Liver disease

For the past two decades, milk thistle has been researched for its chemical, pharmacological and medical benefits and the results have shown its incredible remedial value for those suffering from liver diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. The anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of Silymarin, or more specifically its active ingredient, silibinin protects the liver cells from damage by preventing toxins from entering the cells and removing toxins that have been introduced into the liver cells. It is also known to repair and regenerate cells by increasing the rate at which RNA (Ribonucleic acid) is synthesised. RNA is a nucleic acid which is present in all living cells and plays an essential role in producing proteins. The generated protein is vital for cell repair and regeneration.

Further studies have shown that milk thistle can raise the levels of glutathione by 30%. Glutathione plays a vital role in detoxifying the liver so that the liver can effectively cleanse the body and eliminate toxins.

These properties make milk thistle powerfully effective in aiding, protecting and/or healing the liver from:

  • Liver diseases like viral hepatitis and cirrhosis
  • Exposure to chemical contaminants and synthetic chemicals
  • Toxic side effects of medication
  • Ravages from rich foods and alcohol

Milk thistle can also aid and alleviate symptoms for those suffering from:

  • HIV infection who are taking a variety of drugs
  • Varicose veins and haemorrhoids
  • The side effects of chemotherapy


Silymarin has also been shown to control and lower LDL (low density lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol and increase HDL (high density lipoprotein) or good cholesterol. A build up of LDL causes fatty deposits in the arteries which increases the effort of the heart to pump blood through these narrow openings. Eventually they may block up completely so that the blood clots around them and causes heart attacks. Milk thistle aids the heart by processing and removing these fatty acids before they can cause damage and restoring the balance of HDL and LDL cholesterol in the system.


Milk thistle increases the amount of bile that your body uses. Bile is produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. It is used to break down fats in the intestines and to lubricate the intestines before being expelled as waste. However, sometimes there is a build up of these fatty waste products which eventually create gallstones. Because milk thistle aids in removing waste from the body, it prevents the formation of gallstones.


Recent studies are showing that the silibinin in the silymarin may slow the growth of cancer cells, prevent communication to pathogenic cells to invade and multiply in healthy cells and hinder the development of blood vessels that surround and feed malignant tumours.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Milk thistle can help IBS sufferers in a number of ways. As it is a mild laxative and increases the production of bile in the liver, it keeps the bowel movements regular and soft as well as calming the symptoms of IBS. These can include pain, cramping, diarrhoea or constipation.

Skin Conditions

The liver is the filtering and cleansing organ of the body and if it cannot perform this function properly, toxins build up in the blood which can have far reaching results on the entire system, including the skin. Conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis can develop and become sorely incapacitating.

One of milk thistle’s main benefits is its ability to regenerate and repair cells. By reversing the damage in liver cells and encouraging the growth of new ones, milk thistle makes it possible for the liver to continue ridding the body of toxins, including those which contribute to the various skin diseases.

Milk thistle is also a demulcent (soothing, oily substance which softens and moistens the skin) and this makes it excellent for reversing the effects of dry or inflamed skin and acne.