Latin name: Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertner
Other names: Saint Mary’s thistle, lady thistle, holy thistle i milk thistle
Milk thistle is a plant native to the regions of the Mediterranean that has spread in many parts of the world. In Poland, is a plant cultivated and encountered in the natural environment looks like common thistle. Milk thistle is a plant used medicinally since antiquity. Herbal raw material is milk thistle fruits (seeds) that contain silymarin, which is a complex flavonolignans showing the impact on the functioning of the liver.
In addition to the precious silymarin milk thistle seeds contain phytosterols, proteins, sugars, fatty acids and vitamins C and K, E, organic acids and mineral salts. Contained in the seeds of milk thistle, silymarin has a prophylactic effect (is used to prevent diseases of the liver), as well as therapeutic – it is used in the treatment of failure, cirrhosis and fatty degeneration of the liver and to treat gallstones in the bile duct rhinitis, in convalescence after jaundice.
Milk thistle seeds act detoxication, anti-inflammatory, stimulate liver regeneration and the generation of new liver cells, protect the liver from exposure to toxins, drug and alcohol active relaxant, regulate the digestive system, have antioxidant properties (scavenge free radicals), milk thistle is also recommended as an adjuvant in the treatment of high cholesterol and in the prevention of heart disease – it reduces cholesterol and prevent the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. It is also recommended for the treatment of acne and psoriasis.