Milk thistle (silymarin) is a flowering herb related to the daisy and ragweed family. It is native to Mediterranean countries.
Milk thistle is sometimes used as a natural treatment for liver problems. These liver problems include cirrhosis, jaundice, hepatitis, and gallbladder disorders.
- May provide heart benefits by lowering cholesterol levels
- May help diabetes in people who have type 2 diabetes and cirrhosis
Silymarin is the main active ingredient in milk thistle. Silymarin is both an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Some early research suggests milk thistle may aid people with alcohol-related liver disease.
Some studies also show milk thistle may offer a possible benefit for people whose liver is damaged by industrial toxins, such as toluene and xylene.