Dietary supplements with silymarin
Milkthistle is an annual to biennial thistle‑like plant native to the Mediterranean region, where it has been used medicinally for more than 2 millennia. The active ingredient is silymarin, which is the collective name for several types of flavonolignans. Milk thistle is classified as an antioxidant.
Effects of milk thistle
Milk thistle is particularly known for its effects on normal liver function. Its antioxidant and anti‑inflammatory effects, as well as its action against collagen deposition in the liver. In addition, milk thistle can:
- help reduce acne,
- increase breast milk production,
- help regulate blood sugar,
- support normal cardiovascular function,
- support the normal function of the immune system.
Milk thistle is generally considered safe even with long‑term use. Exceptionally, it may cause digestive problems such as diarrhoea, nausea or bloating. Its use is not recommended for pregnant women.
Taking milk thistle
The effects of milk thistle depend on the amount of silymarin contained in the chosen dietary supplement. In this respect, the most effective form is the extract, which is usually standardised to contain 80 % silymarin and can be purchased in tablet or capsule form. Another option is to take milk thistle in the form of tea or oil. The recommended daily dose is 200‑400 mg of silymarin, which means 250‑500 mg of standardised extract.
Milk thistle can also be successfully cultivated in our conditions. The harvested thistle seeds are then ground or crushed and used to make tincture, tea or oil.