Active Ingredients: Silymarin derived from Silibum Marianum (Milk Thistle, Bulgarian White Thorn)
Therapeutic actions: Silymarin provides hepatocellular protection by stabilizing hepatic cell membranes. It alter the structure of the outer cell membrane of the hepatocytes in such a way as to prevent the penetration of the liver toxins into interior of the cell. The stimulation effect on nucleolar polymerase A results in an increase in ribosomal protein synthesis, and thus increase the regenerative ability of the liver and the formation of new hepatocytes. Other actions include interruption of enterohepatic recirculation of toxins and regeneration of damaged hepatocytes.
Indications: Liver Cell Growth-Silymarin from milk thistle appears to promote the growth of some types of cells in the liver. Milk thistle is not used to prevent Hepatitis C Virus from causing liver disease. Rather, milk thistle is used with the hope that it would minimize the damage to the liver that HCV can cause.
Antihepatotoxic Activity-Studies suggest that silymarin from milk thistle can block various types of toxins from entering and injuring liver cells.
Antioxidation-Milk thistle Silymarin may be an effective “antioxidant,” which means milk thistle may help fight a destructive chemical process in the body known as “oxidation.” In oxidation, harmful substances produced in the body (called free radicals) can damage cells. Some studies suggest that milk thistle silymarin can prevent these substances from damaging liver cells.
Inflammation Inhibition-Milk thistle’s Silymarin is thought to prevent inflammation (swelling) of the liver; this may be described as displaying anti-inflammatory properties.
Contraindications and cautions: On the basis of its extensive use as a food, Milk Thistle is believed to be safe for pregnant or nursing women and researchers have enrolled pregnant women in studies. However, safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, and individuals with severe renal disease has not been formally established.
Adverse effects: The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
People with allergies to plants in the aster family (Compositea, Asteraceae) or to the common thistle or any of its constituents (silybin, silychristin, silydianin, silymonin, siliandrin) may have allergic reactions to milk thistle. Anaphylactic shock (a severe allergic reaction) from milk thisle tea occurred in one person who also had a kiwi fruit allergy.
Common: Diarrhea caused by mild laxative effect, uterine and menstrual stimulation.
Case report: One report of a patient who experienced intermittent episodes of sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, weakness and collapse that resolved after discontinuation of supplement.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the drug’s manufacturer.
Interactions: Tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine.
One report has noted that silybinin (a constituent of silymarin) can inhibit a bacterial enzyme called beta-glucuronidase, which plays a role in the activity of certain drugs, such as oral contraceptives.31 This could reduce their effectiveness.
If you are taking:
Milk thistle may reduce their effectiveness.
Medications that could damage the liver:
Milk thistle might be protective.
Interactions With Herbs And Dietary Supplements
Milk thistle may lower blood sugar levels. People using other herbs or supplements that may affect blood sugar levels, such as bitter melon (Momordica charantia), should be monitored closely by their health care provider while using milk thistle. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
Silymarin and vitamin E have been shown to prevent amiodarone toxicity in studies done in animals, but before this herb is used for this indication, further studies in humans must be done.
Additional Information: DO NOT SHARE THIS MEDICINE with others. DO NOT USE THIS MEDICINE for other health conditions. KEEP THIS PRODUCT, as well as syringes and needles, if needed during treatment, out of the reach of children. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials.