As a dietary supplement, silybum marianum, milk thistle, is a herb of the asteraceae family that originates in the Mediterranean, Asia Minor and Western Asia. It is an anti-oxidant. If the herb is biennial, the clumps of prickly leaves have white veins and the purple thistles red flowers. The most commonly used constituent part of milk thistle is silymarin, a flavonolignan (a mixture of silybin, silydianin and silychristin). The main use of this silymarin is linked to the liver. It promotes a healthy liver, helps protect liver cells and aids the detoxification potential of the liver. It is hepatoprotective and it helps maintain the normal functioning of the liver and promotes good digestion and the cleansing of the organism. Milk thistle also helps you maintain a normal appetite and a healthy heart, sustains the normal flow of bile and supports the function of the gall bladder. It is also useful in maintaining the physiological purification functions of the organism. The fruit of the milk thistle contains proteins (around 27 %), edible oil (around 30 %), linoleic acid, oleic acid and unsaturated fatty acids, biogenic aminos tyramine and histamine, amino acids, sugars, quercetin, dihydroflavonol taxifolin and vitamin E of between 500 and 800 mg per kg. Milk thistle is not recommended during pregnancy or severely increased pressure.
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