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Milk Thistle 100 g, 50 g, 25 g


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Milk Thistle – 100 g ($13.99), 50 g ($9.99), 25 g ($6.99)


Milk thistle is extraordinarily useful in the treatment of liver diseases such as alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver poisoning, and viral hepatitis. Milk thistle is one of the few herbs that have no real pharmaceutical equivalent. It reduces inflammation and is an antioxidant. Traditionally used for functional disorders of the liver and gallbladder such as jaundice, it was also used to treat malaria. Today it is used for dyspepsia, toxic liver, and hepatic cirrhosis. The German Commission E has approved milk thistle for dyspeptic, liver, and gallbladder complaints. According to the German Commission E, milk thistle works in two ways: It alters the structure of the outer cell membrane of the liver cells to prevent toxins such as from food poisoning to get inside the liver cells, and second, it stimulates the action of nucleolar polymerase A, which stimulates the regeneration of new, healthy liver cells.

Alcoholism, cirrhosis, and hepatitis. Silymarin, an extract of milk thistle, acts on the membranes of the liver cells, preventing the entry of virus toxins and other toxic compounds and thus preventing damage to the cells. It also dramatically improves liver regeneration in hepatitis, cirrhosis, mushroom poisoning, and other diseases of the liver. One study, conducted by a German pharmaceutical firm, looked at 2,637 people who had used milk thistle for various liver disorders, including cirrhosis of the liver, fatty liver, and hepatitis. After eight weeks of taking standardized milk thistle capsules daily, 63 percent of the study participants said their symptoms—including abdominal distention, fatigue, lack of appetite, and nausea—had disappeared. The average improvement in levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), enzymes that are markers for liver cell impairment, was 46 percent, and over 73 percent of enlarged livers shrank in size. Only 1 percent of the study participants were forced to discontinue milk thistle because of side effects, such as mild diarrhea, nausea, and stomach upset.

Other studies focused on specific disorders also have shown positive results. In a well-documented double-blind study of 116 individuals who had alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver, German researchers found that milk thistle exerted a profound curative action in as little as two weeks. And in a later study, twenty-nine people with advanced alcoholic liver disease reported relief from nausea and restored appetite after two months’ treatment with the milk thistle extract silymarin. In cases of hepatitis B and hepatitis C, a flavonoid complex in silymarin stimulates liver protein creation, enabling the organ to produce new liver cells to replace the old ones damaged by hepatitis infection. This action prevents the replacement of virus-infected liver cells with fibrous tissues or fat.

In one study, patients with alcoholic cirrhosis and those with Child’s A group classification of portal hypertension taking 40 milligrams of silymarin three times a day for four years showed an improvement in symptoms and blood tests. Patients without alcoholic cirrhosis but who had Child’s B and C group hypertension did not show improvement. However, the survival rate of all subjects taking silymarin was better than those who didn’t take it (58 percent versus 39 percent).

Cancer. There are no clinical data on cancer and milk thistle. However, milk thistle was shown to reduce liver toxicity associated with chemotherapy for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Some breast cancers (as well as other forms of cancer) are stimulated by the hormone estrogen. Laboratory studies find that silybin, a chemical found in milk thistle, competes for the receptor sites that would receive estrogen in these kinds of cancer cells. Scientists at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, have found that silymarin stops the growth of breast cancer cells, both within tumors and, more important, before anchoring themselves in other organs of the body.

Rats given the milk thistle compound silibinin in a very large dosage (equivalent to 30 grams, or approximately 1 ounce, for a 110-pound [55-kilogram] adult) had reduced kidney damage during treatment with the cancer chemotherapy agent cisplatin (Platinol). Another study found that, in addition to protecting the kidneys from damage by either cisplatin or doxorubicin (Adriamycin), silybin increased the cancer-fighting effectiveness of the two drugs. Tests also indicate that silibinin protects against the toxic effects of cisplatin and ifosfamide (Ifex) therapy without diminishing these drugs’ effects on testicular cancers.

Milk thistle acts against liver cancer by protecting specialized immune cells in the liver known as Kuppfer cells. These cells engulf bacteria, toxins, and other foreign matter coming into the liver, and also play a role in destroying cancer cells that have entered blood circulation as a first step in spreading to other parts of the body. The silibinin in milk thistle protects the Kuppfer cells from inflammatory reactions without interfering with the action of an immune-system chemical called tumor necrosis factor alpha, which accelerates the destruction of cancer cells by the immune system. Silibinin reduces PSA (prostate-specific antigen), which is released in prostate cancer. It also inhibits the G1 cycle of the cell cycle progression in prostate cancers that do not respond to any other chemotherapy. In stopping the G1 cycle, the cancer growth is arrested as well.

Diabetes. Insulin resistance is very difficult to treat and may be found in patients with cirrhosis of the liver caused by alcohol. In a double-blind study of sixty patients who had both alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and diabetes, twelve months of treatment with 600 milligrams of silymarin daily resulted in significantly lower fasting blood-glucose levels, less glucose spillover into the urine, and lower proportions of glycosylated hemoglobin, which is a measurement of long-term elevated blood sugars.

Milk thistle may fight diabetes in other ways. Insulin not only transports glucose into muscle cells, but also transports fatty acids into fat cells. Silymarin stimulates the liver so that it can take excessive amounts of insulin out of the bloodstream in people with type 2 diabetes or diabetes arising from alcoholic damage to the liver. By regulating the amount of insulin in circulation, silymarin treatment may prevent weight gain, which usually accompanies excessive amounts of insulin in the bloodstream. In addition, animal studies indicate that milk thistle extract can reduce ketoacidosis, a complication of prolonged, uncontrolled diabetes in which the body is forced to use fats rather than glucose for fuel, producing potentially toxic effects on the central nervous system.

Psoriasis. Naturopathic physicians report that milk thistle reduces the frequency of psoriasis outbreaks. This effect is probably due to its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.


Recommended Use

Milk thistle is best used as silymarin gelcaps. The best formulation of silymarin is known as silipide. This is a chemical combination of silybin, the main active ingredient in silymarin, with phosphatidylcholine, the principal active ingredient in soy lecithin. The soy lecithin component of silipide helps the digestive tract absorb silymarin, and then delivers 97 percent of silymarin directly to the tissues where it is needed. This product can be recognized on the shelf by its labeling as a phytosome. Milk thistle is less effective when used as seeds, teas, and tinctures, all of which can cause mild diarrhea, severe sweating, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, and weakness. However, many of these side effects were related to a substance found in a commercial product in Australia that was other than silybin. Daily doses are usually 12 to 15 grams of the milk thistle herb, which is the equivalent of 200 to 400 milligrams of silymarin.

Since milk thistle tinctures are made with alcohol, they are not recommended for treatment of liver disease. People who have been diagnosed with a chronic liver disease should have regular blood tests to monitor liver function, and should curb or eliminate alcohol consumption. People with diabetes should monitor blood sugar levels carefully while taking milk thistle.

Milk thistle extract has virtually no side effects and can be used by most people, including women who are pregnant or nursing. However, women who are taking birth control pills should be aware that milk thistle may reduce their effectiveness. Since silymarin stimulates liver and gallbladder activity, it may have a mild laxative effect in some individuals. This usually lasts only two to three days. However, people using metronidazole and butyrophenones or phenothiazines should not use milk thistle. It should not be used with the herb yohimbe.

Botanical Name: Silybum marianum
English: St Mary’s Thistle
Also, known as: Aküb, Artichnuat sauvage, Blessed thistle, Bull thistle, Cardo blanco, Cardo de burro, Cardo mariano, Carod de Maria, Cardo di Maria, Carduo mariano, Chardon argente, Chardon-marie, épine blanche, Frauendistelfrüchte, Fructus cardui mariae, Fruit de chardon marie, Holy thistle, Kharshat barri, Khorfeish, Kocakavkas, Kuub, Lady’s milk, Lady’s thistle, lait de Notre Dame, Marian thistle, Máriatovis-termés, Mariazami, Mariendistel, Mariendistel früchte, Marienkörner, Maritighal, Mild marian thistle, milk thistle, pternix, shawkeddiman, Silberdistil, silybe, silybon, silybum, St Mary’s thistle, thistle, thistle of the Blessed Virgin, true thistle, variegated marian thistle, Mariana lactea Hill, Mediterranean Milk Thistle, Mariendistel,
Origin: Hungary
Harvested: Cultivated
Parts Used: Whole herb, root & leaves

General Information:
It is a fine, tall plant, about the size of the Cotton Thistle, with cut-into root-leaves, waved and spiny at the margin, of a deep, glossy green, with milk-white veins, and is found not uncommonly in hedgebanks and on waste ground, especially by buildings, which causes some authorities to consider that it may not be a true native In Scotland it is rare.

The heads of this Thistle formerly were eaten, boiled, treated like those of the Artichoke. There is a tradition that the milk-white veins of the leaves originated in the milk of the Virgin which once fell upon a plant of Thistle, hence it was called Our Lady’s Thistle, and the Latin name of the species has the same derivation. The Marian, or Milk Thistle, is perhaps the most important medicinally among the members of this genus.

How to use:
Hot Infusion
The basic method for dried herbs and flower is, take 2-3 tablespoons of dried herb in a cup or teapot. Pour hot water over it and cover it with lid for 10-30 minutes. Hot water is needed to draw out the antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, flavonoids, and volatile oils from the botanicals. Strain and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible and enjoy.

You can sweeten your herbal tea with a bit of honey, natural fruit juice, stevia leaves powder and or licorice zoot powder.
You can make ice cubes or pops by freezing tea in ice trays or pop molds.

You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
All information on this website is for educational purposes ONLY.
This information has not been evaluated by Health Canada.
This information not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent was disease.


Weight 0.13 lbs

25 g, 50 g, 100 g


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