If you have your ear to the ground on natural supplements, it’s likely you’ve heard people talking about the many potential health benefits of milk thistle. Many herbalists swear by its ability to support the cleansing and promoting of a healthy liver, and there are several studies to back up these claims. The real star of the milk thistle plant, however, is its seed. More importantly, herbalists revere a flavonoid they contain called silymarin for its potential health benefits. Read on to find out why you should consider a silymarin supplement to support your optimal health.
What is Milk Thistle?
Milk thistle is a plant with large prickly leaves. The veins that run along the leaves carrying its nutrients are a milky white color (that’s how it got its name). It has been used medicinally for thousands of years to help with a variety of health issues. The silymarin supplement is packed full of antioxidants, making it a favorite for those who are looking for natural ways to detox and cleanse the body, particularly the liver.
Common Silymarin Uses
- Natural liver cleanse
- May soothe symptoms of indigestion
- May promote healthy blood sugar levels already within the normal range
- May promote a healthy weight
- Supports immune system
- May promote cognitive function
Silymarin Supplement Types
The silymarin supplement comes in a variety of different product types, depending on your needs and your purpose for using it.
- Capsules – If you’re just looking for a silymarin supplement to support daily liver health and function, try a tablet or capsule such as Silymarin 80 by Metagenics. This brand provides pure silymarin extract in a formula that is gluten free and vegetarian friendly. It’s recommended that you take one tablet three times a day.
- Vcaps – A vegetable capsule (Vcap) silymarin supplement is a good choice for people are trying to avoid gelatin or who have allergy concerns. Silymarin 300 mg by NOW Foods is derived from vegetables and is not manufactured around products containing yeast, wheat, gluten, soy, milk, egg, fish, shellfish, or tree nut ingredients. Another perk to this particular silymarin supplement is that it also contains liver supportive dandelion root and artichoke extract for a triple dose of liver cleansing power. Or, if you’re looking for a silymarin-only Vcap, try Milk Thistle Standardized Silymarin Extract 30:1 by Jarrow Formulas.
- Softgels – This type of silymarin supplement can be easier to swallow and may be good for people who are elderly or weak due to decreased liver function. One of our favorite softgels is Live Guard Forte by Perque, a vegetarian friendly option that does not contain any wheat, gluten, milk, butter, or eggs. It’s also non-GMO certified. Best of all, the recommended dosage is just one softgel daily. Keep in mind, this product is professional grade quality, so product approval is required from a healthcare provider. Login to your account with Natural Healthy Concepts or call 1-800-673-1245 for a no-cost consultation.
- Liquid Extract – If pills aren’t your thing, no worries! Silymarin supplements also come in liquid form that can be added to a beverage or food. This Milk Thistle Extract by Oregon’s Wild Harvest can be added to warm liquid and taken whenever it’s convenient for you. There are also liquid silymarin extracts for dogs and cats (hey, they need liver support too!) Try Milk Thistle for Pets by Pet Wellbeing, but make sure you read the directions first to determine the correct dosage according to your pet’s size and weight.
- Powder – Silymarin extract powder is often included in many natural detoxification kits and drink powders. Some of our favorites include the 15-day Detoxification Pack from Douglas Labs and the 14-day Comprehensive Detox Kit from Vital Nutrients.
What is your favorite way to get your daily silymarin supplement? Tell us about your natural health routine in the comments below!