Milk Thistle possesses potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help manage liver disorders by protecting it against the effect of toxins. It acts as a powerful detoxifier by removing the harmful toxins from the body, which are processed through the liver and helps to rebuild the liver cells. Milk thistle is effective at naturally reversing toxicity in the body, including the harmful effects of alcohol consumption, pesticides in our food supply, heavy metals in our water supply and pollution in the air that we breathe.
The active ingredients in milk thistle are a group of plant compounds collectively known as ‘Silymarin’. It is often used to refer milk thistle interchangeably. Silymarin helps stimulate the enzyme formation, increases the bile production, decreases inflammation, and soothes the mucous membranes.
What are the synonyms of Milk Thistle?
Milk Thistle is also knowns as Artichaut Sauvage, Blessed Milk Thistle, Cardo Lechoso, Lady’s Thistle, Lait de Notre-Dame, Legalon, Marian Thistle, Mariendistel, Holy Thistle, Mary Thistle, Our Lady’s Thistle, Shui Fei Ji, Silibinin, Silybe de Marie, Silybin, Silybum, Silybum marianum, Silymarin, Silymarine, St. Mary Thistle, St. Marys Thistle.
Benefits of Milk Thistle
1. Manages Liver Diseases
2. Prevents Liver Cirrhosis (symptoms)
3. Regulates High Cholesterol
4. Prevents Gallstones
5. Supports Bone Health
6. Controls Diabetes
Milk Thistle Extract might protect liver cells from toxic chemicals and drugs. It also seems to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It acts as a powerful detoxifier by removing the harmful toxins from the body, which are processed through the liver and helps to rebuild the liver cells.
The terms milk thistle and silymarin are often used interchangeably, even though they aren’t exactly the same thing. Milk Thistle is composed of 3 isomer flavonolignans including silybin, silychristin, and silydianin that are collectively called Silymarin.
Silymarin acts as an antioxidant and reduces the free radical production in the body. It contains anti-inflammatory properties and is said to keep toxins from attaching to liver cells. It stimulates the enzyme formation, increases the bile production, decreases inflammation, and soothes the mucous membranes. It acts as a cholagogue agent and increases the flow of bile from the gallbladder. Silymarin in Milk Thistle also produces an antifibrotic activity. This helps to prevent the scarring within the liver tissues, thus preventing liver cirrhosis.
There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking Milk Thistle if one is pregnant or breastfeeding. Thus it’s advisable to avoid it.
- Luangchosiri C, Thakkinstian A, Chitphuk S, Stitchantrakul W, Petraksa S, Sobhonslidsuk A. A double-blinded randomized controlled trial of silymarin for the prevention of antituberculosis drug-induced liver injury. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2015;15:334
- Mirnezami M, Jafarimanesh H, Rezagholizamenjany M, et al. The effect of silymarin on liver enzymes in patients taking isotretinoin: a randomized clinical trial. Dermatol Ther. 2020:33(2):e13236.View abstract.
- Jamalian M, Mahmodiyeh B, Saveiee S, Solhi H. Investigating the impact of silymarin on liver oxidative injury. J Family Med Prim Care. 2020;9(3):1707-11
- Kuo YJ, Chang HP, Chang YJ, Wu HH, Chen CH. Evaluation of nephroprotection of silymarin on contrast-induced nephropathy in liver cirrhosis patients: A population-based cohort study. Medicine (Baltimore) 2018;97(37):e12243
- Loguercio C, Andreone P, Brisc C, et al. Silybin combined with phosphatidylcholine and vitamin E in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a randomized controlled trial. Free Radic Biol Med 2012;52(9):1658-65
- Feher J, Deak G, Muzes G, et al. [Liver-protective action of silymarin therapy in chronic alcoholic liver diseases]. Orv Hetil 1989;130:2723-7
- Ferenci P, Dragosics B, Dittrich H, et al. Randomized controlled trial of silymarin treatment in patients with cirrhosis of the liver. J Hepatol 1989;9:105-13
- Flora K, Hahn M, Rosen H, Benner K. Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) for the therapy of liver disease. Am J Gastroenterol 1998;93:139-43
- Freedman ND, Curto TM, Morishima C, et al. Silymarin use and liver disease progression in the hepatitis C Antiviral Long-Term Treatment against Cirrhosis Trial. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2011;33:127-37
- Abenavoli L, Capasso R, Milic N, Capasso F. Milk thistle in liver diseases: past, present, future. Phytother Res 2010;24:1423-32
- Aller R, Izaola O, Gómez S, et al. Effect of silymarin plus vitamin E in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. A randomized clinical pilot study. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2015;19(16):3118-24
- Anon. Milk thistle: Effects on liver disease and cirrhosis and clinical adverse effects. Summary, Evidence Report/Technology Assessment: Number 21, September 2000. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. Available at: https://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/epcsums/milktsum.htm
- Beckmann-Knopp S, Rietbrock S, Weyhenmeyer R, et al. Inhibitory effects of silibinin on cytochrome P-450 enzymes in human liver microsomes. Pharmacol Toxicol 2000;86:250-6
- Boerth J, Strong KM. The clinical utility of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) in cirrhosis of the liver. J Herb Pharmacother 2002;2:11-7
- Bunout D, Hirsch S, Petermann M. [Controlled study of the effect of silymarin on alcoholic liver disease.] Rev Med Chil 1992;120:1370-5
- Buzzelli G, Moscarella S, Giusti A, et al. A pilot study on the liver protective effect of silybin-phosphatidylcholine complex (IdB1016) in chronic active hepatitis. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1993;31:456-60
- Chalasani N, Younossi Z, Lavine JE, et al. The diagnosis and management of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: practice Guideline by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, American College of Gastroenterology, and the American Gastroenterological Association. Hepatology. 2012;55(6):2005-23
- Doehmer J, Weiss G, McGregor GP, Appel K. Assessment of a dry extract from milk thistle (Silybum marianum) for interference with human liver cytochrome-P450 activities. Toxicol In Vitro 2011;25:21-7
- Ramirez-Santos, A., Perez-Bustillo, A., Gonzalez-Sixto, B., Suarez-Amor, O., and Rodriguez-Prieto, M. A. [Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis due to milk thistle (Silybum marianum) tea]. Actas Dermosifiliogr. 2011;102(9):744-745
- Reutter, F. W. and Haase, W. [Clinical experience with silymarin in the treatment of chronic liver disease(author’s transl)]. Schweiz Rundsch.Med Prax. 9-9-1975;64(36):1145-1151
- Schrieber, S. J., Hawke, R. L., Wen, Z., Smith, P. C., Reddy, K. R., Wahed, A. S., Belle, S. H., Afdhal, N. H., Navarro, V. J., Meyers, C. M., Doo, E., and Fried, M. W. Differences in the disposition of silymarin between patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and chronic hepatitis C. Drug Metab Dispos. 2011;39(12):2182-2190
- Schrieber, S. J., Wen, Z., Vourvahis, M., Smith, P. C., Fried, M. W., Kashuba, A. D., and Hawke, R. L. The pharmacokinetics of silymarin is altered in patients with hepatitis C virus and nonalcoholic Fatty liver disease and correlates with plasma caspase-3/7 activity. Drug Metab Dispos 2008;36(9):1909-1916
- Schuppan D, Strosser W, Burkard G, and et al. Influence of Legalon(TM) 140 on the metabolism of collagen in patients with chronic liver disease–Review by measurement of PIIINP-values. Zeitschrift fur Allgemeinmedizin 1998;74:577-584.
- Somogyi, A., Ecsedi, G. G., Blazovics, A., Miskolczi, K., Gergely, P., and Feher, J. Short term treatment of type II hyperlipoproteinaemia with silymarin. Acta Med Hung. 1989;46(4):289-295
- Sonnenbichler J and Zetl I. Stimulating influence of a flavonolignane derivative on proliferation, RNA synthesis and protein synthesis in liver cells. In: Okoliczanyi L, Csomos G, Crepaldi G, and et al. Assessment and Management of Hepatobiliary Disease. Berlin: Springer-Verlag;1987.
- Jacobs, B. P., Dennehy, C., Ramirez, G., Sapp, J., and Lawrence, V. A. Milk thistle for the treatment of liver disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med 10-15-2002;113(6):506-515
- Li, J., Lin, W. F., Pan, Y. Y., and Zhu, X. Y. [Protective effect of silibinin on liver injury induced by antituberculosis drugs]. Zhonghua Gan Zang.Bing.Za Zhi. 2010;18(5):385-386
- Marena C and Lampertico M. Preliminary clinical development of silipide: a new complex of silybin in toxic liver disorders. Planta Med 1991;57(2):A124-A125.
- Rambaldi, A., Jacobs, B. P., and Gluud, C. Milk thistle for alcoholic and/or hepatitis B or C virus liver diseases. Cochrane.Database.Syst.Rev 2007;(4):CD003620
- Grungreiff K, Albrecht M, and Strenge-Hesse A. Benefit of medicinal liver therapy in general practice. Med Welt 1995;46:222-227.
- Benda, L., Dittrich, H., Ferenzi, P., Frank, H., and Wewalka, F. [The influence of therapy with silymarin on the survival rate of patients with liver cirrhosis (author’s transl)]. Wien.Klin.Wochenschr. 10-10-1980;92(19):678-683
- Boari, C., Montanari, F. M., Galletti, G. P., Rizzoli, D., Baldi, E., Caudarella, R., and Gennari, P. [Toxic occupational liver diseases. Therapeutic effects of silymarin]. Minerva Med 10-20-1981;72(40):2679-2688
- Eurich, D., Bahra, M., Berg, T., Boas-Knoop, S., Biermer, M., Neuhaus, R., Neuhaus, P., and Neumann, U. Treatment of hepatitis C-virus-reinfection after liver transplant with silibinin in nonresponders to pegylated interferon-based therapy. Exp.Clin.Transplant. 2011;9(1):1-6
- Fried, M. W., Navarro, V. J., Afdhal, N., Belle, S. H., Wahed, A. S., Hawke, R. L., Doo, E., Meyers, C. M., and Reddy, K. R. Effect of silymarin (milk thistle) on liver disease in patients with chronic hepatitis C unsuccessfully treated with interferon therapy: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 7-18-2012;308(3):274-282
- Pares A, Planas R, Torres M, et al. Effects of silymarin in alcoholic patients with cirrhosis of the liver: results of a controlled, double-blind, randomized and multicenter trial. J Hepatol 1998;28:615-21
- Salmi HA, Sarna S. Effect of silymarin on chemical, functional, and morphological alterations of the liver. A double-blind, controlled study. Scand J Gastroenterol 1982;17:517-21
- Tanamly MD, Tadros F, Labeeb S, et al. Randomised double-blinded trial evaluating silymarin for chronic hepatitis C in an Egyptian village: study description and 12-month results. Dig Liver Dis 2004;36:752-9
This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on Foresta Organics. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your healthcare plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.