Silybum was used by ancient physicians and herbalists to treat a range of liver and gallbladder diseases and to protect the liver against a variety of poisons.
It possesses potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to detoxify the body, especially the blood and liver.
KEY APPLICATION: Chronic hepatitis, alcoholic fatty liver, cirrhosis, liver poisoning and viral hepatitis, jaundice, adrenal disorders and inflammatory bowel syndrome, psoriasis, protect the liver while taking strong drugs or medicine, lower cholesterol, food allergies, lactation disorder, gall bladder disorder, depression, skin eruptions, blotches, pimples, diarrhea
PLANT FAMILY: Asteraceae
BOTANICAL NAME: Silybum Marianum
VERNACULAR NAMES: Cardus Marianus, Milk Thistle, Blessed Milk Thistle, Marian Thistle, Saint Mary's Thistle, Mediterranean milk thistle, variegated thistle and Scotch thistle, Silybum, dudhpattra, garda-marda bhuss
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF SEEDS
Milk thistle contains several phytochemicals such as flavonolignans, silybinin, silymarin, isosilibinin, betaine, silymarin, silychristin, and silydianin. It also offers a rich source of flavonoids.
A traditional milk thistle extract obtained from its seeds contains approximately 4 to 6% of silymarin. It is a complex mixture of several polyphenolic molecules that includes seven flavonolignans (isosilybin A, isosilybin B, silybin A, silybin B, isosilychristin, silychristin, and silydianin) and a flavonoid (taxifolin). The milk thistle extract consists of 20 to 35% of fatty acids including linoleic acid.
Milk thistle also contains other important nutrients such as vitamin E and vitamin C. It also contains a high amount of lipophilic compounds that act as a bioflavonoid antioxidant.
The understanding of medicinal properties will help us utilize the herb better. Below are medicinal properties along with its meaning indicating multiple health benefits:
·Antioxidant- Neutralize the oxidation effect of free radicals.
·Anti-inflammatory- Reduce inflammation
·Anti-cancer- Prevent a malignant and invasive growth or tumour.
·Hepatoprotective- Prevent damage to the liver and cure a liver injury or liver dysfunction.
·Immunostimulating- Stimulate the immune system.
·Estrogenic- Promote or produce Estrus.
·Galactagogue- Promote the flow and volume of milk in lactating mothers.
·Cholagogue- Promote the flow of bile from the gallbladder into the duodenum.
Rasa (Taste) – Tikta (Bitter), Kashaya (Astringent)