Milk Thistle Health Benefits

Where does Milk Thistle name come from? Milk thistle gets its name from the milky white fluid that comes from the leaves when they are crushed.

Milk Thistle Plant: Milk thistle (is considered a weed in some parts of the world) is a flowering plants of the daisy family. The flowers are red-purple. The small, hard-skinned fruit is brown, spotted, and shiny.

Part Used Medicinally: Virtually all parts of the plant is being use as food, but it’s the milk thistle seeds that have medicinal properties. The seeds contain a group of flavonoids that are collectively known as Silymarin.

Available Forms: capsules, tea, and tincture

milk thistle plant

milk thistle plant

Health Benefits:

  • Silymarin is a powerful antioxidants that can protect the liver from the toxic substances that enter the liver. Silymarin has been found to be 10 times more potent than vitamin E.
  • Milk thistle is one of the few substances that can increase the glutathione content of the liver. Glutathione is an important antioxidant for efficient detoxification.
  • Milk thistle stimulates the regeneration of liver and kidney cells. This makes it valuable for conditions such as hepatitis, fatty liver, and cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Milk thistle is one of the beneficial herbs for stimulating the flow of bile, which is essential to good digestion and helpful in improving bowel elimination.
  • Milk thistle can help improve skin condition. Chronic cases of skin rashes, acne, eczema, and even some cases of psoriasis greatly improve when people take milk thistle.
  • Milk thistle may also help lower cholesterol level and lower insulin resistance and decrease the growth of cancer cell.

Note: A few studies show that a silymarin-phosphatidylcholine complex may be absorbed more easily than regular standardized milk thistle. Phosphatidylcholine is a key element in cell membranes. It helps silymarin attach easily to cell membranes, which may keep toxins from getting inside liver cells.

Side Effects: The only major concern with milk thistle is that a very high dosage can cause loose stools due to increased bile flow. If you have a sensitive digestive system, start with one capsule and gradually increase the dosage.


  • Milk thistle should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • People with a history of hormone-related cancers, including breast and uterine cancer and prostate cancer, should not take milk thistle.

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