Silymarin (commonly known as milk thistle) is an extract that is made from the milk thistle plant. This plant has anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant components that helps protect the body cells from damage. These two components are what make silymarin have the potential health benefits.Further information about silymarin are included in the article Silymarin and Silymarin Benefits
It is often taken to combat the chronic liver disease that is caused by either alcohol or viral hepatitis, which is a type of disease. It is also used in the prevention of scarring of liver thus improving the general liver function.
How is Silymarin used
Silymarin is a healthy extract of the seeds of the milk thistle plant. A standardized extract of silymarin should be 80% silymarin that is the active ingredient. Study shows that its shelf life is about three months. The usual dosage of the milk thistle extract is between 300 milligrams and 600 milligrams daily. The milk thistle does not dissolve easily in water, so the milk thistle tea is recommended.
Silymarin side effects
It should thus be noted that there are no any clearly documented serious side effect of the silymarin extract. Even very high doses do not seem to have any negative effect. However, people who are allergic to skin or blood are cautioned on the use of the extract. It should be avoided in people with known allergy or sensitive to the milk thistle, whether its parts or to any member of its plant family. To get more details about silymarin dosage can avoid some side effect.
The side Effects and Warnings
- The milk thistle is likely safe when taken in recommended doses for 4-6 years.
- The milk thistle may cause allergic skin reactions, bloating, blood clots, collapse, constipation, fever, gas, and heartburn.
- It may lower the blood sugar levels. A caution is always given to people with diabetes or low blood sugar and for those taking drugs, herbs or supplements that affect the blood sugar.
- The milk thistle should be cautiously used in pregnant or breastfeeding women due lack of sufficient evidence to support the safe use.
However, silymarin has been traditionally used to improve the flow of breast milk in pregnant women with a lack of any reported side effect.