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Holisticonline.com

Herb Information
Name: Milk Thistle
Biological Name: Carduus marianum, Carduus Silybum

Compositae

Other Names: Milk Thistle
Parts Used: The seeds
Active Compounds:  

Flavolignans; the mixture of these is known as silymarin and composed mainly of silybin (=silibinin), with isosilybin, dihydrosilybin, silydianin, silychristin, and in some varieties at least, silandrin, silymonin, silyhermin and neosilyhermin.

History:

Historically this herb has been used in Europe as a liver tonic and current phytotherapy indicates its use in a whole range of liver and gall bladder conditions including hepatitis and cirrhosis.

Remedies For

Hepatic, galactogogue, demulcent, cholagogue.

Milk Thistle is used to increase the secretion and flow of bile from the liver and gall-bladder. Its traditional use as a liver tonic has been supported by research showing that it contains constituents which protect liver cells from chemical damage. Used in a variety of liver and gall bladder conditions including hepatitis and cirrhosis. Also used in the treatment of chronic uterine problems. Research done in Germany showed that milk thistle reverses toxic liver damage as well as protection from potential hepatotoxic agents.

A number of chemical components of herb are now being shown to have this protective effect on liver cells. They are all flavones and flavo-lignins, the best studied being silymarin. Silymarin has been shown to reverse the effects of highly toxic alkaloids, such phalloidine and a-amanitine from the Avenging Angel mushroom (Amanita phalloides) as well as protect liver cells from their impact. The pharmacodynamics, site and mechanism of action of silymarin are becoming well understood, providing insights into the metabolic basis of this herbs activity., an activity long known and used by medical herbalists. As its name implies, it promotes milk secretion and is perfectly safe to be used by all breast feeding mothers.

Dosage: 

Infusion: Pour a cup of boiling water onto 1 teaspoonful of the ground seeds and let infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.

Tincture: 1-2 ml three times a day.

Safety: 

No information available. Some herbs are known to react with your medication. Please consult your physician before starting on any herb.

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