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Milk Thistle



Bhattacharya,S. (2011). Phytotherapeutic properties of milk thistle seeds: Anoverview. Journalof Advanced Pharmacy Education and Research 1,69—79. Thearticle discusses the use of milk thistle seeds in the cure ofdiseases, especially liver diseases. The article also focuses on thecomponents of milk thistle that can be said to be active theseinclude silidianin, silychristin, and silibinin. These components areextracted from seeds of milk thistle, which can be accessedcommercially. Silymarin and silibinin can be used in treatingconditions such as hepatitis, liver fibrosis, cirrhosis, as well aspoisoning that may emanate from toxics. Other conditions that can betreated using milk thistle include tumors, as well as viralinfections that may affect humans. From the discussion in thearticle, it can be deduced that milk thistle acts as a herbal drugthat promises to cure many diseases, which may seem incurable(Bhattacharya, 2011). Inaddition, the article describes a study that aimed at evaluating thebenefits and harmful impacts of milk thistle. The patients studied inthe research conducted included those suffering from illnesses suchas liver disease, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. The method used in thestudy included randomized clinical trials (Gurley et al, 2006). Fromthe study, it is evident that milk thistle does not have an impact onpatients who suffer from liver disease, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.The article is useful as it helps to ascertain whether milk thistlecauses diseases. Based on the article, the name milk thistle can besaid to be derived from veins on the leaves that can be regarded as‘milky white.’ When these leaves are broken, they tend to giveout a milky sap, which acts as the basis for the name (El-Elima etal, 1999). Fromthe article, one can deduce that the active components that make upmilk thistle are three. These components emanate from seeds of milkthistle that have already been dried. Of the three components, themost active component, especially in its biological form, issilibinin. Other components that may form part of the seeds includeapigenin, proteins, fatty acids, as well as fixed oil. The additionalcomponents can be classified as crucial since they can contribute tothe activity of milk thistle seeds. As a plant, milk thistle caneither be biennial or annual it can be described as stout plant withleaves that are prickly and is about 5-10 feet in height. The stemsof the plant are also strong and the flowering heads can also beclassified as large. The color of the glabrous leaves is dark greenand they have margins that are spiny (Nielka et al, 2005). Theflowering season of the plant runs from June and goes through toSeptember. During this time, the plant tends to bear a head thatconsists of large purple flower. The purple flowers, which can alsobe seen as reddish, have spines that are sharp. From the article, itis evident that milk thistle has in the past been cultivated as avegetable in Europe. The leaves of the plant were used as spinach, aswell as in salad. Other parts of the plant that could be consumedincluded flowers, roots, as well as the stalk of the plant. Moreover,the seeds of the plant could be roasted and used as a substitute forcoffee. For a period of many centuries, the medicinal value of milkthistle has been useful in various instances. For example, it hasbeen used in treating nursing mothers, as an antidepressant, treatingdiabetes, hemorrhage of the uterine, as well as varicose veins amongother illnesses (Rambaldiet al, 2005).


Bhattacharya,S. (2011). Phytotherapeutic properties of milk thistle seeds: Anoverview. Journalof Advanced Pharmacy Education and Research 1,69—79.El-Elimat,T.&nbsp&nbspRaja,H.A.,&nbspGraf,T. N.&nbspFaeth,S. H.,&nbspCech,N. B.&nbspand&nbspOberlies,N. (1999). Flavonolignans from&nbspAspergillusiizukae,a Fungal Endophyte of (Silybummarianum).Journalof Natural Products 77(2),193-199.Gurley,B. et al (2006). Effect of milk thistle (silybummarianum)and black cohosh (cimicifugaracemosa)supplementation on digoxin pharmacokinetics in humans. DMD34(1),69-74.

Nielka,P.H., ErpSharyn,D. B., &nbspMing,Z.,&nbspMichelle,A. R., Henk-Jan,G., Alex, S. &amp Hans,G. (2005). Effectof (Silybummarianum)on the Pharmacokinetics of Irinotecan. ClinCancer Res 11,7800.

Rambaldi,A., Jacobs, B. P., Iaquinto, G.&nbspand Gluud, C. (2005). MilkThistle for Alcoholic and/or Hepatitis B or C Liver Diseases—ASystematic Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Review with Meta-Analyses ofRandomized Clinical Trials. TheAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology&nbsp100,2583–2591.