What You Should Know Before Buying A Milk Thistle

If someone has recommended that you take a milk thistle capsule to protect or cleanse your liver, there are a few things that you should know by reading some reviews of its effectiveness, before you buy one of the supplements on the market. As is the case with other herbs and botanicals, the quality varies. Here’s how to choose a good one.

Single ingredient supplements are not the best choice. You get more value with a multi-nutritional supplement. But, you might not be able to find a multi-nutritional supplement that contains the ingredient. Either way, whether you are looking for a single ingredient or multi-nutrient supplement, you should check out the concentration of silymarins.

Silymarins are the active constituents of milk thistles. There are some different silymarins, including silibinin A and B. They have been the subject of over a thousand scientific studies. Some were completed just recently.

In laboratory and animal studies, as well as clinical trials with human volunteers, silymarins have been shown to inhibit the activity of hepatitis C virus and reduce the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, protect the liver against damage from toxins and repair damage that has already been done. Also, researchers have said that a milk thistle capsule, with a high concentration of silymarins, is a promising new treatment for cancer.

If you read reviews of its effectiveness, you will see that the results of these trials have varied. The variance is due to the amount of silymarins that are used in the studies. In other words, the effect is “dose dependent”.

What dosage does it take to see the results? The answer to that question is still unclear. One thing is certain. If a milk thistle capsule does not contain a high concentration of silymarins, it will be ineffective. The better extracts have an 80-85% concentration of silymarins.

The correct dosage depends largely on whether the botanical is being used to help prevent viral infections or protect a person’s overall health. If it is being used to treat a specific disease, a doctor of naturopathic medicine or a certified herbalist should be consulted.


100-250mg is the daily dose recommended by some of the better supplement manufacturers, but they also include other ingredients in their products that enhance the activity of each. For example, piperine, an antioxidant found in black pepper, enhances the absorption of silymarin into the bloodstream.

You might think that the cost of a milk thistle capsule would be very low, considering that the plant is considered an invasive weed throughout most of the countries. But, if the price is low, you can expect that the silymarin content will be low, as well.

The plant is cultivated specifically for use in supplements in some parts of Europe. The farmers are careful not to use pesticides or herbicides, as the residue of those toxins can remain in the extract.If it is of the highest quality a milk thistle capsule could even be good for your skin’s health and appearance. Antioxidants of all kinds help protect against the effects of the sun and aging, in general. Take the time to learn more about effective natural remedies. It will be time well spent.