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Love thy Liver with Milk Thistle

I am having a mad love affair with this herb - milk thistle. Of all the plants in the kingdom of herbs, this one gets the crown for being the best for liver
May 9, 2009 | Joy McCarthy

I am having a mad love affair with this herb - milk thistle. Of all the plants in the kingdom of herbs, this one gets the crown for being the best for liver detoxification. The liver is one of the most important organs in our body. It deserves the respect of a king!

If you do ANY of the following, then milk thistle will benefit your liver:

- Drink alcohol or smoke

- Eat sugar or refined carbs / processed foods

- Take the birth control pill, antibiotics or any other drugs

- Exposed to environmental toxins (home cleaning agents, personal care products etc)

- Exercise outside in a polluted city (breath in car fumes)

Literally hundreds of research studies, mostly in Europe, have confirmed the remarkable ability of milk thistle to protect the liver against any of the above. It has been around and used since ancient times, in fact, it's been used for over 2,000 years! Modern studies prove it is safe for use even in large doses (except of course if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you don't want to be cleansing your liver at the same time).

The active component in milk thistle is called "silymarin" and it is a powerful antioxidant for liver detoxification. Clinical studies prove it is safe for long-term use.


1. Liver detox - from any of the above toxins (clean and better functioning liver = happy all over, better bowel movements ya!)

2. Improves energy metabolism (clean liver = better fat / carb / protein metabolism)

3. Protects your blood from build up of toxins (clean blood = more energy)

4. Protects your liver from future contamination (safe liver = better health of liver as you age)

5. Reduces gallstones & reduces the risk of liver disorders (happy liver = happy you!)

My favourite brand is FLORA, Milk Thistle Plus (80% Silymarin plus herbs). I like this one because it also has Dandelion Root and Artichoke Root Extract, both of which give love to your liver too. Take it in morning and at night. You can get it at any health food stores, and if you are your local supermarket might have it too.

Loving my liver,


May 9, 2009 BY Joy McCarthy
Pregnancy Dates Calculator   •   May 9, 2009

[...] Love thy Liver with Milk Thistle [...]


SteveO   •   May 9, 2009

Awesome! Thanks for the article and the reminder. I need to go and buy a bottle!


Love thy Liver with Milk Thistle | Home Remedies and Natural Cures   •   May 10, 2009

[...] more here:  Love thy Liver with Milk Thistle Share and [...]


Dr. C   •   October 23, 2010

Yes, milk thistle is a superior herb for liver health, but many healthcare practitioners believe UltraThistle to be the best milk thistle supplement available. This is because it delivers the most effective constituent of milk thistle in a specialized form that increases the body's ability to absorb the beneficial component. It's called silybin phytosome and blows the rest of the milk thistle products out of the water. Good luck all!


Bronwyn   •   March 29, 2011

Hi Joy - i'm really enjoying your website and blog! I was wondering if drinking milk thistle tea has the same benefits as taking milk thistle supplements in a pill form? Thanks


Ashley   •   February 15, 2012

Hi, I just recently finished the mentioned bottle of milk thistle but, when I purchased, the pharmacist said its not an ongoing daily supplement and to just take one bottle. Is this safe to use everyday? Or should I cycle a bottle every few months?

Joy McCarthy   •   February 15, 2012

staci   •   June 4, 2012

Hi, I have a question regarding Milk Thistle... I currently take birth control pills - I have heard that milk thistle can *interfere* with the bcp's so I have been avoiding taking it despite some medical issues that it is known to help with but in the article I just read on your page, you are recommending it for women who take the "pill". Can you help me in my confusion?

Joy McCarthy   •   June 4, 2012

Ashley   •   April 25, 2013

Hi Joy! I see this article was written in 2009. Is this still your favourite brand of milk thistle or has it changed? I see it has magnesium stearate in it and I heard that isn't good to take. Thank you!


Anna Obidzinski   •   January 8, 2014

Hi Joy, Great post. Does this brand remain your favourite? What are your thoughts on the brand New Roots their Liver Milk Thistle? By the sounds of it, it seems like it will be a great companion to your Joyous 10 day detox plan.


hanna81   •   April 29, 2016

Can this help for someone who has liver disease. liver cirrhosis?

Heather Allen   •   April 29, 2016

Toni   •   March 15, 2017

Glad to know that I can jump start my liver.......

Rachel Molenda   •   March 16, 2017

John R   •   April 28, 2017

My doctor informed me I had fatty liver. I am a non drinker, have no other medical concerns and am roughly 10 lbs overweight. The only advice he gave me was to lose weight. I did my research. I have been taking milk thistle and turmeric in the morning and TMG in the evening. Within 3 months my liver enzyme numbers fell from above normal to within the normal range. Did I tell my doctor? Heck no, they have no clue.

Rachel Molenda   •   May 1, 2017

chelaine   •   May 30, 2017

hi joy I was diagnose with fatty liver followed by pcos last year. Can I take milk thistle to reverse the fatty liver issue? when is best time to take it? before or after food and at what recommended dosage? pls reply to my email [email protected]

Rachel Molenda   •   May 31, 2017

Mariana   •   August 13, 2017

Hi Joy, it's been a while from this post but I recently started reading about the benefits of milk thistle. The brand that you suggested says to take 1 capsule twice a day. What would the best time to take be? Before or after a meal? AM and PM or after lunch and evening? I am taking other supplements like Omega, Turmeric Force, Magnesium at night, spirulina and calcium. Wondering what would be the best schedule for this one? There are only so many hours in a day lol! And would you recommend I put on hold any of the supplements mentioned? Thanks!

Rachel Molenda   •   August 15, 2017

Julie   •   August 18, 2017

Hi Joy, I purchased a bottle at Organic Garage. It was in their fridge so I also put it in mine. Do you keep yours refrigerated? Thanks

Rachel Molenda   •   August 21, 2017

Brian   •   August 19, 2017

My thinking concerning timing, at least for me, is taking it not at meal times. I grind milk thistle seed and mix with water. I've read on my occasions that seeds produce a chemical inhibitor that may have an effect on nutrient asorbsion. Therefore sometime before bedtime works for me


Julie   •   August 21, 2017

Hi I am taking the Flora Milk Thistle Plus for 3 days, twice a day. Noticed I've had to per a lot more often. Is this normal? Thanks

Rachel Molenda   •   August 22, 2017

Jenny   •   December 4, 2017

Hi, what are your thoughts on Milk Thistle tea ? does it provide the same benefits as the capsules mentioned above ?

Rachel Molenda   •   December 4, 2017

Karina   •   September 8, 2018

I am currently breastfreding and would like to take this as a supplement to detox liver. I cant seem to find antwhere if this is safe while breastfeeding. What are your thoughts on this? I know that Honest company postnatal Lactation plus contain milk thistle so I guess it might be safe. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks

Joy McCarthy   •   September 9, 2018

Gracie   •   June 23, 2019

Dear Joy, I have a close realative who had the start of fatty liver and now takes Bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar with the mother in a glass of water every morning. He is also now eating a very clean diet and his liver enzymes that were once elevated have greatly decreased. Just I couple days ago he said that he read that taking a tablespoon of acv in a large glass of water isn’t good for the liver and was concerned.... I’d just like to help clear things up for him. Is taking acv in water good for the liver or would lemon water be better? Thank you so much! -Gracie

Joy McCarthy   •   June 24, 2019

kaitlyn   •   August 30, 2022

Is this safe to take while on the combo birth control pill?

Joy McCarthy   •   August 31, 2022

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