Norton Shopping Guarantee
    Need Help? 1-800-644-8327      |   APPLY WEBCODE  
CHECKOUT Return To Cart  
milk thistle mortar pestle herbalist

Milk Thistle – 8 Basics About the Natural Liver King

It’s one of the most well-known herbs and has been used medicinally for centuries. Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is named for its white veins, large prickly leaves and milky sap that oozes from its leaves when they’re broken.

Milk thistle bears bright purple flowers and is originally native to southern Europe and Asia but is now found around the world. Early colonist brought milk thistle to the New World.

Other names for milk thistle include: blessed milk thistle, Marian thistle, holy thistle, Mary thistle, Saint Mary’s thistle, Mediterranean milk thistle, variegated thistle and Scotch thistle.

In This Healthy Insight:

  1. What It Is
  2. Ideal For
  3. What Is in It?
  4. What is Milk Thistle Used For?
  5. The Unsung Hero… Show Your Liver Some Love!
  6. Lifestyle Changes to Keep Your Liver Healthy
  7. Available forms of Milk Thistle
  8. Who Should Avoid Taking Milk Thistle?
milk thistle

What It Is:

Often considered an invasive, noxious weed, milk thistle is a flowering herb that grows to up to 6 feet in height and is commonly found along roadsides or pastures. Herbalists use the plant’s seeds for their remedies.

Ideal For:

Men and women concerned about supporting and protecting liver health.

What Is in It?

There are three active constituents in milk thistle seeds, namely silibinin (silybin), silychristin, and silidianin, collectively known as silymarin, which is extracted from the dried milk thistle seeds.

Milk thistle seeds also deliver trace amounts of essential minerals like potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and chloride. In a tea, milk thistle is chock-full of antioxidants, with similar content as green tea.

herbalist mortar pestle milk thistle

What is Milk Thistle Used For?

Due to its antioxidants, milk thistle traditionally has been used for liver health, potentially acting as a protector against toxins.

Milk thistle works well with dandelion, and you’ll often see these two combined since dandelion supports both digestion and liver health. This is important since individuals concerned about their liver often have digestive issues too.

The Unsung Hero…Show Your Liver Some Love!

Most of us don’t think about our liver at all until there’s a problem. It quietly works in the background to keep things flowing smoothly. Show some love to this hard-working organ. Just look at all it does.

  • It does double duty; it’s an organ and a gland. Glands are a group of cells that produce and release different hormones that target various bodily functions. They’re located all over your body: neck, brain, and reproductive organs to name a few. 
  • It’s the second largest organ besides your skin.
  • It’s very bloody. Your liver holds about 10 percent of your body’s blood and pumps about 1 ½  quarts of blood through itself…every minute of every day.  
  • It’s heavy, weighing about 3 pounds and is about the size of a football.
  • It’s a true multi-tasker. Your liver performs over 400 functions including supplying glucose to the brain, fighting infections and storing nutrients.
  • It’s the only organ that can completely regenerate. If you were to donate half of your liver to someone in need, your liver would return to its original size in only two weeks!
  • You can have liver issues and not know it even if your liver tests are normal.
  • It detoxifies. Your liver detoxifies harmful things we ingest like alcohol, drugs and other toxins from food and drinks.
  • Almost all medicines are processed by your liver. This includes over-the-counter painkillers and prescription drugs. Your liver breaks them down into a form that your body can actually use.
middle aged man

Lifestyle Changes to Keep Your Liver Healthy

  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Stop smoking

Available forms of Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is sold in capsules, tablets and liquid extract form. It’s often founded blended into custom formulas that support liver health.

Who Should Avoid Taking Milk Thistle?

Milk thistle should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women. People with a history of hormone-related cancers, including breast, uterine, and prostate cancer, should not take milk thistle. DO NOT take milk thistle if you are allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, chamomile, yarrow, or daisies.

browse milk thistle

Related Products

View All

Click here to resubscribe!