Seeds of a milk thistle with flowers on wooden table

Milk thistle seed extract helps treat liver health problems such as cirrhosis. After harvesting, the seeds are crushed or cracked to release the potent medicine that is absorbed into an alcohol mixture. This extract, commonly known as a tincture, is administered directly into the body. People often mask the alcohol taste by mixing it into a strong herbal tea. While scientists continue to study the plant, many hospitals use the herbal extract as a treatment.

Place 3/4-cup full of milk thistle seeds in a blender or an herb grinder and process.

Pour the blended thistle seeds to a sterilized, pint-sized canning jar.

Pour 1 cup of 100 proof alcohol into the jar. Add 1 cup of water and stir to mix the ingredients.

Sit the canning jar lid on the jar with a canning ring and screw it on tightly. Place the jar in a cool and dark environment and leave it to set for three to five weeks. Shake the jar every day to make sure the thistle seeds stay saturated with liquid.

Combine 1 cup of 100 proof alcohol with 1 cup of water. Place this in a covered container and reserve it to pour into the jar if the liquid level drops or the seeds become exposed.

After three to five weeks, pour the mixture into a sieve or mesh strainer. Place small containers under the strainer to catch the thistle seed extract. Store the extract in the sealed containers.


  • Use 100 proof alcohol bought from a drug store, or buy vodka, brandy or gin to make the milk thistle extract.

  • Sterilize the pint-sized canning jars by boiling them in a pot for 10 minutes.