Silymarin: Your guide to buying the extract of Milk Thistle

Our lifestyle has changed so much over the years that eating healthy is not merely enough. We stress a lot about including antioxidants in our daily diet so that toxins can be flushed out easily. But in addition to the foods we consume, taking supplements proves necessary. One such powerful antioxidant that has gained significant attention is ‘silymarin.’

Milk Thistle

Derivation of silymarin

If you have heard of milk thistle, silymarin is a very active extract. But do not make the mistake of thinking both as the same, for ‘silybum marianum’ (milk thistle, in scientific terms) is a popular herbal supplement. This originated from the spiky plant in purple that was characteristic of Southern Europe and Asia, but gradually the species became available throughout the world.

Silymarin is a vital part of traditional Chinese medicine, though other thistles like ‘Da Ji’ and ‘Xiao Ji’ are more frequently mentioned in the medical texts. But one thing is transparent- early Mediterranean and European practices in medicine helped derive this extract from the seeds of the milk thistle plant. From the botanical point of view, it belongs to ‘Asteraceae,’ a family of Angiosperm comprising asters, sunflowers, and daisies.


Recommendations from experts

Given the inconsistency in literature as regards the nomenclature of silymarin-derived compounds, Kroll and others have offered their recommendations, which include:

  • Silymarin is the total extract that contains taxifolin and flavonolignans
  • Silymarin is a mixture of silybin A and silybin B in the ratio of 1:1
  • Flavonoid vcompiund contrained here is taxifolin
  • Other flavonolignans are- isosilybin A, isosilybin B, silychristin, isosilychristin and silydianin

There are so many benefits from this herb that was unknown at the time of its discovery. Known primarily for treating inflammatory conditions of the liver like hepatitis, cirrhosis, and fatty infiltration, mainly caused by toxins and alcohol, acne miracles also happen when taking silymarin.

List of benefits

Silymarin and other compounds of Milk Thistle know for the following benefits:

  • Acting as a potent antioxidant

With its antioxidant properties, silymarin prevents free radicals, leukotrienes, and so on. The damage to the body cells by the process of oxidation is inevitable, which is why antioxidants are vital to the body’s functioning. Thankfully, liver cell damage is reduced, anti-radiation functions are fulfilled, the liver cell membrane is protected, and peritonitis inhibits. Now you know how the liver cells damaged by alcohol or drugs can be regenerated.

  • Decongestion of liver

With silymarin, bile flow stimulates via the liver and gall bladder, which helps reduce stagnation and stops the risk of gall stone formation, leading to bile-induced damage to the liver. After all, it’s a lover decongestant.

  • Cures liver diseases

Restoring functions of the liver constitutes a vital aspect of silymarin. For liver recovery and restoration, new cell growth stimulates; thus, the proteins synthesize this way. Using silymarin, protection and stabilization of the liver cells are possible, which in turn helps cure hepatomegaly, hepatocirrhosis, cirrhosis, hepatitis, and so on. Most patients show early signs of recovery soon after they take the herb.

  • Treatment for chronic and C-hepatitis

As a remedy to both chronic and C-hepatitis, silymarin can be effective. The herb is a boon for patients who have had a harrowing ordeal with common medicines mentioned in prescriptions. Even in patients with chronic hepatitis, the results showed quickly, thus preventing the occurrence of liver cancer.

  • Shaping Liver Index

Silymarin is the way to go when treating dangerous problems like GPT, GOT, ALT, AST, and so on.

  • Bile secretion adjusting

Silymarin supplements chose for patients with difficulties adjusting their bile secretion or metabolism of lipids and tonifying the vital organs like the spleen, stomach, gall bladder, kidney, and liver.

  • Detoxification

Few medicines prescribed to patients can prove fatal. Under such circumstances, silymarin detoxifies the effect.

These aren’t enough. Even when it comes to rendering protection against industrial hazards like carbon tetrachloride or pharmaceuticals causing stress to the liver (like tetracycline and acetaminophen), silymarin works wonders.

So one can use it as a natural antioxidant or supplement or whatever suits the user’s convenience, as long as the herb’s efficacy is intact.