Herbal Profile - Milk Thistle

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 of toxins.

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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The articles and information in the Holistic Healthcare Library are presented for informational purposes only and are not intended as an endorsement of any product. The information is not intended to be a substitute for visits to your local veterinarian. Instead, the content offers the reader information and opinions written by our staff, guest authors, and/or veterinarians concerning animal health issues and animal care products.

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