Milk Thistle - Herbal Treatments

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Milk Thistle - Herbal Treatments

Post by Katy on Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:18 am

Milk Thistle - Silybum marianum.

Research & information sourced by Nostress

Many thistle species have similar uses. Silybum marianum is distributed throughout Southern and Western Europe, but native to South America and North America. It has a purple flower and grows up to 1.50m. If you see Milk Thistle supplements in your pharmacy it is likely to be Silybum marianum. This would be an example:
If you buy a product like this from the pharmacy, it is Silybum marianum:

NOTE: This is not the weed commonly found in Australian backyards that is commonly called 'thistle' or 'milk thistle'. That is Sonchus oleraceus

Common Names of Silybum marianum:
Holy thistle, marian thistle, our lady's thistle, Mary thistle, St. Mary's thistle, wild artichoke, mariendistel, Chardon-Marie. Not to be confused with blessed thistle, Cnicus benedictus. In Chinese medicine, milk thistle is know as shui fi ji.

Selected Constituents:
Main active ingredient is Silymarin (C25H22O10)

Important ingredients: Silymarin, Flavonolignane, Silybin, Silychristin, Silydianin, Silandrin, fatty oil, Tocopherole, Sterole

Therapeutic Uses:
Supportive therapy after toxic liver damage and supportive care in chronic inflammatory liver diseases and cirrhosis of the liver. It enhances the regeneration of the liver and is said to help with cell formation.

It is given after ingesting a poisonous mushroom (death cap or death cup, Amanita phalloides). Silymarin inhibits the absorption of the toxin via the liver.

Traditionally used for effects of intoxication, digestive discomforts and gall bladder discomforts (in humans).

Clinical Actions

- liver protecting
- liver regenerating
- cholagogue
- antioxidant
- anti ulcerogenic
- anti inflammatory
- anti arthritic

Small Animal:
Dried herb: 50-100mg /kg, divided daily, optimally 3 times per days if extracted and dried; triple or quadruple dose for unprocessed herb.
Dry standardised extract (70% silymarin): 10-15 mg/kg, divided daily
Fluid extract (1:1) (usually 60%-80% ethanol): 1.0-2.0mL per 10kg, divided daily and diluted or combined with other herbs
Glycetract (1:1): 1.0-2.0 mL per 10kg, divided daily and diluted or combined with other herbs

Dried herb: 10g daily

Dosages from alternative source:

Pulverised or cracked fruit of the milk thistle.
One teaspoon fruit of the milk thistle makes approx. 3.5 g

- Cattle and horses: approx. 55-70 g milk thistle fruit per 500 kg bodyweight per day
- Pigs, sheep, goats: approx. 15-20 g per 100 kg bodyweight
- Small animals and poultry: approx. 3-4 g per 10 kg bodyweight

For horses a daily intake of 15 g fruit of the milk thistle is recommended. It is said that the contents of linolenic acid is especially good for brood mares. If horses have the opportunity, they even feed on the prickly thistles in the paddock.

Ulcers have been treated with pulverised fruits of the milk thistle or with compresses with milk thistle infusion.

Toxocity Information:
Virtually non-toxic, 20 g/kg bodyweight didn’t cause any ill effects in mice

No known contraindications have been reported. Milk Thistle has been recommended for problems associated with the gallbladder during pregnancy, so it is likely to be safe even for pregnant and lac tating animals. Patients allergic to members of the daisy family may be sensitive to milk thistle.

Drug Interactions:
It may reduce insulin requirements in some patients with diabetes.

Potential Veterinary Indications:
Hepatitis, cholangiohepatitis, toxic injury to liver (especially aflatoxicosis), hepatic lipidosis, adjunct for giardia treatment or during metronidazole administration to decrease adverse effects, for protection of the pancreas during pancreatitis or protection from drug damage, hyperlipidemia, to increase lactation and protect dairy cows from ketonemia.


Wynn, S.G. & Fougere, B.J. (2007) Veterinary Herbal Medicine. Mosby Elsevier. Sydney

Giftpflanzen Pflanzengifte, 4th edition
Authors Roth, Daunderer, Kormann
1984, ecomed verlagsgesellschaft KG & Co KG, Landsberg
ISBN 3-933 203-31-7

Aldo Poletti; Prof. Dr. Heinz Schilcher; Dr. Alfred Müller: HEILKRÄFTIGE PFLANZEN, Walter Hädecke Verlag, (1982). ISBN 3-7750-0104-2.
Prof. Dr. Hans Flück: Unsere Heilpflanzen, Ott-Verlag, Thun 1941.
Lexikon der Arzeipflanzen und Drogen; Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, Heidelberg.
Prof. Dr. Heinz Schilcher: Kleines Heilkräuter-Lexikon; Walter Hädecke Verlag, 1999; ISBN 3-7750-0316-9.
Jaques De Sloover, Martine Goossens: Wildpflanzen (Gewürzkräuter und Heilpflanzen); Benziger Verlag, 1982; ISBN 3 545 34025 2.
M. Pahlow: Das grosse Buch der Heilpflanzen; Bechtermünz Verlag 2002; ISBN 3-8289-1839-5.
Ben-Erik van Wyk: Handbuch der Arzneipflanzen;Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH Stuttgart; ISBN 3-8047-2069-2, 2004.
Max Wichtl; Teedrogen und Phytopharmaka; Ein Handbuch für die Praxis auf wissenschaftlicher Grundlage; Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH Stuttgart 2002.

The next reference is an Austrian book, written by several Austrian vets, (two of them, Dr. med. vet. Doris Gansinger and Dr. med. vet. Leopold Aichberger, specialised in poultry medicine):
Kräuter für Nutz- und Heimtiere
Ratgeber für die Anwendung ausgewählter Heil- und Gewürzpflanzen
(Authors: Leopold Aichberger; Isabella Hahn, University of Vienna; DI Martina Bizaj; Mag. Alexandra Hozzank; Mag. Florian Fritsch, Richter Pharma AG; Dr. med. vet. Doris Gansinger; DI Mag. med. vet. Veronika Kolar; Dr. med. vet Werner Hagmüller; Dr. med. vet. Elisabeth Stöger)
Vienna, 2006

Picture taken from: Here

All threads listed in this Index are the opinions of caring forum users. Poultry Matters takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained within, and if in doubt, always refer your poultry queries and problems to your vet

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Join date : 2011-09-30
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