Starwest Botanicals Milk Thistle Leaf C/S Organic

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Information At-A-Glance

  • Milk Thistle is a powerful antioxidant
  • Milk Thistle is well known for its liver protective and regenerative properties
  • Milk Thistle may also improve insulin sensitivity, support gallbladder health, promote breast milk production and so much more!


Milk Thistle Leaf (Silybum marianum)

Latin Name: Silybum marianum 
Common Names: Milk Thistle Leaf

Milk Thistle Leaf, also known as Silybum marianum, is native to the Mediterranean region and grows wild throughout Europe, North America and Australia. It got the name Milk Thistle Leaf because it grows with white veins appearing as though milk were spilled upon them. According to many legends, this appearance of milk is actually the milk of the Virgin Mary.

The plant once was cultivated, with its young leaves being used as a salad in the spring, or sometimes boiled. The young stalks of the Silybum marianum were peeled, and soaked in water to make them less bitter. The second spring the root is eaten like salsify, and the receptacle is pulpy, tasting and eaten much like artichokes.

Researchers have found that milk thistle improves insulin resistance. It has traditionally been used to treat liver and gallbladder disorders, promote breast milk production, prevent and treat cancer and even protect the liver from snake bites, alcohol and other environmental poisons. Although more research is needed on how it works, milk thistle is thought to reduce damage to the liver caused by free radicals, which are produced when your liver metabolizes toxic substances.  Milk Thistle has also been shown to effectively remove glyphosate from the body.  in experimental test-tube and animal studies, milk thistle was shown to stimulate bone mineralization so may potentially be protective against bone loss.

It’s been suggested that the antioxidant effects of silymarin may have some anticancer effects and it may also make chemotherapy work more effectively against certain cancers and, in some circumstances, even destroy cancer cells.  Animal studies have shown that milk thistle could be useful for reducing the side effects of cancer treatments, as well. Since milk thistle may mimic the effects of estrogen, caution should be used in estrogen-sensitive situations.