Silybum marianum

silybum-marianum-flower

Botanical Name: Silybum marianum

Common name: St Mary’s Thistle, Milk thistle (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 861)

Family: Asteraceae (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 861)

Parts used: Leaf and seed (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 861)

 

Constituents

  • Flavonoligans (collectively known as “silymarin”)
  • Fixed oil

(Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 861-862).

 

Actions

  • Hepatoprotective (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 861).
  • Hepatic trophorestorative (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 861).
  • Antioxidant (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 861).
  • Choleretic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 861).
  • Galactagogue (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 861).
  • Potential anti-cancer and antitumor properties (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 866-867).

 

Indications (traditional)

  • Seeds: traditionally used in Germany for: Jaundice; Hepatic and bilary conditions; Hepatitis and Haemorrhoids
  • Fresh root and seeds used to break and expel gallstones
  • Dropsy (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 861).
  • Chemopreventative and anti-photocarcinogenic (Katiyar, 2005, Abstract)

 

Indications (contemporary)

  • Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic liver disease
  • Insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes
  • Haemochromatosis
  • Beta-thalasseamia and thalassemia major
  • Promote lactation in nursing mothers
  • Hepatoprotective in chemotherapy

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 861).

  • Research suggests potential for Silybum to inhibit tumor growth (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 867).
  • Skin cancer prevention (Katiyar, 2005, Abstract)
  • Prostate Cancer (Thelen, Jarry, Ringer & Wutke, 2004, Abstract).

 

Preparation

  • Dried seed decoction
  • Liquid extract
  • Tablet or capsule

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 862)

 

Dosage

  • 4-9g/day seed
  • 4-9mL/day liquid extract (1:1)
  • 3-4 tablets of 200mg of extract/day

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 862)

 

Cautions & Contradictions

Considered to be a safe herb (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 862)

 

Combinations

Absorption of active constituent silymarin is enhanced by lecithin (therefore lectin supplement is often recommended to be taken simultaneously) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 862).

 

REFERENCE

Bone, K., & Mills, S. (2013). Principals and Practice of Phytotherapy (2nd ed.). U.S.A: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Katiyar, S. (2005). Silymarin and skin cancer prevention: Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects (Review). International Journal of Oncology. 26(1), 169-176. DOI: 10.3892/ijo.26.1.169

Thelen, P., Jarry, H., Ringer, R. H., & Wutke, W. (2004). Silibinin Down-Regulates Prostate Epithelium-Derived Ets Transcription Factor in LNCaP Prostate Cancer Cells. Planta Medica, 70(5), 397-400. DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-818965

Image: Landscape Architect’s Pages. (2009). Silybum marianum. Retrieved from: http://davisla.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/plant-of-the-week-silybum-marianum/

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