EN on Herbs

April 2001 Issue

Milk Thistle: Herbal Hero to the Liver

Commonly called milk thistle because its white veins yield a milky sap, Silybum marianum is known also as St. Mary’s thistle, Marian thistle and holy thistle, not to be confused with blessed thistle, an entirely different plant. Its fruits (not seeds) have been used for 2,000 years to treat liver ailments. What It Might Do: In Germany, milk thistle is approved to treat chronic liver diseases (e.g., hepatitis, cirrhosis) and for toxic damage arising from alcohol, acetaminophen, other drugs and environmental

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