How to collect seeds for prickly milk thistle?
- I have almost 200 milk thistle seed heads that I harvested over a preriod of about 2 months or so. Previously, I would clip the thorns from the heads, then carefully using my finger, swirl around inside to remove seeds. That was ok when I had only about 50 seed heads to deal with, but tackling up to 200 or so is a bit daunting to even think about. Since many seeds are deep inside the grove along the inside edges of the seed head, simply shaking or hanging them will not allow me to retrieve them all. So, I'm wondering if anyone has any tips on more effective ways of doing this. I had considered placing them inside a canvas bag and using a wooden block or something to mash them loose. I may try this, but thought I'd ask first to see what other options are out there. Thanks for your suggestions.
- Let me clarify my earlier statement (paper sack to go to seed). I hung up whole milk thistle plants in my garage and several heads "went to seed" and blew all over my garage floor. Learning from this, I placed a paper sack over the flower heads to dry. Some flower heads are still "intact". The whole plant can be eaten. Perhaps it would be easier to dry the whole plant, chop up the flower heads spiny bracts & all, and put in your infusion or alcohol or glycerin extract. I have heard that Milk thistle is "fat soluble", not "water soluble", so tea is not the most effective way to use it. You could also put it in a blender with other oils, then strain it as Daniel Vitalis illustrates in this video. He refers to Milk Thistle as "The #1 Liver Protective Herb on the Planet" (4:32 - 9:02) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_P3qEUJNzE