Milk Thistle is native to the Mediterranean region but it is now found throughout the world. This stout thistle usually grows in dry, sunny areas. The spiny stems branch at the top, and reach a height of 5 – 10 feet. The leaves are wide, with white blotches or veins. Milk thistle gets its name from the milky white sap that comes from the leaves when they are crushed. The flowers are red purple. The small, hard skinned fruit is brown, spotted, and shiny. Milk thistle spreads quickly (it is considered a weed in some parts of the world), and it matures quickly, in less than a year.
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) has been used for thousands of years as an herbal remedy for a variety of ailments, particularly liver, kidney, and gall bladder problems. Several scientific studies suggest that substances in milk thistle (especially a flavonoid called silymarin) protect the liver from toxins, including certain drugs such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), which can cause liver damage in high doses. Silymarin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and it may help the liver repair itself by growing new cells.
The active ingredient – the one that protects the liver – in milk thistle is known as silymarin, a chemical extracted from the seeds. Silymarin is actually a group of flavonoids (silibinin, silidianin, and silicristin), which are thought to help repair liver cells damaged by alcohol and other toxic substances. Silymarin also keeps new liver cells from being destroyed by these same toxins. It reduces inflammation (which is why it is often suggested for people with liver inflammation or hepatitis) and is a strong antioxidant.
Recommended Use or Purpose:
Used in herbal medicine to help support and maintain healthy liver function Milk Thistle has protective, antioxidant effects on the liver, fortifying it against the adverse effects of alcohol, smoke and harmful chemicals. These special qualities make it especially valuable for people in polluted environments.
Medicinal Ingredients: Each Capsule Contains:
- Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) (seed) …………………………250mg
- (4:1 extract, equivalent to 1000mg of whole herb)
Recommended Dose (Adults):
Take orally 1 softgel capsule, 2 times a day with a meal or as directed by a qualified health care practitioner.