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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.
TOP BENEFITS OF MILK THISTLE:
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,
[...] Love thy Liver with Milk Thistle [...]Reply
Awesome! Thanks for the article and the reminder. I need to go and buy a bottle!Reply
[...] more here: Love thy Liver with Milk Thistle Share and [...]Reply
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!Reply
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? ThanksReply
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?Reply
Cycle it every few months to give your liver a rest.
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?Reply
I have personally never heard this before. However, if that's what you've been advised then I suggest you stick with it. Milk Thistle is both protective to the liver and enhances detoxification. Thanks for writing.
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!Reply
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.Reply
Can this help for someone who has liver disease. liver cirrhosis?Reply
Hi Hanna! It could be beneficial but it will all depend on the situation. Working with a Naturopath or consulting another health care practitioner will be the best option, as they would be able to take someone's full health history into consideration. All the best! Heather- Joyous Health Team
Glad to know that I can jump start my liver.......Reply
Hey Toni, Totally! :) Hope you enjoyed the article! Rachel - Joyous Health Team
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.Reply
Hey John, Wow! That's amazing - good for you! I totally understand your frustration and sometimes it comes down to taking health into our own hands. So glad that you did and got the results you wanted to see. You're amazing! Rachel - Joyous Health Team
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]Reply
Hi Chelaine, Milk Thistle will certainly help provide support for your liver but it's not guaranteed that it can actually reverse it. I would suggest working with a natural health care practitioner on this to ensure you are getting the most individualized care possible. They will also be able to tell you what dosage would be most suitable for you :) Let us know if you need any help finding a natural health care practitioner! Rachel - Joyous Health Team
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!Reply
Hey Mariana, It doesn't have to be taken at a specific time so whenever you can squeeze it in alongside your other supplements would be best :) All of those supplements are great for daily usage, however depending on the need (i.e. why you're taking them), you may be able to take some of them out like the Magnesium, Spirulina and Calcium. However, if you were recommended to be on them by your natural health care practitioner for a specific health purpose, it would be beneficial to stay on them. Hope that helps! Rachel - Joyous Health Team
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? ThanksReply
Hey Julie! It's probably best to follow what is listed on the bottle as it may vary from brand to brand depending on whether they've formulated it to be shelf stable or not. Rachel - Joyous Health Team
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 meReply
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? ThanksReply
Hey Julie, It's not entirely uncommon. This is because Milk Thistle acts as a support to phase I and phase II detoxification. In Phase II, toxins go through a process called "conjugation" which neutralizes toxins, making them more likely to be safely eliminated through urination or defecation. Hope that helps :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team
Hi, what are your thoughts on Milk Thistle tea ? does it provide the same benefits as the capsules mentioned above ?Reply
Hey Jenny, Milk thistle tea is awesome! It depends on what you want to use it for. A tea would be great for more of a daily detox whereas a tincture or a supplement would be beneficial for more of an intense detox. I hope that helps! Rachel - Joyous Health Team
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. ThanksReply
Milk thistle is often in products to help stimulate breastmilk. However, doing a liver detox while pregnant is definitely not recommended so I would wait until you've stopped breastfeeding.
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! -GracieReply
Yes ACV is amazing for detoxification of the liver and helping your body metabolize fat. So glad to hear this!
Is this safe to take while on the combo birth control pill?Reply
I'm not sure what the "combo" birth control means. But yes, it's safe to take while on the BCP. Hope that helps!