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Milk Thistle (Organic Silymarin Herb)

£7.99 £5.99

100% pure organic Milk Thistle herb from Greece. With 85 grams in each bag, there’s enough to brew over 40 cups of this healthy tonic!

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Description

As with everything in the Shelgo Tea store, Milk Thistle is sourced from Greece, where it is grown organically. Often consumed in tablet/capsule form, this is the purest of the pure–no extracts, no concentrates, just 100% Milk Thistle.

  • Type: Loose Leaf Tea
  • Quantity: 55 grams (30+ cups)
  • Origin: Greece
  • Organic: Yes
  • Brew Tips: Use 1 teaspoon per cup & steep for 3 to 5 minutes (adjust brewing time and quantity for stronger/weaker tea).

Milk thistle, or silymarin, is an extract of the milk thistle plant, a.k.a. silybum marianum. This extract has been studied extensively and is said to provide an array of health benefits, including protective and curative properties. It has been used extensively in detox preparations for this very reason, and in this guide, we’ll see if those claims are true by looking at the evidence that supports them.

Read More: Silymarin, Milk Thistle, and Silibinin

Silymarin versus Milk Thistle versus Silibinin

Before we look at the health benefits of milk thistle, we need to clear up the terms used to describe it. Milk thistle is the plant, and if you see the term on the back of a supplement bottle or the front of a pack of tea, it could be describing everything from a raw concoction made from the leaves or seeds to an extract made from both.

This is a generic term that requires some due diligence on the consumer’s part, as the benefits of this plant are mainly derived from the seeds and not the plant itself. This is where silymarin comes in. This term is used to describe an extract of milk thistle seeds and is what consumers typically think of when they see milk thistle, as this is the extract behind most of the research.

Finally, silibinin or silybin is a term derived from the generic name of milk thistle (silybum marianum) and refers to a beneficial compound found within silymarin (the seed extract).

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Read More: Benefits of Milk Thistle

Health Benefits of Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle

A lot of the research surrounding this plant has been conducted using silymarin, either as a powdered or liquid extract, and as we shall discover, most of it concerns the liver.

1. It Could Protect the Liver

Several studies have suggested that milk thistle can help reduce liver damage. Many of these studies have been conducted on animals, showing promise in the treatment of liver damage caused by alcohol abuse, paracetamol overdose, and even radiation. (1) Milk thistle extracts are also thought to help with certain liver diseases and it has even become one of the go-to herbal treatments for amatoxin poisoning, a highly toxic compound produced by mushrooms in the amanita family, including the Death Cap and Lepiota. (2)

Amatoxin poisoning is rare, and it’s highly unlikely that milk thistle will become a first-course treatment for alcohol or drug poisoning, so this is far from a miracle cure. However, it could work well as a complementary treatment for individuals with liver damage or liver disease.

It has also become popular with binge drinkers and steroid users, who believe that a little milk thistle can support their liver and reduce some of the damage. This remains to be seen and has not been supported by any worthwhile evidence, but it’s certainly a promising field of study and one that warrants more research.

2. It’s an Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory

Benefits of Milk Thistle

Milk thistle displays antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and as a result, it has been linked with an array of digestive health benefits and is said to have anti-cancer properties. It has even shown promise in several cancer studies, and there are suggestions that is can be used as a complementary treatment, but many of these studies were conducted on animals and there has been no conclusive data from human studies. (3)

It should, however, be avoided by patients suffering from breast cancer, as it can alter oestrogen levels and have an adverse effect on the disease and its treatments.

3. It May Help with Neurological Decline

Anti-inflammatories may be able to help with neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s. Such is the case with sideritis scardica, which has shown promise in several age- and memory-related studies, and it may also be true of milk thistle.

It may help prevent oxidative stress and the way this impacts the brain (4). This, in turn, could help reduce cognitive decline and may even play a role in preventing certain neurological conditions, but more studies need to be conducted before conclusive statements can be made. In fact, all the positive studies in this area have been conducted on animals and extensive human trials are needed.

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Read More: Detoxing with Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle and Detox

Milk Thistle Detox

We’re not big fans of the word detox, as it has been overused and misused. We discussed this in our guide to dangerous weight-loss pills and it’s also something we mentioned in the description for our own detox herbal tea gift pack.

There is a natural progression that 99% of health sites take. It begins with “detox”, it mentions “toxins”, and then eventually it claims that a substance can somehow remove everything from food additives to environmental pollutants from your body. Milk thistle is often caught up in these claims, and it’s a shame, because it shrouds what is potentially a very helpful substance in a cloak of mumbo jumbo.

If you define a detox as the process of shifting from a period of poor health to one of good, such as when you go from eating a poor diet to a good one, or when you stop drinking, smoking, or taking drugs, then milk thistle can potentially help. This is how we like to define the word, and when you consider that substances like this (as well as dandelion leaf tea) can help support the liver (potentially aiding with the healing process), the brain, and the digestive system, then they really can be used during a detox.

But it’s not magic. It can’t undo years of damage with a single dose, and it definitely isn’t responsible for eradicating all of the “toxins” in your body. That’s your liver’s job, so it’s always a good idea to support it.

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Read More: Brewing Milk Thistle Tea

Silymarin Tea

If faced with the option of taking a herb extract in the form of a supplement, or drinking a tea made from the whole herb, we would always opt for the latter.

There are some exceptions, though. Valerian root is one, because it tastes like a cat’s litter tray and you need a lot of it to get a beneficial dose, but when you buy the whole herb and consume it in this manner, you know you’re getting the real deal and can control the dose.

To brew Milk Thistle as a tea, begin with one teaspoon, brew for around 5 minutes, and add a little honey or sugar to taste. You can increase the dose if you find it a little too weak and you can also use the herb in other ways. Shelgo Tea Milk Thistle is just 100% chopped, dried Milk Thistle plant, and it doesn’t have to be consumed as a tea.

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Additional information

Weight55 g
Used For

Detox, Digestion

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