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Milk Thistle

Silybum Marianum

The Chiron, the great Centurion, took it's Greek name of the wise centaur Chiron, teacher of Apollo, Asclepius, Achilles and Jason. Chiron was fighting on the side of Hercules against the others centaurs in the battle of Titans.

Hercules accidentally hurt him in the leg with an arrow dipped in the venom of the Hydra. The healer Chiron used the thistle to heal his wound.


As a herb, it is first mentioned by Theophrastus in the 4th century BC who calls it "Pternix" while Dioscorides in his work "Materia Medica", mentions thistle as a healing of wounds.

Pliny the Elder wrote that a juice mixture of thistle with honey is therapeutic of the bile.

During the Middle Ages, its use refers to all important medical herbs references, like medicine for plague, to gangrene and purulent wounds, while at the end of the 16th century, the English herbalist Nicholas Culpeper this an excellent remedy for obstructions of bile and spleen, treatment for jaundice and for elimination of the stone in the bile.


According to the Saxon tradition, white, like veins marks on the leaves are the drops of of Virgin Mary's milk that fell on him when breastfeeding Jesus and so I took the English name milk thistle or Mary thistle and French Chardon Marie (thorn of Mary).


They called it "bite the Devil" because the root looks like bitten. In French tradition, the Devil bit the root, by his anger when he imagined his punishment awaits the day of the Second Coming.

The English botanist of the 16th century, John Gerard, wrote that the Devil, bitten thistle trying to kill it, because it is useful in humans and animals.

• Contains a complex of flavonoid antioxidants known as silymarin, and it is the plant having the frequent presence in studies for the treatment of liver disease, with over 450 international publications.


• In modern herbal medicine, thistle is the main ingredient used to protect the liver from infections, alcohol or chemotherapies. It can help to limit the damage to the liver and contributes to the renewal of cells. Increases concentration in liver glutathione (GSH), which causes degradation of the molecular chains of hormones, drugs and chemicals, and thus improves the detoxifying capability of the liver.


• Silymarin functions as an antioxidant, 10 times more potent than vitamin E, preventing the action of free radicals, toxic agents with high molecular activity which destroy other molecules or the cells themselves causing liver problems. The thistle seems to inhibit the enzyme lipoxygenase and thus inhibits the production and action of leukotrienes, a dangerous for the liver group of compounds.


• Works as an antidote against toxic agents, which are produced either of the natural environment or by metabolic processes. There are studies of poisonings from toxic mushrooms, which completely neutralized the impact. So thistle is used in liver damage from chemical agents and alcohol, chronic viral hepatitis, poisoning, jaundice and cirrhosis of the liver.


• The most interesting, however affect the thistle is the ability to favor the synthesis of proteins and the production of new liver cells to replace the damaged.


• Recent studies attribute significant anticancer, heart-protective and neuroprotective properties due to the effective reduction of cholesterol causes. Reduces the effect of stimulators of tumors, stabilizes mast cells and regulate immune functions.


• It is helpful in  depression and melancholy, it is used as a strengthening of the brain and memory.


• It helps in blood purification, detoxification of the body, it is soothing to the nose and pleurisy and also in psoriasis. Issued to all the problems of the gallbladder as it increases the secretion and flow of bile from the liver and gall bladder.


• The silybin appeared to be beneficial for blood purification, detoxification of the body, to treat pancreatic problems, treating the problems of the lungs and prostate problems such as adenocarcinoma.


• It is also an excellent promoter of milk secretion during lactation for use by breastfeeding mothers.

• It is used in treatment for varicose veins, for menstrual disorders, for the spleen and kidney abnormalities, as high cholesterol, diabetes.


• The thistle does not present any toxicity and its components appear to be completely harmless to the human body.

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