Milk Thistle

Silybum marianum

Milk thistle

Other Names:

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


  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antitumor
  • Heptoprotective
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a flowering herb known for its important medicinal properties. Mediterranean region. It has been used for thousands of years as a herbal remedy for a variety of ailments, particularly for the liver. The main chemical component in milk thistle is silymarin, a group of flavonoids (silibinin, silidianin, and silicristin), which are thought to help repair and protect liver cells. Silymarin is extracted from the seeds, which contain 70 to 80%. Specific applications relating to poultry include:
  • Protection from mycotoxins: 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) of diet
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% MTS of dietSeeds21 daysIt helped protect 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


Scientific References