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Milk thistle




Thearticle starts by postulating that milk thistle seeds have been inuse for medicinal value for the last 2000 years and above(Bhattacharya, 2011). Notable is the fact that the seeds have beenused largely for the treatment of ailments that affect the liver. Thecommercialized form of milk thistle seeds is the extract known as theSilymarin which contains Silibinin that is has the qualities of beingan antioxidant and hepatoprotective. The milk thistle seed extractsare used as treatments for intoxication, cirrhosis, hepatitis andfibrosis of the liver. The therapeutic properties of milk thistleseeds extracts are numerous and they include anti-inflammatoryproperties, antitumor, antiviral and immunomodulatory properties(Bhattacharya, 2011). The extracts of the plants have been used forthat prolonged period since there are notable side effects or adverseeffects that are known to exist from the use of the extracts.

Theplant was traditionally cultivated in Europe as a vegetable. Theentire plant was consumed, but the seeds were roasted and used inplace of coffee. It is vital to note that the plants seeds were stillbeing used for medicinal value. In the present day usage, the plant’scultivation has been extended to Asia, Europe, America, China, Canadaand North Africa for medicinal and ornamental value due to itsattractive flowers (Bhattacharya, 2011).

Theplants extracts in form of silymarin have been described as strongantioxidant that prevents the heart, brains and the liver from thedamages of oxidation. The antioxidant property also protects theliver from hepatotoxins in a process called hepatoprotection.Silymarin also acts as an anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic agenthence prevents arthritis (Bhattacharya, 2011). seedsextracts are also said to control lipids in both the liver and theheart. It is also evident from the article that silymarin can be usedas an antitumor agent since it inhibits the growth of tumors. Ingeneral terms, silymarin is known to aid normal and effective renalfunction. The milk thistle seeds extract, silymarin, is said to besafe for human use since there are adverse effects associated withits use (Bhattacharya, 2011).


Bhattacharya,S. (2011). Phytotherapeutic properties of milk thistle seeds: Anoverview. Journal of Advanced Pharmacy Education and Research1, 69-79.