Nutrition Made Simple


February 19 2021



Milk Thistle also known by its other name Silymarin, is a perennial herb which is believed to have medicinal properties. Historically milk thistle has been used for the treatment of liver and gallbladder disorders. Milk Thistle is effective for various conditions including cirrhosis, jaundice, hepatitis, indigestion and diabetes. 

The seeds of Silybum marianum comprise various compounds which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Due to its medicinal properties, milk thistle is often used to detoxify the liver, hence treating many liver problems.

Saint Mary's Thistle, scotch thistle and variegated thistle are some of the other names by which milk thistle is known. Interestingly, it is referred to as da Ji in traditional Chinese medicine.

After having an overview of milk thistle, let's find out what all health benefits does milk thistle come with. Often, it is used for various liver conditions including hepatitis and cirrhosis. Following are the other conditions in which milk whistle helps in its treatment:

  • High cholesterol
  • heartburn
  • diabetes
  • gall bladder disorders
  • menstrual pain
  • depression
  • dyspepsia meaning upset stomach
  • hangover
  • few cancers 

It is believed that milk thistle prevents binding of toxic substances to liver cells thereby improving the liver function. Studies have concluded mixed results about the effectiveness of milk thistle in the treatment of liver disorders.

Milk Thistle and subacute liver disease

If you are suffering from any subacute liver disease then milk thistle may be effective. A study was done in Finland wherein people with the subacute disease were provided with a four-week course of milk thistle. And it was found that it resulted in lower key liver enzymes suggesting that the liver was now functioning better. 

Milk Thistle and hepatitis C

Chronic hepatitis C is a viral infection wherein progressive scarring of the liver takes place. Often, people suffering from chronic hepatitis C take milk thistle. Survey has found that people with hepatitis C when used milk thistle supplements, reported fewer symptoms and a better quality of life. Though much change was not noticed in the liver inflammation.

Some scientists believe that milk thistle in some way gives a placebo effect wherein there is no change in their clinical condition but still a person feels improvement in his/her condition.

Milk Thistle and Type 2 Diabetes

Many studies have found that Milk Thistle is quite effective in Diabetes especially Type 2 diabetes. A research found that a 45-day course of silymarin reduces the generalized inflammation in people suffering from type 2 diabetes. 

Another study found that if silymarin is used routinely, then fasting blood glucose level is dropped.

Milk Thistle and Acne

Milk thistle due to its anti-inflammatory properties can help to treat acne. A study has found that people who take milk thistle supplements have lesser acne lesions on their body.

After knowing its health benefits, it's important to aware ourselves about its possible side effects as well.

Side effects of Silymarin

Following are some of the possible side effects of Milk thistle:

  • headache
  • nausea
  • abdominal bloating
  • gas
  • diarrhoea

If you are allergic to daisies, artichokes, kiwi, ragweed or other plants in the aster family, then there is a possibility that you might be allergic to milk whistle as well. Less commonly, joint pain, muscle ache and sexual dysfunction as the side effects of milk thistle have also been reported.

Milk Thistle and Drug Interactions?

As discussed earlier, Milk Thistle reduces blood sugar. and hence it has to be used with caution by the people who are already taking diabetes medications. Furthermore, many drug interactions might be triggered as milk thistle does interact with the metabolism of various drugs. So if you are taking any of the below-listed medications do take advice from your doctor before beginning with milk thistle supplements.

  • Antibiotics like Biaxin
  • Anticoagulants line Coumadin
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil, Celebrex and Voltaren
  • Statins like Mevacor and Lescol

Dosage and preparation of Milk Thistle supplement:

Milk Thistle supplements are available in capsule firms, tablets, tea bags, and oral tinctures. The dose of milk thistle ranges from 175 mg to 1000 mg. But do remember higher the dose, more is the risk of side effects.

It has been seen that Iberogast drops and Barberol tablets, when taken with milk thistle doses of 10 mg and 210 mg, are quite effective. Iberogast drips are used in the treatment of dyspepsia and Barberol tablets are formulated for diabetes. 

You can find milk thistle supplements in drugstores, natural food stores and herbal product stores. Also, you might purchase them online as well. Check out Alvizia Milk Thistle supplements that comprise 80% silymarin. 

Is Milk Thistle Safe?

Before beginning with any of the supplements we always make sure that whether it's safe for us or not. Milk Thistle is considered safe when taken orally. Furthermore, it has been reported that only 1% of people experience the side effects when its higher dose is taken for longer periods. Nevertheless, some people are advised to be cautious while using Milk thistle supplements. These are as follows:

Pregnant Women: They are usually advised to avoid the supplement Those allergic to plants of Aster family.

People with Diabetes: as it increases the risk of low blood sugar People suffering from hormone-sensitive conditions like breast cancer as it worsens the  condition.

About Alvizia Milk Thistle 600 mg soft gel capsules

The key ingredient Silymarin 420 gm acts as a detoxifying agent. It helps to get rid of all toxins and chemicals from the body. The formulation promotes normal functioning of the liver. Besides promoting the regeneration of liver cells, it also helps in achieving a healthy heart. Being an antioxidant, it reduces the harm caused by free radicals in the body. Also, it works to have better control over the bladder by promoting healthy kidneys. It increases the protective glutathione levels supporting a healthy liver.

Usually, one capsule is taken daily or taken as advised by your physician. Store it in a cool and dry place.

This article is the sole opinion of the author and Alvizia Healthcare holds no responsibility for the content. *

Tagged: Detox-Cleanse, Immune-Support, Milk-Thistle, Softgels


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