Silybum is a plant known for its main active ingredient, silimarine, and belongs to the sunflower family. It has purple flowers and white on the leaves. It blooms from June to August, and glossy black seeds used to produce medicinal preparations are harvested at the end of summer.
How does it work?
Silybum is one of the most explored and described plants. Scientific research confirms her healing effect, especially in dysfunctional liver function. Most of its beneficial effects originate from the complex of three active substances that protect the liver, commonly referred to as silimarine. Mature seeds have 4% to 6% of silimarine.
MAIN USEFUL EFFECTS: one of the beneficial effects is definitely stimulated liver function, one of our most important organs. Nutrients are processed in the liver, including fat and other food ingredients. It also nullifies, that is, detoxifies many drugs, chemicals and alcohol that enters the body. Silybum boosts and stimulates liver function by preventing consumption of glutathione, amino acid-like substances, which is important for detoxification processes. Studies have shown that this plant can increase the glutathione concentration by 35%. It is a very effective guard that limits the amount of toxin that the liver breaks down over a certain period. This plant is also a powerful antioxidant; it works stronger than vitamins C and E and thus helps to prevent damage caused by molecules of free radicas. It stimulates the replacement of old and damaged liver cells with new ones, alleviates various liver diseases, from viral infections (hepatitis) to liver scars (cirrhosis).
This plant has so strong effect that it is sometimes given (in the form of injections) to patients whose life is endangered due to liver failure from mushroom poisoning. In addition, since excessive alcohol consumption can consume glutathione, silybum is occasional given to protect the liver of alcoholics and/or those who are on rehab.
ADDITIONAL USEFUL EFFECTS: silybum helps to reduce the liver damage that occurs during chemotherapy. This plant accelerates recovery and helps in the removal of toxic substances that accumulate in the body. It can alleviate inflammation and slow down cell proliferation that occurs in people suffering from psoriasis. It can also help with endometriosis (the most common cause of female infertility) by helping liver in the processing of estrogen, whose elevated level increases the pain and other problems of that disease. Finally, it should be said that silybum can have a beneficial effect on preventing and treating gallstones – its use facilitates the flow of bile from the liver to the intestine, where fat is digested.
How to take it?
DOSAGE: it is recommended to take up to 200 mg of standardized extract (containing 70% to 80% silimarine) three times a day. Smaller doses are also often effective. Silybum is often taken together with other preparations such as dandelion, choline, methionine and inositol. Such combinations are often referred to as ”liver formulas” or ”lipotropic factors”. They prevent accumulation of fatty substances in the liver. Regarding the dosage, follow the instructions on the packaging.
USE GUIDELINES: the extract seems to be the most effective when taken between meals. If you want, you can sprinkle the silybum seeds on the flakes once a day. The beneficial effects of silybum can be seen after one or two weeks, but in chronic diseases it will take longer than that. This plant seems to be safe for both pregnant and breastfeeding women. No interactions with other drugs were reported.
Possible side effects
There have been no side effects that could be associated with taking silybum and it is considered to be one of the safest herbs. However, it may cause a slight laxative effect in some people, which lasts for a day or two.
IMPORTANT: every liver disease requires careful medical examination and treatment!