Potential Health Benefits of Milk Thistle

Potential Health Benefits of Milk Thistle
Potential Health Benefits of Milk Thistle

One of Nature’s gifts to humankind, Milk Thistle is a prickly, unusual-looking plant that provides us health benefits.* If you’re interested in working this herb into your wellness routine, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll discuss two of the potential health benefits of Milk Thistle, and then we’ll talk about how to make it a part of your day-to-day routine. (Hint: It’s easy!) But first, let’s start with the basics so you can know exactly what you’re putting in your body.

What Is Milk Thistle?

What Is Milk Thistle?

Milk Thistle, scientifically known as Silybum marianum, belongs to the Asteraceae family, along with plants like sunflowers and daisies. While it’s native to the Mediterranean, Milk Thistle has now made its home all over the world.

This red-purple flowering plant is prickly and thistly and can grow to be quite tall—up to five to 10 feet. And its leaves have white veins that release a white sap when they are crushed.

Milk Thistle may get its name from the milky substance that comes from the leaves. Also, folk tradition suggests that the leaves’ white veins come from the milk of the Virgin Mary.

To many, this plant is a weed. However, we believe it is a treasure and love what it can do for our bodies! Its traditional use goes back centuries.

Dioscorides, a Greek physician who lived 40 to 90 AD, described Milk Thistle as a traditional remedy. And he was not the only one of his time to report its use. More recently, Eclectic physicians at the turn of the 20th century used Milk Thistle to support healthy liver function.*

What has modern science taught us about this plant? For starters, we know that one of its active constituents is a flavonoid called silymarin.

Silymarin, extracted from Milk Thistle seeds, is believed to be part of what makes Milk Thistle so beneficial to health.* Let’s take a look at two of the top potential health benefits of this herb.

2 Potential Health Benefits of Milk Thistle*

milk thistle

Liver and Cleanse Support*

As we’ve mentioned, Milk Thistle has been used for hundreds of years to support the liver and kidneys.*

Milk Thistle is now frequently still used as a liver support herb, and for good reason.* The active constituent that we just mentioned—silymarin—is an antioxidant that supports the liver in several ways.*

Not only does it sustain healthy liver function, but Milk Thistle also helps support the body’s natural cleansing process.*

Digestive Support*

Woman having milk thistle for digestive support

While Milk Thistle is well-known as an herb specifically used for liver support, it’s also a helpful herb for overall digestive health.* Of course, the liver is part of the digestive system.

This is why we’ve included this plant in our digestive bitters formula, which brings us to the practical part of this article: how to take Milk Thistle.

How to Take Milk Thistle

At this point, you’re probably wondering how to use Milk Thistle on a daily basis so you can start reaping its benefits. We recommend a Milk Thistle supplement in capsule or liquid extract form. We’ll share a few options now.

Keep in mind that if you have a health condition or take medications, you should speak with your doctor or naturopathic physician before starting to take Milk Thistle or any herbal supplement.

Digestive Bitters

To make use of Milk Thistle specifically for digestive support, try digestive bitters, like Gaia Herbs Sweetish Bitters.*

Sweetish Bitters 

Gaia Herbs Sweetish Bitters


To aid healthy digestion on a daily basis, turn to Gaia Herbs Sweetish Bitters 15 or 20 minutes before you sit down to eat.*

Digestive bitters are a traditional digestive remedy dating back thousands of years, and they’re still used today to help maintain a healthy digestive system.*

In addition to Milk Thistle, Sweetish Bitters contains Cardamom, Dandelion, Fennel, Ginger, and Turmeric. All you have to do to make use of these herbs is mix 60 drops into a small amount of water and drink the mixture 15 to 20 minutes before meals.

Milk Thistle Liquid Extract

Just like digestive bitters, Milk Thistle liquid extracts are meant to be taken in a small glass of water. However, both of the liquid extracts below are made with only Milk Thistle and no other herbs.

Certified Organic Milk Thistle Seed


Gaia Herbs Certified Organic Milk Thistle Seed


Gaia Herbs Certified Organic Milk Thistle Seed is a liquid extract that preserves the important phytochemical silymarin and is designed to promote healthy liver function so you can stay feeling well.*

And you can feel good about what you’re putting in your body since this liquid extract is Certified Organic. Because we believe you deserve to know exactly what’s in your herbal supplement, we’ve created meetyourherbs.com, the world’s first herb traceability platform.

Here, you will discover where the herbs in your product come from; learn how they were grown, harvested, and extracted; and see validation of your product’s level of purity and potency.

We believe that the quality of an herbal supplement can only be as good as the quality of the various herbs that go into it. That’s why we choose to grow many of the herbs used in our products on our very own farm, where we can cultivate them exactly the way we want.

For plants used in our supplements that we cannot grow on our own farm or in the quantity that we need, our network of organic and sustainable communities allows us to source herbs from where they grow best.

Glycerin-Based Milk Thistle Seed

Gaia Herbs Certified Organic Milk Thistle Seed


We also offer this herb as Glycerin-Based Milk Thistle Seed, a low-alcohol formula to fit your needs and support healthy liver function.*

Take this herbal supplement by mixing 30 to 40 drops in a small amount of water three to four times daily between meals.

Milk Thistle Capsules

If you prefer to take Milk Thistle by swallowing a capsule, turn to Gaia Herbs Milk Thistle Seed or Liver Health.

Milk Thistle Seed

Gaia Herbs Milk Thistle Seed


Gaia Herbs Milk Thistle Seed contains Milk Thistle seed that is extracted to preserve optimal potency and concentrate the phytochemical silymarin.* This concentrated dose is delivered via Liquid Phyto-CapsⓇ, which offer a liquid extract in a convenient capsule.

As an expression of our purity and integrity, all Gaia Herbs Liquid Phyto-Cap products are 100% vegetarian and tested to be free of heavy metal toxicity, pesticides, and microbial contamination.

This herbal supplement is one of our best-selling liver formulas and helps to maintain healthy liver function and support your overall well-being.*

Liver Health

Gaia Herbs Liver Health


To support your liver with Milk Thistle combined with other liver-healthy herbs, look no further than Gaia Herbs Liver Health.*

With Milk Thistle, Chinese Skullcap, Turmeric, Schisandra (a favorite adaptogen), and Licorice root, this supplement provides daily support for overall well-being and helps maintain a healthy liver.*

Milk Thistle for Liver and Digestive Support*

Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle may be prickly on the outside, but inside, its seeds hold a wealth of health benefits that can’t be passed up.* This herb supports the digestive system overall as well as your liver in particular, and it’s easy to take on a daily basis.*

For pre-mealtime digestive support, take Gaia Herbs Sweetish Bitters in a small glass of water.* Or, to support your liver, opt for a liquid extract, like Gaia Herbs Milk Thistle Seed, or a capsule supplement, like Liver Health.*

Gently and naturally supporting liver and digestive health has never been easier.*