Milk Thistle

FOLLIUM SILYBUM MARIANUM (MILK THISTLE)  

  • Milk thistle is the dried ripe fruit of (Silybum marianum) (.L) Gaertner ( Fam. Asteraceae), a biennial herb with purple tabulate florets and leaves with white areas. The plant is native to the legend that the leaves have a white mottling because a drop of the Virgins Mary’s milk landed on them. 
  • Milk thistle contains silymarin, which is composed of the falvanolignan silybinin, silydianin and silychristin, with silybin being the most biologically active and the most abundant (60 - 70% silymarin). 
  • Sily marin is found in highest concentration in the fruit , but it is also found in the leaves and seeds. Other constituents include taxifolin and other flavonoids. 
  • Milk thistle has been used for 2,000 years as an herbal remedy for a variety of ailments, particularly liver, kidney, and gall bladder problems. ?
  • Several scientific studies suggest that substances in milk thistle (especially a flavonoid called silymarin) protect the liver from toxins, including certain drugs such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), which can cause liver damage in high doses. 
  • Silymarin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and it may help the liver repair itself by growing new cells.
  •  Although a number of animal studies demonstrate that milk thistle can be helpful in protecting the liver, results in human studies are mixed.

MODE OF ACTION OF FOLLIUM SILYBUM MARIANUM (MILK THISTLE) CAPSULES.

  • Milk thistle’s hepato-protective effects are accomplished via several mechanisms of action (figure 1). These include increased protein synthesis in hepatocytes and stimulation of liver regeneration, antioxidant effects and anti-inflammatory effects. Regarding the effects on protein synthesis, silymarin stimulates RNA polymerase I activity by activating a promoter site on DNA that polymerase uses as a template for the synthesis of ribosomal RNA. An increased in the amount of ribosomal RNA results in stimulation of the regeneration capacity of the label. 
  • Silymarin functions as an antioxidant because it is a free-radical scavenger; it increases hepatic content of glutathione, which detoxifies a variety of substances in the liver, stomach an intestine, and it also increases the enzyme superoxide dismutase (being 10 times more potent as an antioxidant than vitamin E). 
  • Finally silymarin possesses a variety of anti-inflammatory effects, including mast cell stabilization, inhibition of neutrophil migration, inhibition of leukotriene and prostaglandin synthesis.

 

MILK THISTLE SEEDS

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ZINGIBER OFFICINALE RHIZOMA

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