E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The species called Silybum Marinum, we are told, owes the white markings on its leaves to the milk of the Virgin Mary, some of which fell thereon and left a white mark behind. (See CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS.)
Thistles are said to be a cure for stitch in the side, especially the species called Our Ladys Thistle. According to the Doctrine of Signatures, Nature has labelled every plant, and the prickles of the thistle tell us the plant is efficacious for prickles or stitches in the side. (See TURMERIC.)