Milk thistle

Other Names:

Mary Thistle, Holy Thistle, Lady's Thistle, Legalon, Marian Thistle, Mariendistel


  • Antioxidant
  • Antiinflammatory
  • Anticancer
  • Heptoprotective
  • Antitoxin
  • Anticarcinogenic
  • Antimycotoxin

Milk Thistle

Silybum marianum

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a flowering herb that is most commonly known for its use in herbal medicine for aid in treatment of liver disorders in humans, including toxic liver damage caused by chemicals, jaundice, chronic inflammatory liver disease, chronic hepatitis, and hepatic cirrhosis.
The main active chemical component in milk thistle is silymarin, which is actually a group of flavonoids (silibinin, silidianin, and silicristin), which are thought to help repair and protect liver cells. Silymarin is extracted mainly from the seeds, which contain 70 to 80% of the chemical. Numerous studies conducted on chickens have demonstrated that milkthistle helps to protect birds against the negative effects of aflatoxin B1 and possibly ochratoxin A (OTA).

Summary Table of Research
To evaluate whether the addition of silymarin and vitamin E to the diets of one-day old White Leghorn cockerels could help offset the negative effects of Ochratoxin A (OTA), a type of harmful mycotoxin known to commonly contaminate poultry feeds and many other feedstuff worldwide.10 g/kg silymarin (SL)
200 mg/kg vitamin E
Extract42 daysBoth additives possess an ability to ameliorate OTA-induced immunotoxicity in chicks.Khatoon et al., 2013
To evaluate the efficacy of milk thistle seed (MTS) against the toxic effects of feed contaminated with aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in broiler chickens.0.5 to 1% MTSSeeds21 daysIt helped provide protection against the negative effects of AFB1 in the chicks.Amiridumari et al., 2013
To investigate the immunomodulatory and growth promoting effect of milk thistle against aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in broiler chicks.Milk thistle at 10 g/kg of feedPowder from the seeds35 daysIt was effective at offsetting the negative immunosuppressive effects caused by consuming AFB1 in the poultry feed.N Chand et al., 2011


Mountain Rose Herbs