Liver Health for Animals – Milk Thistle capsules
Milk Thistle, silymarin, acts largely on the liver and kidneys.
It is a well known protection against hepatotoxins. It has a long history of successful use in treating:
- liver detoxification
- blood and immunomodulation
- lipid and biliary effects
- cirrhosis (but not in decompensated cirrhosis)
- 55-400mg capsules
It has been used for Amanita mushroom poisoning.
1 gram orally per 100 weight daily for carnivores is recommended. It tastes grainy and can be sprinkled on or mixed with food.
It is regarded as nontoxic (GRAS) with only occasional GI distress and allergic reaction.
Milk Thistle – Silybum marianum
There are three botanical medicines that unquestionably are wonder drugs they are:
- Aspirin and
- Milk thistle.
Two other botanicals warrant wonder drug status but have not been, as
yet, recognized by a large segment of medical professionals as such
Milk thistle is the subject botanical of wonder drug status, it
enjoys a rich history dating back millennia. The Roman Pliny the Elder
wrote of milk thistle’s virtues. Culpepper – England’s infamous
herbalist set forth milk thistle’s utility for liver and spleen health
as well as its efficacy for jaundice.
Three flavonolignans, silybin (silibinin), silychristin and
silidianin make up what is known collectively as silymarin. Silybin is
the most active, of these three chemicals, as to hepatoprotection and
antioxidant effects. Several other lignans are also present. About 20%
oil made up of oleic, lipoic and other acids.
The drug silymarin is a mistake when it is standardized for oral
administration. It is poorly soluble in water and poorly available from
the gastrointestinal tract. Because silymarin is poorly soluble in water
standardized 80% silymarin is an expensive ineffective medicine that
could best be given parenterally if at all.
The ground whole seed is the best medicine. The seed of the plant
contains up to 8% silymarin. The many chemicals in the seed prove to be
the best delivery vehicle for silymarin. Many many veterinarians have
advised that the ground seed is more effective at 8% silymarin than is
the isolated silymarin standardized at 80%.
Milk thistle’s most important therapeutic efficacies are:
- cell regeneration
- antioxidant and
- hepatoprotection against a vast array of toxins.
The mechanism of milk thistle’s favorable influence on the liver is
not well understood. There have been numerous research papers published
that continue poor understanding. What is clear is that silymarin, and
related plant chemicals, do demonstrate amazing influence on the liver,
and its function.
Silymarin (silybin) potentiates DNA and RNA production. This results in cell growth and liver repair through protein synthesis.
Silymarin is a prooxidant free radical scavenger and it does
encourage concentration of glutathione in cells – a big plus 35% over
normal. Milk thistle is many times more potent than Vitamin E!
Glutathione (GSH) is required in detoxification. Just how these
desirable outcomes are accomplished is a matter of conjecture in the
literature. Silibin also inhibits peroxidizing enzymes blocking
peroxidases of fatty acids and membrane damage.
The seed of the milk thistle is hard, a bit shiny and preserves the
contents indefinitely. A large, but unknown to me, quantity will, and
does, pass through the G.I. tract and be wasted if it is ingested whole.
The ground encapsulated seed is adequately preserved. Data is lacking
that would tell how long the shelf life may be. However encapsulated
product lasts long enough that veterinary users have only reported
success – no failures. The consensus is that milk thistle seed:
- works better than 80% standardized silymarin products they have used.
- always, or nearly always, corrects liver enzyme imbalances.
- protects the liver from harsh drugs.
- protects the liver when the animal is exposed to toxic chemicals.
- is easy to administer.
- It boosts milk production – any that deal with dairy herds, particularly organic herds, should consider it.
It is a preventative treatment for glaucoma and cloudy eyes as in
aging dogs (i.e. lenticular sclerosis). It is a very effective cure for
It is a positive treatment for: hepatitis, gallstones, psoriasis and cirrhosis.
Milk thistle clearly has a lot of fans and uses.