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Milk Thistle

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum)


Milk thistle is a common herb that is well known especially when it comes to the treatment of liver and gallbladder conditions. It is known by various names such as wild artichoke, sow thistle, pig leaves, legalon and snake milk among others. In simple terms, it is important to note that, this is a flowering herb that is believed to be from the same family as ragweed and daisy. The herb adopted its name milk thistle simply because it has white features that are present on the leaves as well as the milky sap that most of its leaves contain. The herb is most prevalent in several countries which include North Africa, Middle East, Ancient Greeks and Mediterranean among others.  The best thing about milk thistle is that, it is very easy to grow and it only takes one year for it to reach maturity. Keep reading to learn more about the Silybum marianum.

Medicinal Uses

There are a plethora of medicinal uses that this herb has to provide to the world today. Some of them include the following:

  1. Milk thistle has active substances that are believed to have anti-cancer effects. It is known that cervical cancer, breast cancer and human prostate cancer can easily be kept under control using milk thistle.
  2. Milk thistle if used by type 2 diabetes tends to improve their health which should be done through a comprehensive treatment plan.  However, it is important to ensure that you have consulted a doctor first before proceeding with the treatment.
  3. The other important medicinal use for this herb is in the treatment of liver.  It is believed that milk thistle has the prowess of protecting one’s liver against any medications especially those that are non-pain relievers.
  4. It helps in lowering bad cholesterol in the body and this in turn ensures that one stays far away from any heart disease.
  5. There are diseases that are hormone-related and this can cause adverse complications to individuals especially if not controlled. The good news is that, Silybum marianum has been used to maintain hormonal balances and this has in turn ensured that hormone-related diseases are kept at bay.
  6. It is well known that liver plays a major role in the body in ensuring that fat has been metabolized and the blood purified. When fat is metabolized, it means that fat will be reduced and this in turn will help in losing weight easier. Milk thistle is therefore important when it comes to obese conditions (obesity people).
  7. It helps in protecting against cell damage by ensuring that all the cell walls are strengthened.  Milk thistle ensures that no toxins pass through the cells and this in turn prevents them from getting damaged.
  8. Milk thistle is used for medicinal purposes for those people with loss of appetites, stomach upsets and diarrhea. All you need to do is to take an extract from the plant and within no time, all the conditions that you have will go away easily.

Dosage and Administration

It is imperative to note that milk thistle is readily available and administered in various forms such as fluid extract, tea bags, tablets, capsule and bulk dried seeds.  The active ingredient in it is silymarin and the standard dosage for Silybum marianum preparation will solely be determined by the amount of silymarin it consists.

  1. Firstly, when it comes to milk thistle seeds, all you need to do is to grind them in order to form powder. Add 1 tbsp. of the powder to water then drink it 2 times a day.
  2. When it comes to capsules, you need to take a dose of 2-3 capsules a day with a glass of water.
  3. For milk thistle, you need to take a cup of the tea and this will help you reduce cholesterol.

Parts Used

Parts used eon this plant include the following:

  1. Leaves which are crushed in order to form tea that is packaged in tea bags.
  2. Seeds of the plant are also used in that; they are crushed then put in hot water for about ten minutes. The extract is then sipped slowly.



There are benefits that come with milk thistle and some of them include the following:

  1. It helps in treatment of gallbladder and gallstones by improving the solubility and flowing of bile.
  2. Helps to improve the general functioning of the liver by boosting liver action.
  3. Ensures that diabetes complications are kept at bay.

Side Effects

Some of the side effects are:

  1. Diarrhea
  2. Bloating and gas
  3. Allergic reactions


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