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Milk Thistle

By

Laura Shane-McWhorter

, PharmD, University of Utah College of Pharmacy

Last full review/revision Jul 2020| Content last modified Jul 2020
Click here for the Professional Version

Milk thistle is a purple-flowered plant. Its sap and seeds contain the active ingredient silymarin, a potent antioxidant and a term often used interchangeably with milk thistle. (See also Overview of Dietary Supplements Overview of Dietary Supplements Integrative medicine and health (IMH) and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) include healing approaches and therapies that historically have not been included in conventional, mainstream... read more .)

Medicinal claims

Possible side effects

No serious side effects have been reported.

Women who have hormone-sensitive conditions (such as breast, uterine, or ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids) should avoid the above-ground parts of milk thistle.

Possible drug interactions

Milk thistle may intensify the effects of drugs that decrease blood sugar levels (hypoglycemic drugs) and may interfere with drugs used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (such as indinavir or saquinavir).

More Information about Milk Thistle

The following is an English-language resource that may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of this resource.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
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