Milk Thistle: Benefits and Side Effects

Edgar Branton
Sep 19, 2016 · 5 min read

Milk thistle, a natural herb that has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and mechanisms of action and therapeutic value of milk thistle in a wide range of human liver-related and non-liver-related conditions, is commonly used to detoxify the body, especially the liver and can treat problems related to liver, bile duct, and spleen.

Use of Milk Thistle

Pure Milk Thistle
  • Chronic active hepatitis
  • Drug and alcohol induced liver damage
  • Acute viral hepatitis
  • Fatty liver
  • Fibrosis and Cirrhosis
  • Hepatic toxicity caused by steroid usage
  • Environmental sensitivities and toxins

That should have given a fair understanding on what milk thistle is used for. Well, milk thistle is known as the liver herb and in fact, has the ability to act on the liver cells to form proteins thereby starting cell renewal. It is capable of preventing toxic build up and can safeguard the liver cells from further damage. This amazing thistle has the superb ability to reverse liver damage normally caused by alcohol abuse, drugs and jaundice.

Milk thistle does more than that. It helps prevent the formation of plaque in the arteries that causes the arteries to harden, a condition called arteriosclerosis. Furthermore, the herb protects the kidneys as well as helps people with skin problems. Milk thistle consists of vitamins A, B-complex and C combined with a number of important minerals in trace amounts.

In the present era when alcohol abuse and drug abuse have escalated like never before, the liver has to fight a number of enemies constantly. These enemies include environmental pollution, chemicals, fast food and junk foods, artificial medication, disease and viruses. Needless to say, the liver is badly in need of real help as it is prone to working overtime in most of the cases.

Milk thistle is best used for nursing mothers and those with liver and gall bladder diseases. This herb is known to be versatile due to its tonify (tonifying are generally considered safe when used in moderation) and restorative abilities. You can use almost all parts of the milk thistle plant for healing. Its flowers, leaves and seeds of the milk thistle have healing properties and there are several ways that you can prepare them into a natural remedy to be used from home.

Milk Thistle For Fatty Liver:

The Liver (Human Anatomy)

Fatty liver is the build-up of fat in liver cells. The condition usually is caused by obesity but may result from diabetes or high serum triglycerides as well as alcohol abuse, rapid weight loss, and malnutrition. Some cases are associated with prescription drugs, such as tamoxifen, Generally, fatty liver disease has no symptoms, but as the condition progresses, individuals may experience one or more of the following: Fatigue, Weight gain, Indigestion, Loss of appetite, unintended weight loss, Pain in the upper-right abdomen, Confusion or disorientation, Patches of dark skin on neck or underarms, Nausea, Weakness..

Supplements that Support Liver Health

Here are a few nutritional supplements that can help support a healthy liver.

Milk thistle

In clinical trials involving silymarin, the active ingredient in milk thistle, researchers found the herb rejuvenates and repairs damage to the liver. I recommend taking 300 mg or 500 mg of milk thistle three times each day… Buy Best Selling Milk Thistle Supplement …


The active ingredient in the spice turmeric, curcumin is an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant substance largely found in roots and rhizomes of turmeric plants. It is known to reduce oxidative damage to human cells, thereby protecting cell DNA. Having anti-allergic properties, the substance is also effective in reducing inflammation due to acute lung injury, allergic asthma, acute respiratory distress syndrome, COPD and other such chronic conditions has a long list of benefits, Joint Health, Digestive system, Colon, Gastric Ulcer, Healthy Heart, Cholesterol, Blood Sugar Asthma.. Including supports the liver and Facilitate and fewer signs of aging.

A recent study has found that curcumin protects liver cells from the type of damage commonly found in fatty liver and related conditions. i suggest always take supplements for exact dosage. curcumin extract of turmeric root and pure standardized to 95% curcuminoids and curcumin on its own is not easily absorbed by the body so it has to combine with other ingredients like Curcumin with bioperine, or Flax-seed oil..

If you are taking blood-thinning medications (including Coumadin or warfarin), please consult your physician before adding curcumin to your daily regimen.

Vitamin E

Pure vitamin E is an antioxidant supplement that contains natural tocopherol, which helps support your brain, and cardiovascular and respiratory systems. May useful in healing the skin and alleviating pain from burns and other wounds. I recommend SimplyPure Vitamin E Provides 1,000 IU of pure natural E per soft gel-3,333% of Daily Value. Natural vitamin E is twice as effective by weight as the synthetic form of vitamin E. Take 1 Ultra Pure Vitamin E 1000 soft gel with food daily,

Milk thistle can also act as a demulcent, which means it is very soothing to mucous membranes, along with moisturizing them. That has important meaning for those with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, or even just dry, cracked skin.

Silymarin has anti-inflammatory properties, which especially can help with kidney and bladder irritations, but also general issues with inflammation by actually inhibiting select inflammation-causing factors.

Milk thistle has been shown in some studies to help lower cholesterol by increasing the liver’s ability to remove LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Silymarin helps to stimulate the flow of bile out of the bile duct, while also decreasing inflammation in an already inflamed gall bladder.

There are many other milk thistle uses being explored by science, including as an adjunct for treatment of certain cancers, HIV/AIDS, and also for its antioxidant properties. The best way to enjoy the benefits of silymarin is in a supplement that also contains ingredients to work in synergy with milk thistle.

Well, now that you understand the uses of milk thistle, you may wish to know the signs and symptoms of decreased liver function. A few signs include general fatigue, tiredness, digestive upsets, allergies, constipation, jaundice and chemical sensitivities.

Side Effects: Milk thistle extracts LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth for most adults. Milk thistle sometimes causes a laxative effect. Other less common side effects are nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, intestinal gas, bloating, fullness or pain, and loss of appetite. You shouldn’t ever give milk thistle to children without a doctor’s approval.

Updated : 27 October 2017

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