Milk Thistle


Parts used - the seeds


Common Uses

  • Helpful for all liver disorders including jaundice, cirrhosis and hepatitis
  • Protects the liver from chemical and biological toxins.
  • Boosts the liver's own regenerating powers.
  • Helps to stimulate the production of mother's milk.
  • Aids mild digestive problems and is sometimes given to prevent travel sickness.

How Milk Thistle works

In the late 1960's German scientists discovered the compounds that give Milk Thistle it's liver protecting power. They named these Silymarin.


Silymarin act in two ways:
It has the ability to protect the liver from toxins by altering the outer structure of liver cells, thereby making it difficult for some toxins to enter.
It boosts the liver's own regenerating abilities enabling the liver to renew and repair itself after damage has occurred.


Side Effects
After decades of extensive research Milk Thistle appears to be very safe when taken at normally recommended amounts. The German Commission E Monographs report that no major side effects are known at this time. It states that a mild laxative effect may be experienced by some people.


Safety Concerns
At this time, there are no known contraindications for the use of Milk Thistle, and no known interactions with other drugs.


Safety Issues
It must be stressed that liver complaints often indicate serious health problems, and you should consult your doctor before taking this or any other medication.


History of Milk Thistle
Milk Thistle is a tall, attractive plant. It has large, prickly, glossy leaves and a reddish purple thistle-like flower. It originally grew in; Mediterranean countries but can now be found in many parts of Europe and America.


For more than two thousand years Milk Thistle has been used to treat ailments of the liver. Both the Ancient Greeks and the Romans wrote about it's medicinal powers. It was also used for a variety of other health complaints including digestive and menstrual problems.


Herbalists today also recommend Milk Thistle to stimulate the production of mother's milk.
The herb was almost lost in the annals of folklore and all but forgotten. Luckily it was recognized by modern scientists, and based on the folklore, it's use as a liver tonic was investigated.

Disclaimer: The information presented is for information purposes only. It is based on scientific studies or traditional usage. Consult a health care professional before using supplements or making any changes in prescribed medications. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease