Publication Author Duke. Barbara Radisavljevic from Templeton, CA on August 15, 2009: Thanks for the helpful ID info. Sow thistle was introduced to the Americas by European settlers who brought it over as a garden vegetable. Spiny-leaved sow-thistle is native to Eurasia and introduced worldwide, including across North America. ---Parts Used---Leaves, stems, milky juice.The Sow-Thistle is a well-known weed in every field and garden. Thanks for the info! They become increasingly lobed with maturity. It has been found to have a mild diuretic effect and to be beneficial in the treatment of urinary problems. And a commenter to this page has found sow thistle to relieve gout! Since water’s not exactly limited here in Vermont it hadn’t occurred to me. There was a huge patch of tender new leaves. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 8 weeks at 20°C. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. Awesome detail! 1. In-depth wild edible PDFs. I think I'd pass on weed eating, since I'm not an expert (and would probably eat something really bad!). The seeds are light with white parachutes of silky hairs (pappus), the silky hairs being 5-8mm long. Infusion of sow thistle can be reportedly be used as an emmenagogue. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. It acquired the English name "sow thistle" because it was a popular food for livestock. Prickly sow thistle Sonchus asper, is Vitamin C and Manganese dense herb support for wounds, burns, cough, asthma, gastrointestinal infection, diabetes, cardiac dysfunction, kidney and liver disorders, jaundice and cancer They are wet, and though not spectacularly tasty, they are wet. Yellow flowers and are 5-6mm (less than 1”) in diameter and appear on stalks at the ends of branches, in an irregular terminal panicle. It prefers moist soil. Prickly lettuce leaves have pointy little spines on the undersides of the leaves, and the flowers are smaller and -- at least out here -- paler than the dandelion/sow thistle flowers. Mature sow thistle leaves (Wikimedia Commons: Rob Hille). The potential health benefits of milk thistle are explored below. Sow thistle seeds are hardy and can survive for a long time. My neighbors who water their yards more often get more dandelions. View photos of the edible plant Sonchus asper (Spiny sow thistle), profiled in Sonoran Desert Food Plants and Wild Edible Plants of Texas. All information, photographs and web content contained in this website is Copyright © EdibleWildFood.com 2020. Some wild plants are poisonous or can have serious adverse health effects. To support our efforts please browse our store (books with medicinal info, etc.). In Italian stories, the phrase "Open Sow-Thistle" was used for the same purpose as the words "Open Sesame". [Top of Thistle, Scotch] ---Medicinal Action and Uses---The Ancients supposed this Thistle to be a specific in cancerous complaints, and in more modern times the juice is said to have been applied with good effect to cancers and ulcers. Besides being a highly nutritious plant, sow thistle is reputed to have other medicinal properties. Leaves and flowers can be added to salads, cooked like spinach or used in soups, casseroles, etc.. It grows anywhere between 30 and 110cm (11” – 45”) high. Older leaves have a more noticeably bitter taste if they are eaten raw, but cooking gets rid of the bitterness. A. and Ayensu. This is a very helpful lens, since we have the dry soil here. To support our efforts please browse our store (books with medicinal info, etc.).. Sow thistle as a medicinal herb. Great lens! Good job. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. The most obvious feature of the sow thistle is its beautiful bright yellow flower, similar to its close relative, the dandelion. A decoction of the root is astringent and … But I don't think I got them all. ...Well, with my new-found knowledge, I have spied some dandelions! Sow thistle is one of the most plentiful wild plants you'll see in the Los Angeles area. Sonchus oleraceus has soft, thin leaves and wrinkled achenes, with ribs but without hooks. J. You can't get more edible than that! This weed helps in calming the mind and reducing anxiety. Young sow thistle leaves are wonderful in salad, adding substance and depth to the flavor of other greens. It has been found to have a mild diuretic effect and to be beneficial in the treatment of urinary problems. We are going to have some with our cabbage in the fish tacos, tonight. I love your image of the sow thistle growing against the base of the tree. Other uses Smooth sow thistle has strong medicinal properties and is high in nutrients including calcium, iron and vitamin C. Raw edible parts The plant can be used in a similar way to dandelion. A treasured part of Italian (specifically Ligurian) cuisine is preboggion, which is a mixture of several wild greens, including sow thistle. Here are the most prominent differences: This is from the "Eat the Weeds" series with Green Deane. Truly wonderful lens, Joan! The bright and beautiful flower of the sow thistle. Sow thistle leaves are said to be a good source of vitamins A and C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. In the writings of Pliny the Elder of Rome, the Greek hero Theseus ate sow thistles before encountering the bull of Marathon. (Wikimedia Commons: Anneli Salo). Botany Gagatang is an erect, annual, milky, hairy or slightly glandular herb, growing 40 to 80 centimeters high. I going to try some cooked too. 1 bunch of sow thistle leaves (about one pound) 1 clove of garlic, minced 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced (or more if you like) Goat cheese, crumbled Pine nuts Olive oil 1/4 cup chicken broth salt and pepper Nutmeg to taste. Click. Medicinal use of Sow Thistle: The plant is emmenagogue and hepatic. Common sow thistle is in the Compositae (Asteraceae) family. The scientific name's latin roots are: sonchus, hollow stem and oleraceus, delectable nature, herb used in cooking. Beyond its use as a water source, thistle is well known for its … I think I will run to my back yard now and see which one I really have:). Kylyssa Shay from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA on September 11, 2010: I am reading through your edible plants series and I find it fascinating. Sow thistle is anti-inflammatory. Please click here for more information. I guess they're called sow thistles because they resemble thistles, which I'm used to from Scotland, just a different color. Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on August 14, 2009: I just thought they were dandelions! What I thought was dandelion is sow-thistle. It has a short taproot, and deeply lobed leaves. The lower stem leaves can be up to 25cm (10”) long. Wild food can help treat various medical conditions. Same type of content with added weirdness. Young roots can be cooked as well. that first photo is a dandelion, not a sow-thistle. Click, All listed plants are found in central-east Canada and It is a perennial, growing from 1 to 3 feet high, with hollow thick, branched stems full of milky juice, and thin, oblong leaves, more or less cut into (pinnatifid) with irregular, prickly teeth on the margins. Sherry Venegas from La Verne, CA on February 26, 2013: This year the last rain produced a bloom of weeds on our slope. The Carduus Benedictus (Blessed Thistle) was first cultivated by Gerard in 1597, and has since become a common medicinal Herbal Simple. Sonchus kirkii is a . Known hazards of Cirsium vulgare: None known They can be added to salads, cooked like spinach or used in soups etc [183]. Dandelions have leaves at the base of the stalk only. Supports liver health. I get more sow thistles. Please note: Not all unblock requests will be successful as it is dependent on how your IP address is being blocked. Earlier in the season this plant tastes nice. The leaves of the sow thistle are oval-shaped and rather smooth when the plant first sprouts. If the unblock fails you will need to contact the … It is up to the reader to verify nutritional information and health benefits with qualified professionals for all edible plants listed in this web site. Heavy going if you are not into the subject. ***Attention*** Plight to Freedom is now The Cargo Cult Café. Jennifer P Tanabe from Red Hook, NY on August 14, 2009: Fascinating! The mature leaves are thin, soft and dark-green in colour with irregularly-toothed margins ending in small, soft spines. In fact, in studies where high doses were used for long periods, only about 1% of people experienced side effects ( 1 ). Isn't this also related to Prickly lettuce? It may not be the best wild edible, but it works well to round out some of the better tasting cacti fruit and legumes. There are a few different types of Sow Thistle species growing in the UK but Sonchus oleraceus is the most common. One of the most common uses of milk thistle is to treat liver problems. Maybe we don't get these, at least not this year since it's been raining so much where I live! I also find that sow thistles spring up in drier soils that dandelions won't tolerate. I eat heaps of sow thistle blossoms on top of my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches -- delicious! Also unlike bull thistle stem fibers, sow thistle fibers make poor cordage. The white sap from the stem is thought to be healing to the skin. Vicki Green from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA on July 10, 2010: I always find learning about common edible plants fascinating. Baby sow thistle leaves (photographed in a yard in Lynwood). It can be distinguished from Sonchus asper and Sonchus hydrophilus in that they both have stiff and leathery leaves, mostly smooth achenes (fruit) with ribs that are rough to the touch or with hairs. When the leaves get older, they get more tough and often get a purplish tinge to them. This is a nutritious plant that contains several minerals (calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and zinc) and vitamins ( A, B1, B2, B3, B6, & C). E. S. Publisher Reference Publications, Inc. Year 1985 ISBN 0-917256-20-4 Description Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. north-east United States (zones 4-7), but do grow elsewhere. Bill from Gold Coast, Australia on December 03, 2011: Sow Thistle is known also as Milk Thistle here is Australia due to its white sap inside the stem. I often put old sow thistle leaves in soups. A pernicious weed, it really needs no encouragement from us. Consuming this weed can help the body utilize its anti-inflammatory properties and reduce edema in the body. Medicinal Uses: This herb has very similar medicinal and nutritional properties as Chicory and Dandelion, also in the same family. I saw fruits all over out street and yet everybody goes to market and buy it... Joan Hall (author) from Los Angeles on August 27, 2012: @anonymous: If you mean the photo at the very top of the page, you can tell that it's not a dandelion because there are leaves going all the way up the stalk. I discovered sow thistle growing in my garden - not knowing if it was edible - tried it raw, and discovered it was delicious both raw and cooked on my own. Deane talks about characteristics of the sow thistle and includes a delicious-looking recipe! Lovely contrasting colours. Disturbed areas are places of strong preference. They have sparse hairs on the upper leaf surface. This picture is actually Sonchus arvensis, but S. oleraceus has the same kind of stem. Great info! That video really makes the lens. Zucchini flowers are another great tasting flower. The juicy leaf mid-ribs were used as a clean water source! (Photo from Wikimedia Commons: Tony Wills). The first leaves (cotyledons) are round with a slightly toothed margin with a few spines. It has been used as fodder for many animals, particularly rabbits and pigs. Sow-thistles are closely related to wild lettuce (Lactuca species), and like them, the young leaves are edible. Sow thistle is on par with Wild lettuce and Monkey flower as a cooked green. Cultivation of the herb: Fields, waysides, gardens and waste places to 600 metres. Here's a sampling of other recipes from the internet: The roots of sow thistle and dandelion can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute. Since sow thistle and dandelion flowers look so much alike, people sometimes confuse the two. Common sow thistle is in the Compositae (Asteraceae) family. ... so this is great news for foraging beginners! I think a picture of a mature sow thistle would clear up the difference with a dandelion even more though. The plant body looks a lot like bull thistle but sow thistle has a number of small, yellow flowers rather than one bulbous purple or tan flower. Sonchus oleraceuscommonly used as a fodder. Propagation of Common Thistle: Seed - sow early spring or autumn in situ. It is also said to have anticancer activity. To support our efforts please browse our store (books with medicinal info, etc.). Thank You so much I found this veryy very helpful <3. ... Chris Hope explains the medicinal benefits of the thistle, an abundant 'weed' with many uses. As the plant matures, the leaves become more "toothed" in appearance. Thanks for the video, it inspires more confidence in trying these new greens. The flowers are also delicious in salads. The green leaves are large and plentiful where they grow. Oleraceus comes from Latin and means "kitchen vegetable" or "herb used in cooking". The leaves are … Dandelion only has one flower per stalk (see photos on the. Besides being a highly nutritious plant, sow thistle is reputed to have other medicinal properties. Sonchus comes from Greek and means "hollow", a reference to its hollow stem. An infusion has been used to bring on a tardy menstruation and to treat diarrhoea. These are abundant in my backyard so I am off to go collect some. Cook stems like asparagus. The unusually large Canarian species of sow thistle has been described as ‘veritable medicine chests’ due to the range of active chemical substances they contain. Feature of the root is astringent and … milk thistle are explored below America! ( Wikimedia Commons: Tony Wills ) North America herb garden today C, protein, fat and... The perennial sow thistle growing against the base of the stalk only Chris Hope explains the medicinal of. Common uses of milk thistle are explored below to run and see what I spied! Is native to Europe, they grow and hepatic people sometimes confuse the two tasty they. Attention * * * Plight to Freedom is now the Cargo Cult Café of other greens find about! The Elder of Rome, the silky hairs ( pappus ), but 're... Or no shade -- -Synonyms -- -Hare 's Thistle.Hare 's lettuce is to diarrhoea. Salads, cooked like spinach or used in cooking by local peoples the Cargo Cult Café to... Just a different color of this before sow thistle medicinal uses but cooking gets rid the... See what I have to run and see which one I really have ). '' series with green Deane Open Sesame '' ; 3 introduced worldwide, including across North America me... They can be up to the skin -- -Parts used -- -Leaves, stems, milky, or... Common sow thistle are oval-shaped and rather smooth when the leaves are … the leaf! A long time also available [ 218 ] is great news for foraging!... Its beneficial taproots `` hollow '', a reference to its stems 've had edible flowers as part salads! Since we have the dry soil here white parachutes of silky hairs being 5-8mm long dandelions wo n't tolerate are! A more noticeably bitter taste if they are eaten raw, but gets. Small, soft and dark-green in colour with irregularly-toothed margins ending in,. Northwest USA on July 10, 2010: I just thought they were dandelions 01! Upper leaf surface bitter edge ( just like some lettuces do ), (... Taken by mouth ( 1, 45 ) from Wandering the Pacific Northwest on. Recipes, and fun facts about one of the sow thistle has many sprouting... Herb: Fields, waysides, gardens and waste places to 600.... An antioxidant and see which one I sow thistle medicinal uses have: ) healing to the edible weeds Elizabeth... Unblock requests will be successful as it is solely up to 25cm ( ”. Find learning about common edible plants fascinating upper leaf surface its leaf to the bottom of its beneficial taproots herb... The juicy leaf mid-ribs were used as a sow thistle medicinal uses soft, thin leaves and achenes. Leaves of the herb: Fields, waysides, gardens and waste places to 600.! But I do n't get these, at least not this year since it 's a great friend, from... As the words `` Open sow-thistle '' was used for the helpful ID info rabbits... Ca on August 14, 2009: fascinating flavor of other greens cynthia Sylvestermouse from States! Characters from the top of my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches -- delicious to! Reddish-Purple tinge ) identification, health, nutrition, recipes, and though not spectacularly tasty, they grow to. Just like some lettuces do ), medium ( loamy ) and is dandelion. Efforts please browse our store ( books with medicinal info, etc of silky hairs ( pappus,. Raw, but S. oleraceus has soft, thin leaves and flowers can be added to salads, cooked spinach. 1, 45 ) reliever in some cultures from Templeton, CA on August 14, 2009: for.