Milk Thistle For Liver Detoxification?Family: Asteraceae
Genus and Species: Silybum marianum
Today, milk thistle is best known as a producer of liver protectant known as silymarin, a group of milk thistle flavonoids. The milk thistle in commerce is a standardized extracts prepared from the fruits (seeds) of Silybum marianum. Like Ginkgo biloba, milk thistle is required to be standardized and rendered to concentrated forms to be effectively used for desired medicinal purposes, which, in this case, is as a hepatoprotectant. In general, milk thistle extracts are standardized to a concentration of 70-80% of flavone lignans including isosilybinin, silybinin, silychristin, and silydianin, which are collectively called silymarin.
Milk Thistle For Liver Detoxification
German Commission E approved the internal use of crude milk thistle fruit preparations for dyspeptic complaints. Standardized extracts (usually ranging in silymarin concentration from 70 to 80%) are approved for toxic liver damage and as a supportive treatment for chronic inflammatory liver disease and hepatic cirrhosis.
Dose: 12-15 grams per day of powdered seed is recommended for making infusions or other preparations to be taken orally. For standardized extract, 200-400 mg of silymarine per day is recommended.
Side Effects: No side effects are known for crude preparation, as milk thistle is a food, and a relative of artichoke. For standardized extract with high concentration of sylimarine, a mild laxative effect has been observed occasionally.
Chemistry and Pharmacology Of Milk ThistleA rather complete chemical composition list of milk thistle can be found in Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Milk thisle seeds contain 1.5-3% flavonolignans, collectively called silymarin; 20-30% fixed oils, of which approximately 60% is linoleic acid, approximately 30% is oleic acid, and approximately 9% is palmitic acid; 25-30% protein; 0.038% tocopherol; 0.63% sterols, including choleterol, campeterol, stigmasterol, and sitosterol; and some mucilage. [Herbal Medicine - Expanded Commission E monographs, by Mark Blumenthal, Alicia Goldberg, and Josef Brinckmann, first edition, 2000]. Silymarin's constituents are isosilybinin, silybinin, silychristin, and silydianin, of which silybinin accounts for approximately 50% of silymarin. [Dr. Duke's Essential Herbs, by James A Duke, 1999].
There have been very few clinical tests on milk thistle or any herb for women at pregnancy. Thus, although an extremely safe herb and food, milk thistle is recommended against women who are pregnant or lactating largely due to the lack of data and our ignorance.
Milk Thistle Protects Liver FunctionAs a mild food and herb, milk thistle's anecdotes and folklores may not be as fancy and splendid as those of ginseng or ginkgo. Unlike the latter two herbs, milk tistle is strictly non-Asian, and has been used in the regions surrounding the Mediterranean. Medicinal efficacies of milk thistle fruits and seeds for protecting the liver and helping with various ailments associated with liver function have been known and exploited for more than two thousand years, even before the preparation methods for standardized extracts were available.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
I found this great article on Milk Thistle to detoxify the liver, as with everything else I post, please do your own research.
Posted by Sally Danforth at 7:56 PM