Milk Thistle

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Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn.)

Parts used: the mature fruit, devoid of the pappus

Constituents: silymarin (a flavonal lignan mixture), flavonoids, fatty oil

Pharmacopoeia Standard: the dried fruit should contain no less than 1.5 per cent of silymarin (silibinin)

Actions: bitter, cholagogue, hepatoprotective

Indications: loss of appetite, dyspepsia, toxic liver damage, cirrhosis, chronic inflammatory liver disease.

Applications: Milk thistle has a powerful protective action on the liver. Silymarin helps prevent the penetration of toxins into the liver cells and also stimulates the regenerative ability of the liver. It is used as an antidote to Death Cap mushroom poisoning.

Dosage: 450mg three times a day.


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Christine Haughton, MA MNIMH MCPP FRSPH

Wold Farm, West Heslerton, Malton, North Yorkshire YO17 8RY, UK

Last updated 27th November 2014     ęPurple Sage Botanicals