St Mary’s Thistle (also 'Milk Thistle') has a long history of traditional use, it has been used since ancient times as a remedy for snakebite, melancholy, liver conditions and promoting lactation. Its key component, Silymarin, has a number of confirmed pharmacological actions including antioxidant, antifibrotic, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, antihypercholesterolaemic, antihyperglycaemic, immunomodulatory and antiviral.
In practice, St Mary's Thistle is commonly used for treating digestive disorders such as dyspepsia, high cholesterol and any condition that would benefit from improved liver function/protection. Milk Thistle is approved for use in Europe to help treat patients with toxic liver damage such as from paracetamol over-use, chronic inflammatory liver conditions such as NAFLD, hepatitis and cirrhosis.
Milk Thistle is considered safe for use during pregnancy and lactation.