Presently there are no approved modern medications for the treatment of liver diseases, including the most common alcoholic and nonacoholic fatty liver diseases, and drug-induced hepatitis, and for liver detoxification. The first line of treatments usually is losing weight—which helps reduce fat, inflammation and scarring of the liver—and refraining from drinking alcohol.
In the absence of approved drugs, the use Silymarin compounded in formulations has been on the rise in recent years. An active compound of the flowering plant Milk Thistle, Silymarin (Silybum marianum) has been used for centuries in treating various liver disorders.
Silymarin has been used for centuries for treating liver disorders, and in recent years its popularity has increased extensively in Europe and America as pharmaceutical preparations for the management of liver health.
The flavonoids in Milk Thistle, concentrated in seeds, have a strong liver protective action. Clinical trials have shown they can protect the liver by counteracting a number of harmful substances, including alcohol and other toxins. Evidence suggests silymarin may alter the liver cell membranes which prevent toxins from passing through the cell.
In addition, silymarin compounds have shown to exhibit significant antioxidant capabilities and can help reduce inflammation by inhibiting certain enzymes.
These compounds have also demonstrated that they are safe in long term use.
Silymarin/ Milk Thistle is one of the most studied natural compounds for disease treatment. It is the subject of more than 80 clinical studies for the treatment of liver and gallbladder disorders registered with the U.S. National Institutes of Health.