Milk thistle is a member of the Sunflower
family with a long history of use in herbal medicine. It has been used worldwide
for its liver supportive properties, which are known to be primarily derived from
the high concentration of silymarin found in its seeds. Silymarin and its related
compounds act as powerful antioxidants to fortify liver cells against the effects
Many studies on silymarin have confirmed that it supports and protects the liver
during times of stress by increasing protein production and creation of new liver
cells to replace those that have been damaged. Other studies have confirmed that
milk thistle helps protect the liver from damage from exposure to various toxins,
including amanita (death cap) mushrooms, toxic chemicals, and potentially harmful
drug therapies that can damage liver cells.
Milk thistle may help pets with liver issues, kidney issues, and those recovering
from microbial infections. It may also be helpful for secondary autoimmune issues
like tumors and skin problems that may arise following a diagnosis of a liver condition.
Administering milk thistle before and after anesthesia is a common practice in parts
of Europe, and may be helpful for pets as well. Consult with a holistic veterinarian
to determine how milk thistle may help your pet.
The seeds are harvested and are used in herbal tinctures or standardized powder
extracts. Therapeutic levels of milk thistle are not recommended for daily use in
the absence of ongoing liver stress, but may be used intermittently or occasionally
as part of a cleansing or detoxification regimen. This herb is found in
many remedies we offer.
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guest authors, and/or veterinarians concerning animal health issues and animal care