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Milk Thistle, also known as Silybum marianum, is a flowering herb of the Asteraceae family (which also includes sunflowers and daisies) that is believed to possess antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. Native to Mediterranean countries, the Milk Thistle plant is noted for its red or purple flowers, pale green leaves and white veins. The name "Milk Thistle" refers to these white veins as well as the milky-white liquid that seeps from the plant's leaves when they are crushed.
Traditionally, Milk Thistle has a history of usage in the Middle East and Europe as well as noted appearances in traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda that dates back almost 2000 years. The most common documented Milk Thistle uses in traditional medicine are its ability to act as an all natural detoxifier, support liver health and protect against environmental toxins.
Uses and benefits of Milk Thistle may include:
Both in vitro and animal research suggest that Milk Thistle may have hepatoprotective (antihepatotoxic) properties that protect liver cells against toxins. Early studies suggest that silymarin, the active ingredient extracted from Milk Thistle seeds, may increase the rate of protein synthesis in liver cells as well as promote repair to those cells after injury. Most recently, researchers concluded in a 2016 study that silymarin may improve liver damage caused by diet due to Milk Thistle's anti inflammatory properties. While no human control studies exist due to ethical reasons, case studies have even indicated that Milk Thistle Extract may be used against Death Cap (Amanita phalloides) mushroom poisoning which can be lethal shortly after ingestion due to its phallotoxins.
As an antioxidant, Milk Thistle Extract may fight free radical damage as well as promote anti-aging and healthier skin. In 2008, The Department of Dermatology at the University of Alabama Birmingham noted in one mice study that those that were exposed to strong UV light and were given a Milk Thistle extract supplement showed less damage on the skin than mice that were not given a Milk Thistle extract supplement.
Milk Thistle may support a healthy immune system and promote cellular function. In a study conducted in 2002, researchers concluded that Milk Thistle is immunostimulatory in vitro. As a result, it is suggested that Milk Thistle extract may increase immunity and support overall health. A later 2016 animal study of Silybum marianum found very similar results.
Silymarin is the active extract ingredient that is believed to be responsible for Milk Thistle's benefits. Silymarin is comprised of the following flavonolignans listed below which are considered unique to the Milk Thistle plant:
While Milk Thistle seeds can be eaten raw or made into tea or tincture, most people choose to take a high quality Milk Thistle supplement in order to obtain a higher concentrated dose of the active ingredient silymarin. Because of this, Nootropics Depot chooses to only offer a 4:1 ethanol extract of Milk Thistle, which provides concentrated amounts of the active, beneficial ingredient silymarin. Unfortunately, other Milk Thistle supplements on the market are either not a true extract, or use more volatile solvents in the extraction process. Using ethanol to create a 4:1 extract is not the cheapest extraction method, but leads to the best Milk Thistle supplement available on the market. Additionally, it is important to note that most clinical studies regarding Milk Thistle use an ethanol extract that features high concentrations of silymarin.
As a dietary supplement, take 250mg of Milk Thistle Extract once daily.
Nootropics Depot offers 30g or 60g jars of high quality Milk Thistle Powder (4:1 Extract). Nootropics Depot's Milk Thistle has been lab-tested and verified for both product purity and identity.
To gain more insight, read the Milk Thistle reviews and experiences below.
Also Known As: Marian thistle, Mary thistle, St Mary’s thistle, Our Lady’s thistle, Holy thistle, Sow thistle, Blessed Virgin thistle, Christ’s crown, Venue thistle, Heal thistle, Variegated Thistle, Silybum marianum
Attention: This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It has not been approved, nor have these statements been evaluated, by the FDA.
I used to previously buy 80% silymarin capsules on Amazon but I can poop just as well with one of these per night as I could with three with the other brand. Good, potent stuff. Great liver detox and good for IBS-C. srubek on 18th Jun 2017
Stuff is potent and extremely high quality based on my experience! Don't use this unless you are serious about cleansing as everything in the liver will start dumping into the blood so that could be good or bad based on what's floating - i've used milk thistle in the past and i never got such an immediate response and within a couple hours thought i was catching a cold...i never did but felt like crap from the toxins...just use wisely! Patrick on 15th May 2017