Milk Thistle


Milk Thistle is one of the best-researched herbs, but conventional medicine remains resistant to its wider use.

Standardised extracts from the seeds of the plant are used to make tablets and capsules.

It is a more powerful antioxidant than both vitamin C and vitamin E.


Milk thistle protects against liver damage from alcohol, hepatitis and chemical toxins; regenerates already damaged liver tissue.

It is used for all liver disorders such as jaundice and hepatitis, and liver damage due to drugs and alcohol.

It protects the liver and helps fight the effects of pollution and free radical damage.

It has become a popular remedy for hangovers. Taken before you go out on the town it will protect you from the worse effects of alcohol. Take it after you get home it will get you back to normal more quickly. In any case, drink plenty of water to flush out the poisons and combat dehydration.

Some cancer treatments are toxic to the liver, and milk thistle may help to fight these effects. Investigations into this possibility are continuing.


A normal dose is 200 to 400 mg of silymarin (its active part) a day, but up to 600 mg is not unusual.


There are few side effects, if any. It has an occasional mild laxative action.

It has been used successfully for centuries and its actions have been thoroughly investigated for 30 years or more.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.