Welcome to our large milk thistle supplements test and review. Here we present all the milk thistle products that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and also added a summary of customer reviews on the web.
In this way, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best milk thistle product for you.
You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a milk thistle product.
The most important facts in brief
- Milk thistle has been used as a detoxifying agent since ancient times. Now it is making a comeback!
- Milk thistle can be taken in the form of capsules or seeds. If you have digestive problems, it is also advisable to consume tea, otherwise, milk thistle tea is rather ineffective.
- Milk thistle is mainly used for liver problems. However, it also does good for the gall bladder, stomach, sleep disorders, and even skin problems!
What is milk thistle?
The milk thistle: it is not particularly beautiful, many even perceive it rather as a weed. Its flowers are a beautiful shade of purple, but it is surrounded by long spines and thorns.
However, despite its prickly appearance, milk thistle is becoming increasingly popular. Because of its detoxifying effect, milk thistle is now even cultivated professionally in Germany, Austria, Hungary, China, and South America.
But what actually makes milk thistle so special?
What effect does milk thistle have?
The active ingredient is not in the leaves but in the milk thistle seeds. These make milk thistle an antioxidant medicinal plant. The central active ingredient in milk thistle is called “silymarin”. This in turn consists of several substances, the strongest of which is called “silibinin”. This silibinin has a detoxifying effect and is often administered in cases of mushroom poisoning.
However, milk thistle not only has detoxifying effects but also liver regenerating, digestive, cholesterol-lowering, hepatoprotective (protects liver cells), and cell-protecting effects. So it can do quite a lot!
Most often, milk thistle is used for very specific problems. As already mentioned, milk thistle has a liver-cleansing effect. But it does not only do good to the liver, but also to the stomach. In case of stomach pain, the feeling of fullness, or flatulence, the bitter substances in milk thistle are just right.
Bitter substances also have a regulating effect on your entire gastrointestinal tract. It stimulates the metabolism and can thus bring about weight loss. That is why it is often taken as a supportive measure during a diet.
Milk thistle is also effective for sleep disorders! Since milk thistle supports digestion to such an extent that metabolic processes are not started in the middle of the night, but are “finished” beforehand. The liver normally becomes active again during the night, which can deprive sensitive people of sleep. The positive effects on your sleep should occur within a few weeks.
Milk thistle also stimulates bile production. This in turn stimulates digestion. Bile is fluid in the body that is produced in the liver and aids in digestion.
Did you know that milk thistle can also help with skin problems? Acne, psoriasis, dry patches, or eczema can have internal problems as their cause.
The liver can’t keep up with the breakdown of harmful substances in the body and these are then excreted through the skin, which can lead to acne or dandruff. So by regulating the liver, you can indirectly fight your skin problems.
For the sake of clarity, we have summarized the most important information in a table:
|Liver||Has a cleansing, detoxifying effect, good for intestinal cleansing and detoxification course.|
|Stomach||For stomach pain, bloating, flatulence stimulates metabolism, regulates the gastrointestinal tract, can induce weight reduction.|
|Sleep disorders||Metabolic processes no longer need to be active at night.|
|Gall bladder||Milk thistle stimulates bile production, supports digestion.|
|Skin problems||The liver sometimes fails to break down harmful substances in the body and these are then excreted through the skin, so regulation of the liver can indirectly influence skin problems.|
For whom is milk thistle suitable?
Milk thistle is basically suitable for all people. Even pregnant women can take milk thistle without hesitation.
The only people who should be careful are those who have an allergy to daisy plants.
What are the correct use and dosage of milk thistle?
Milk thistle is usually taken several times a day. It is best to take milk thistle in the morning and in the evening, as the liver is especially active at night.
The effective daily dose is about 200 – 400 mg silymarin. However, drugstore products are often underdosed. However, the amount you take depends on the reason you are taking milk thistle. Therefore, you should consult with your doctor about which dosage is best for your concern.
Milk Thistle Supplements in Comparision
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What types of milk thistle products are there, and what is right for you?
Milk thistle products can basically be divided into the following types:
- Milk Thistle Capsules.
- Milk Thistle Seeds.
- Milk thistle tea.
What distinguishes the different types from each other and what their advantages and disadvantages are, you will learn in this section.
What distinguishes milk thistle capsules, and what are their advantages and disadvantages?
Capsules have the advantage of being very easily available. There is now a wide selection of milk thistle capsules. Also, if you take it with capsules, you don’t have the unpleasant bitter aftertaste.
The disadvantage of capsules is that, as with all capsules, they are a synthetic product that usually contains other excipients besides silymarin.
- Easily available.
- Wide range of products.
- No bitter aftertaste.
- Synthetic product.
- Dosage often too low.
The capsules consist of the extract of the milk thistle fruit and often the different capsules differ greatly in terms of silymarin content. Silymarin, as already mentioned, is the main active ingredient in milk thistle. So when you buy capsules, you should compare the different offers.
Milk thistle extracts are mainly used for liver cleansing. This means that when you buy them, it is best to make sure that there are no ingredients like ethanol or aspartame in the capsules.
What distinguishes milk thistle seeds and what are their advantages and disadvantages?
Many people who take milk thistle seeds have positive testimonials.
The seed form contains the largest amount of the active ingredient silymarin, so the regeneration of liver cells is most intense in this way.
Unfortunately, the taste of the seeds is not the best, as it can be quite bitter. However, this is the only major drawback.
- The high content of the active ingredient silymarin.
- Easily available.
- Wide range of products.
- Bitter aftertaste.
What distinguishes milk thistle tea and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Normally, tea or an infusion is very popular with natural remedies. In the case of milk thistle, however, tea is unfortunately ineffective.
This is because the active ingredient silymarin in milk thistle is not water-soluble. Therefore, you should stick to the standard form of administration, that is, take either powdered seeds or capsules.
- For digestive problems.
- Easy to prepare.
- Silymarin not soluble in water.
- Almost no effect.
- Bitter taste.
Only in case of digestive problems (flatulence or bloating) the tea can be useful. In this case, milk thistle seeds should be ground very finely and infused with hot water (3-5 g seeds to 150-200 ml water).
Then let this steep for ten minutes and drink it three to four times a day half an hour before your meals. Since the tea does not taste very good, it is best to mix in some peppermint or licorice.
In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate milk thistle products. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular milk thistle product is suitable for you or not.
In summary, these are:
- Leaves or seeds.
- Organic seal.
The leaves of the milk thistle have no effect. The milk thistle seeds, however, have it all! Here you can decide whether you want to take them pure or in the form of capsules. We have already listed the advantages and disadvantages of each type above.
- Quality of milk thistle
As with many dietary supplements, the quality of the products is not always the same. It is best to pay attention to the ingredients and dosage when buying. It is difficult to make a general statement here, as it depends on the reasons for which you are taking milk thistle.
However, since it is best to consult your doctor before taking milk thistle, he or she will be able to recommend high-quality products.
- Taste of milk thistle
Milk thistle tastes very bitter when it is not ground. You will notice this if you take milk thistle as a tea. With milk thistle capsules, however, you will hardly notice the bitter taste.
- Organic seal
If you take milk thistle in the form of capsules or powder, it is worth checking whether the product has an organic seal. The market for dietary supplements is huge, but there are already many milk thistle products that have organic seal.
How important an organic certification is to you is, of course, up to you. However, it is worth taking a closer look!
Most people who take milk thistle choose to take capsules. There you will usually find a maximum concentration of the active ingredients.
Teas, as mentioned above, are somewhat less useful because the effect is too low. Ground seeds are actually well suited but are very bitter. Therefore, many people resort to capsules. The daily dose consists of two capsules per day, one in the morning and one in the evening.