Medicinal plant protective of the liver (hepatoprotective), indicated against liver and digestion disorders, can be found in drops or capsules.


Portuguese name: Cardo-Mariano, cardo, santo-thistle
Binomial name: Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn.
French name: Chardon Marie
English name: marian thistle
German name: Mariendistel , Frauendistel
Italian name: cardio mariano


Asteraceas (Asteraceae)


Flavonoids (silymarin, silybilin), phytosterols.
Silymarin is found especially in achenes.

parts used

Fruits (in the form of dry extract).

Effects of Milk Thistle

Hepatoprotective (mainly due to silymarin), liver drain, cholagogue.

Milk thistle indications

Liver problems (liver failure, hepatitis , cirrhosis, alcoholic cirrhosis), alcoholism, gallstones, dyspepsia, stomach ache .

Secundary effects

Risk of vomiting if consumed in high dosage.


Pregnancy (especially if consumed in high doses, as there is a risk of vomiting).


we do not know


– drops

– Capsules

– Infusion

– Decoction

– Tincture. It should be noted that alcoholic tinctures are not indicated in case of liver problems.

Where does milk thistle grow?

It develops in Europe. In this continent, the species is often protected, which prevents its collection. This is why most milk thistle remedies (extracts, for example) come from North Africa or South America.
Milk thistle is native to the Mediterranean region.
This plant grows well in sunny, well-draining locations. Milk thistle also grows in poor soils.
It can be found mainly on the sides of paths.
Milk thistle reaches a height of between 30 and 150 cm. Flowering occurs in Europe between April and August. It is a biennial plant.


– Milk thistle is an interesting plant to cure certain intoxications or food excesses (including alcohol), for example, after a party or in case of stomach ache related to liver problems.
Consult your pharmacist for the most appropriate remedy based on this plant.

Several studies have proven that silymarin (one of the constituents of milk thistle) would play an effective role against poisoning by various harmful products and in cases of liver disorders.
Milk thistle would have a positive effect against poisoning caused by Amanita phalloides , also known as green hemlock, according to the German website (website for German pharmacists). Intoxication caused by Amanita phalloides causes death in 30 to 50% of cases. In contrast, a person receiving an infusion of silylbylin (another component of milk thistle) would, according to several medical reports, have less than a 10% risk of dying after intoxication with Amanita phalloides .

– Milk thistle can be used especially to protect the liver in case of treatment with paracetamol, especially if the dose is high and frequent, as in the treatment of arthrosis.

– In the Middle Ages, milk thistle was already used for its medicinal properties, especially in the regions that currently make up Germany.

– The term Mary, found in the common name in French and also in other languages ​​such as English (St. Mary’s thistle) is a reference to the Virgin Mary.

– This plant has been cultivated in Europe since the time of the Romans, who used it especially as a vegetable.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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