What is Milk Thistle?
is the world's most effective treatment for liver disease. It
has shown positive effects in treating nearly every known form
of liver disease including cirrhosis, hepatitis, necroses, and
liver damage due to drug and alcohol abuse.
This fact sheet provides basic information about the herb milk
thistle--common names, uses, potential side effects, and
resources for more information. Milk thistle is a plant that is
native to the Mediterranean region. It has been used for
thousands of years as a remedy for a variety of ailments,
especially liver problems.
Milk thistle, Mary thistle, Holy thistle. Milk thistle is
sometimes called silymarin, which is actually a mixture of the
herb's active components, including silybinin (also called
silibinin or silybin).
What It Is Used For?
Milk thistle is believed to have protective effects on the liver
and improve its function. It is typically used to treat liver
cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis (liver inflammation), and
gallbladder disorders. Treatment claims also include:
resistance in people with type 2 diabetes who also have
growth of cancer cells in breast, cervical, and prostate
How It Is Used?
Milk thistle is a flowering herb. Silymarin, which can be
extracted from the seeds (fruit), is believed to be the
biologically active part of the herb. The seeds are used to
prepare capsules containing powdered herb or seed; extracts; and
infusions (strong teas).
What the Science Says?
have been some studies of milk thistle on liver disease in
humans, but these have been small. Some promising data have
been reported, but study results at this time are mixed.
some studies conducted outside the United States support
claims of oral milk thistle to improve liver function, there
have been flaws in study design and reporting. To date,
there is no conclusive evidence to prove its claimed uses.
National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of
Nursing Research are also studying milk thistle, for cancer
prevention and to treat complications in HIV patients.
should be taken in combination with
Grape Seed Extract.
These two Anti-oxidants produce a powerful synergistic effect
when taken together, and much better results will be