Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) is a herbal extract that contains the flavonoid silymarin and is often mixed with other herbs in natural remedies. Silymarin is responsible for the supplement’s powerful benefits on immune and liver health.
Milk Thistle Extract Benefits and Uses
When taken as a dietary supplement, Milk Thistle has been shown to exhibit antioxidant properties, promoting a healthy metabolism and boosting liver function. The plant’s active compounds silybin and silymarin may support a healthy circulatory system and a healthy immune system.
Anecdotally, Milk Thistle may have similar effects to other detoxifying plants like dandelion and burdock root, with short-lived but powerful effects.
Milk Thistle extract is also known by a few different names, including:
- Silybum marianum
- Cardui Mariae Herba
- Artichaut Sauvage
- Silver/Elephant/Ivory Milk Thistle
- Carduus marianuus
- Silibinin (Silybin)
- St-Mary’s Thistle
- Shui Fei Ji
Supplementing with this supplement is likely safe at the recommended serving size, but large servings can be dangerous to your health. There is a need for further research into the health effects of long-term supplementation and the use of larger servings. Milk Thistle has the potential to interact with a large number of medications, and caution should be used.
Special Warning: Do not take Milk Thistle extract supplements in herbal formulas, unless from a reputable source. If you have any medical issues, hormone-sensitive conditions or ragweed allergy, speak to your doctor before using Milk Thistle Extract. Do not use Milk Thistle if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking any medications.