Does Milk Thistle Help Your Liver

milk thistle liver detox


A close up of a green plant

Milk thistle is a plant belonging to the milkweed family. It has been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times and is an ingredient in many natural remedies. The milk thistle benefits have been recognized through scientific study, which has demonstrated milk thistle benefits for liver disease is real and plentiful enough to make milk thistle worth considering as a daily supplement. Milk thistle is a perennial plant that is native to the Mediterranean. It is a close relative of the artichoke and was used as a food item, as well as herbal medicine.


A bowl of food on a plate

The milk thistle benefits and history of the milk thistle plant ( Silybum marianum ) can be traced back more than 2000 years ago when it was first discovered on the island of Sicily by Greek physicians who brought this herb back with them to Europe. They used various names such as “holy thorn-apple,” “milk viper,” “sting-nose,” and “bearded milk thistle” (Weleda, 2000). The milk thistle benefits were first documented by the Greek physician Dioscorides who used this herb as a laxative and antidote to poisons. There are many milk thistle benefits and on this page, we will discuss some of these milk thistle benefits. A couple of them include the main milk thistle benefits for liver disease as well as those that also help with other diseases such as diabetes or cancer.

Here is a list of just some of the milk thistle benefits:

Reduces Liver Damage from Tylenol Overdose

Milk thistle benefits for liver disease have been tested in many different studies. One such study observed how milk thistle benefits were able to decrease the formation of a chemical known as “tissue necrosis factor-alpha” or TNF-alpha which can lead to damage and inflammation due to a Tylenol overdose.

Inhibits Liver Cancer Growth

Milk thistle benefits also include those that help with cancer as well as diabetes. In another study, scientists observed the milk thistle benefits on human liver cancer cells by determining that milk thistle inhibits cancer cell growth in vitro.

Decreases Blood Pressure

Milk thistle benefits that help decrease high blood pressure (Hypertension is a risk factor for heart disease). A similar study was done with hypertensive patients and it was noted that 24 weeks of milk thistle supplementation decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressures.

Promotes Liver Repair

Many studies have demonstrated milk thistle’s ability to regenerate liver cells in systemic disorders such as alcoholic fatty liver disease or hepatitis B and C.

Milk Thistle Benefits for Liver Disease

Many studies have demonstrated milk thistle’s ability to regenerate liver cells in systemic disorders such as alcoholic fatty liver disease or hepatitis B and C; milk thistle has also been shown to help with infectious diseases like HIV. Milk thistle benefits also include milk thistle benefits that help detoxify the body by increasing glutathione S-transferase which helps with the metabolization of drugs and toxins.

Protect against Liver Damage

Milk thistle has been used for centuries to protect against liver damage. It also protects the pancreas by shrinking inflamed tissue, inhibiting cell death of beta cells, and providing nutrients that help regenerate these damaged cells. Silymarin, the active ingredient in milk thistle, has been extensively studied and is widely used all over the world. It’s very safe with no side effects so you can take this supplement to protect your liver during chemotherapy treatment for cancer while still leaving room for conventional medicine to help fight off any cancer cells that may be left.

Supports bone health

Milk Thistle has long been regarded as a powerful, liver-protective herb. Milk Thistle strengthens bone with its rich vitamin K content which strengthens cartilage and is crucial for healthy bones. In particular, Vitamin K prevents bones from weakening due to calcium excretion. Milk Thistle is considered a liver tonic herb. The milk thistle plant can be harvested for its seeds, which are dried and crushed before being processed into supplements.

Side-Effects of Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle helps in regenerating liver cells which helps with fatty liver disease and hepatitis B and C. Milk thistle can have negative interactions with drugs such as anticoagulants, diabetes medication, and blood thinners. Ingesting too much of it can cause bloating or an upset stomach so should be taken in the recommended amount. Caution should be taken when milk thistle benefits lactating or pregnant mothers because milk thistle is a rich source of phytoestrogens.


Milk Thistle is a herb that has been used for centuries to treat liver disease. It contains silymarin, which works by increasing the activity of glutathione S-transferase and bile salt hydrolase. Milk thistle also helps regenerate liver cells so it can be effective in treating a fatty liver disease or hepatitis B/C. This herb may reduce fatigue, nausea, vomiting, neurotoxicity, cardiotoxicity dermatitis, and weight loss associated with chemotherapy treatments as well as side effects from anticoagulants diabetes medication, or blood thinners. Caution should be taken when milk thistle is given to lactating mothers because it is rich in phytoestrogens.

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