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What Is Milk Thistle & What Are Its Benefits?

Milk thistle is a flower-bearing herb belonging to the family of ragweed. It originated in Mediterranean nations. It is also called by various other names such as holy Thistle and Mary thistle. 

Milk thistle is a natural treatment for the liver. It is useful in various liver ailments such as cirrhosis, hepatitis, fatty liver, jaundice, and gallbladder disorders. Let us learn more about milk thistle benefits.

What makes Milk Thistle Beneficial?

Milk Thistle has an active ingredient named “Silymarin” that possesses remarkable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This makes milk thistle effective in reducing cholesterol levels and treating Type 2 diabetes and liver cirrhosis. 

About Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is a purely natural and herbal remedy. It is obtained from a prickly plant named Silybummarianum. This plant provides unique purple-coloured flowers. Milk thistle has active plant compounds called “silymarin.” The total amount of silymarin present in the milk thistle extract is between 65% to 80%

Due to the high antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties in silymarin, milk thistle has been used as a traditional remedy to treat gall bladder disorders, liver issues, cancer, snake bites, environmental poisons, etc. It helps detoxify the liver and stimulate the production of breast milk in the body. 

Nutrition Facts

Nutritional Info in 100 grams of Milk Thistle




485 calories


37 g

Dietary Fiber


23 g


26 g


What Is The Ideal Dosage Of Milk Thistle?

There is no specific dosage of milk dosage to treat a variety of health issues. There are several ways to consume milk dosages, such as capsules, oral tinctures, tea, and tablets. The ideal milk thistle dosage ranges from 175 mg to 1,000 mg

It is best to limit your consumption of milk thistle tea to six cups a day. Keep in mind that excess dose can lead to severe side effects in the body. It is recommended to always check with your doctor about the right dosage to treat your health issue. 

Are There Any Side Effects Of Consuming Milk Thistle?

Milk Thistle is generally safe. However, its higher dose for extended periods can lead to gut disturbances and other adverse reactions in the body. Following are the side effects of milk thistle:

  • Diarrheoa 
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Headache

Due to milk thistle side effects, the following categories of people are advised to remain cautious about its consumption. 

  • Pregnant women: Milk thistle can cause estrogenic effects in the body that can aggravate your hormone-sensitive conditions. Due to this reason, pregnant women should always check with the doctor before including milk thistle in the diet. 
  • People who are allergic to the Compositae/ Asteraceae family can suffer from an allergic reaction. 
  • Milk Thistle has blood glucose-lowering properties that can excessively reduce blood sugar levels in a diabetic patient. 
  • Milk thistle is not advised in an estrogen-sensitive condition such as breast cancer. So, women who suffer from this ailment should avoid milk thistle. 

When Should You Reach To A Doctor?

If you experience the following side effects on exceeding the milk thistle dosage for fatty liver, then you should seek emergency care. 

  • Shortness of breath 
  • Hives
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rash
  • Lightheadedness
  • Swelling of the tongue, neck, or face

If the condition is not treated on time, it can even lead to shock, cardiac, respiratory failure, coma, or death.

The Milk Thistle is used for various medical and health conditions stated below:

Medical Condition


Supporting Liver

Milk Thistle counters the adverse effect of alcohol on the liver.

Type 2 Diabetes

Improves the glucose levels in the blood and reduces oxidative inflammation.


To prevent from Gallstones, have milk Thistle.


Inflammation if the airways are reduced protecting from such allergies.


It works as an antioxidant, providing an anti-aging effect.

Health Benefit Of Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is a perennial herb that is touted for its exemplary medicinal attributes. Below is a complete list of milk thistle health benefits.

#1. Keeps Liver Healthy

Milk thistle is useful in the treatment of liver issues; it is promoted for liver-protecting attributes. Many doctors advise milk Thistle for liver repair. It is an efficient natural remedy to prevent any damage that is caused due to a low diet.

The herb contains an active ingredient, silymarin, that serves as an antioxidant. It helps lower the production of free radicals that are produced when the liver digests toxic substances. Furthermore, milk thistle detoxifies the human livers and aids in liver issues.

It is used as a complementary therapy to treat liver damage caused due to alcoholic liver disease, hepatitis, liver cancer, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Milk thistle for the liver safeguards the liver against amatoxin secreted by the deadly mushroom when ingested.

Studies have also shown that milk thistle enhances liver function in those who suffer from liver ailments. It could lessen damage and inflammation to the liver. Milk thistle is also known to extend people’s lifespan who suffer from liver cirrhosis due to alcoholic liver disease. 

#2. Promotes Skin Health

Milk thistle oil also helps enhance overall skin health. It exhibits inflammatory skin conditions that can help promote healthy skin. Milk thistle shows superior anti-ageing and antioxidant effects on skin that improves the state of the skin.

#3. Leads To Weight Loss

When you take milk Thistle for digestion, it helps lower body weight in the person. Silymarin is responsible for managing body weight naturally and safely. Due to this property, it is beneficial for people who suffer from excess body weight.  

#4. Lowers Cholesterol

Another essential benefit of Milk Thistle is that it reduces high cholesterol levels in the body. It improves heart health and reduces the chances of stroke in the person.

#5. Lowers Insulin Resistance

The extract of milk Thistle is effective at lowering insulin resistance in the body. This property of milk thistle is beneficial in the management of type II diabetes.

#6. Supports Bone Health

Drinking milk thistle tea regularly aids in the prevention of bone density caused by estrogen deficiency. In this way, milk thistle plays an important role that helps support bone health. 

Milk thistle works by stimulating the mineralization of bones in the body and protecting against progressive bone loss. Due to this property, it is useful in osteoporosis that leads to fragile and weak bones.

#7. Reduces The Spread Of Cancer

Milk thistle halts the spread of specific types of cancerous cells in the body. Extract of this fabulous herb shows remarkable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that inhibit the spread of colorectal cancer in the body.

#8. Improves Cognition

Milk thistle improves resistance towards oxidative stress, which is the leading cause behind Alzheimer’s disease. This herb helps enhance cognition in the body. It is a proven remedy to cure age-related decline in brain function. 

It is also beneficial to treat neurological conditions that include Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease for more than two thousand years. Its remarkable neuroprotective properties prevent oxidative damage and deterioration of mental abilities in the body. 

Research has proved that milk thistle lowers the level of amyloid plaques in the brains of animals. They are sticky clusters that can deposit between nerve cells with passing age.

#9. Reduces Allergic Symptoms 

The active ingredient present in the herb exhibits potent anti-inflammatory benefits that protect the air passage affected by allergic asthma in people. Silymarin is beneficial in the treatment of these asthma signs in humans.


The presence of a powerful antioxidant, silymarin, makes milk thistle a very healthy supplement. It is a safe supplement that treats several conditions, including liver disease, diabetes, and cancer. 

Use this fascinating herb as a complementary therapy alongside your conventional treatments to reap milk thistle benefits. It’s good to always consult a medical professional before incorporating milk thistle in your medication routine.

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