By tradition, milk thistle has been used as a form of antidote for death cap mushroom or Amanita phalloides poisoning. Recent studies were able to produce results that authenticated this information. Milk thistle has effectively neutralized the poisonous effect of Amanita phalloides fully when administered to animals during the first ten minutes of poisoning. It is possible to avoid damage to the liver and even death if the dose is given within the first twenty four hours. Nowadays, the medical world is still conducting studies regarding the effects of milk thistle on people suffering from alcoholic cirrhosis, viral hepatitis as well as alcoholic hepatitis. Since the experiments are confronted with some technical glitches, the result is still inconclusive.
Anyone should be cautious regarding the consumption of milk thistle so that the usual side effects of milk thistle like weakness, impotency, insomnia and headache are avoided. The problem commences from the truth that no dietary supplement gets an approval and stamp from the Food and Drug Administration. Therefore, clinical researches about suitable and effective dosages are performed infrequently. As a result, a tentative dosage is usually recommended. Although, a more potent dosage is available, no one really knows about it. Furthermore, one has to really be watchful as to who the producer of the supplement is since these items did not go through mandatory and rigid checks before they are put up for sale in the market. Thus, the possibility that contaminants are present really exists. Both of these issues are real also on the of milk thistle.
Milk thistle can be found in variant forms in the market. You can have it in the form of dried herb capsules, milk thistle fruit, tincture, milk thistle tea, silymarin phosphatidylcholine complex and liquid extract. All of these are abundantly available in the market. The plant’s green foliage can be cooked and be eaten raw in salads.
In case you want to use milk thistle in treating the liver, the reasonable dosage can be anything between 280 to 420 mg each day with approximately 70 t0 80% of silymarin content. Of course, the doses should be equally distributed all through the day. If you choose the silymarin phosphatidylcholine complex, consumption of milk thistle should not be more than 100 to 200 mg and should be done two times in a day. It is a good idea to check on the silymarin content present in the milk thistle product as it could be anything between 50 and 500 mg. Silymarin is the active component of milk thistle which is made up of silicristin, silibinin and silidianin. Because this flavonoid provides the herb its effectiveness in a lot of ways with its properties such as antioxidant, minimal toxin permeability and anti-inflammatory, it is necessary that anyone must search for this component. Most items frequently have approximately 175 mg of silymarin. However, it is also advisable to choose silymarin present in milk thistle instead of silymarin injections. The fruit has about 1 to 7 % of silymarin.