Milk Thistle

Botanical name: Silybum marianum 
Common name: St Mary’s Thistle, Variegated Thistle
Part used: Seed

Native to the Mediterranean region, Milk Thistle now grows in many parts of the world. Traditionally it has been used for liver and gallbladder problems and modern investigations into this herb confirm these uses.   Milk Thistle is considered one of the premium liver herbs, due to it’s supportive and restorative actions, and is the one of the most popular and effective ‘detox’ herbs available.

Milk Thistle seeds were the first parts of the plant shown to protect the liver against toxins.  It is believed that antioxidant activity is the main mechanism behind this action. Constituents of Milk Thistle also exhibit the ability to accelerate the regeneration of liver cells following liver damage.

Many trials have reported positive results from the use of constituents isolated from Milk Thistle in preventing liver injury induced by various drugs, including alcohol. Conditions Milk Thistle may be useful for include abnormal liver function, fatty liver, chemical exposure, and as a supportive treatment in chronic inflammatory liver conditions such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. It is used in many countries for treatment of death cap mushroom poisoning.

Although useful in liver disease, Milk Thistle is also an excellent herb to help prevent damage to the liver.

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