Dr. Carolyn Chambers Clark, Award-Winning Author and Wellness Nurse Practitioner

Silymarin or Milk Thistle for Fatigue, Nausea, Liver, Anorexia, Muscle/Joint Pain

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Silymarin or Milk Thistle


is a plant whose fruit and seeds have been used for more than 2,000 years. The active substance in milk thistle, silymarin, is a mixture of flavonolignans, primarily consisting of four isomers: silybin, isosilybin, silychristin (also known as silichristin), and silydianin (also known as silidianin). In the biological literature, silybin is referred to as silibinin.


Laboratory studies demonstrate that silymarin functions as a potent antioxidant, stabilizes cellular membranes, stimulates detoxification pathways, stimulates regeneration of liver tissue, inhibits the growth of certain cancer cell lines, exerts direct cytotoxic activity toward certain cancer cell lines, and may increase the efficacy of certain chemotherapy agents.


Human clinical trials have investigated milk thistle or silymarin primarily in individuals with hepatitis or cirrhosis. No clinical trials in individuals with cancer have been published.


Few adverse side effects have been reported for milk thistle, but little information about interactions with anticancer medications or other drugs is available.


According to a large study:

Although silymarin had little direct effect on the Hepatitis C virus in a large study

silymarin users showed significantly less




*liver pain


*muscle and joint pain

*and improvements in general health over non-users

To find silymarin (milk thistle) at a discount, go to http://www.iherb.com/ and use BNN951 at checkout.




National Cancer Institute.



Seeff LB, MD, et al., Herbal product use by persons enrolled in the hepatitis C Antiviral Long-Term Treatment Against Cirrhosis (HALT-C) Trial, Hepatology, January 2008.


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