Liver - Milk Thistle Complex & Liver

Milk Thistle Complex & Liver

By Jo Serrentino,
phytochemical and phytotherapeutic researcher and author

"MILK THISTLE COMpLEX is one of the best combination herbal remedies I have tested for liver complaints. It acts on the mucous membranes of the digestive tract to improve basic digestion and it increases digestive secretions from glands in the liver, stomach and pancreas. Because of the spasmolytic effect of Boldo, it relaxes the digestive tract so that digestion can take place normally.

Milk thistle and artichoke are in the perfect ratio in Milk Thistle Complex to provide anti-toxic and regenerative activity. Milk Thistle Complex induces basic digestive functions. In the mouth, it causes a reflex action of the mucous membranes that immediately engage a cascade of digestive reaction encompassing the liver, pancreas, intestine and stomach. In doing so, it delivers digestive ease, comfort and relief for most digestive complaints.

MILK THISTLE COMpLEX is on my top ten best product lists... a product I always have on hand!"

The liver, is an inconspicuous organ one that is not in the news or even very popular in conversation. Yet, the liver is linked to the physiological outcome of many conditions and consequences of every day life.

A faulty liver can cause headaches and migraines, weight gain, rheumatic conditions, chronic fatigue, hypoglycaemia, low immune resistance, allergies, constipation and nausea.

The liver is the conversion centre that transforms various types of food molecules to glucose, providing energy to individual cells. It is thus the controller of how we feel, since what we put into our body is managed, to a large extent, by the liver. It changes food molecules into useable energy units for the body. With this in mind, it is clear that if the liver is faulty, the energy needs of the body will not be properly met. If these conversions do not occur efficiently, all kinds of symptoms can result.

Milk Thistle Complex

Because the liver is so closely associated with providing the energy requirements of the body, one of the most common symptoms of liver distress is fatigue. This can occur simply from a stressed liver, such as after a fatty meal when the liver is overloaded with big molecules.

The amount of glucose released or taken up by the liver is determined by the concentration of glucose in the bloodstream. This process is, in turn, regulated by hormones and by the autonomic nervous system. When there is a faulty liver, these physiological pathways give rise to a series of symptoms that can virtually affect most areas of the body.


For example, a liver overloaded by food and drugs must work hard to metabolise drugs and detoxify the system. This will cause general fatigue, even dizziness and a heavy headed feeling, along with a weakness of muscles and possibly vision problems. This can be as much due to overloading of liver function or the surge of toxins, which emerge as by-products, before they are expelled from the system. To make matters worse, when there is a cascade of these by-products, it causes a block in other systems and functions, such as waste disposal, resulting in bloating and constipation.

As you can surmise, the liver, although not a popular or posh organ, is a very important one that we should consider more seriously. It is the detoxification centre of the body; it runs perfectly well automatically, and can even take a little abuse as in the normal experiences of junk food and alcohol, but one should be wary of putting too much junk in the body is a tiring business for the liver.

What is phytotherapy

phytotherapy uses plant-derived products, such as herbal extracts to treat symptoms of ailments and disease.

What Kind of products are phytotherapeutic

Herbal extracts and tinctures, essential oils, herbal teas, dried and fresh herbs prepared in decoctions*, macerations*, and infusions*, encapsulated herbs or herbals in tablet or liquid form and flower essences.

The preparation of home-made' remedies is not really practical or economical. Today, there are such good over-the-counter herbals available, with therapeutic concentrations one could never be sure of getting from home-made' preparations.

products such as Vogel's tinctures also use fresh whole plants, giving full spectrum extracts that offer a wide range of therapeutic action.

What's the Difference

  • A decoction places dried plants in cold water in a covered container and boils the mixture for 5-10 minutes depending on the plant. A bouillon is an extension of the decoction in that it is prepared the same way but uses a whole, sometimes fresh plant. The mixture is consumed like soup.

  • An infusion is prepared by pouring boiling water over specific plant parts and allowing them to steep. Herbal teas are infusions.

  • A maceration is prepared by soaking plants in water, alcohol or wine in a closed container for several days to several weeks. The container is kept in a cold dark place and the mixture is strained before use.

    For the liver, the main herbs to look for are:

    • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis)

    • Artichoke (Cynara scolymus)

    • Milk thistle (Silybum marianum)

    • Boldo (peumus boldus)

    • peppermint (Mentha piperita)

      These are herbs that provide active principles targeted at the liver or to its function. The different actions between these herbs is often subtle..

(Taraxacum officinalis)

Dandelion is particularly good for nausea and bloating. It helps promote the production of bile and gives the liver a hand at detoxifying the system. It is almost like a detergent that cuts through grease. Although not a pretty picture, this metaphor illustrates how a tablet of dandelion root, dandelion root tea or dandelion extract can actually cut through fat. Specifically it helps the liver deal with excess fat in the diet. So it is particularly useful to take dandelion after a heavy meal in saturated fats.


Liver complaints with accompanying kidney complaints. For nausea, bloating, low energy, with possible middle back pain from kidney complaints.

(Cynara scolymus)

Globe Artichoke reduces cholesterol and lipid levels in the blood through its action on the liver. A group of compounds called phenolic acids possess a protective and restorative function on the liver.


High cholesterol and difficulty digesting fatty, rich foods. Gallbladder problems.

Milk thistle
(Silybum marianum)

Milk Thistle contains substances called silymarin which have antihepatotoxic action. This means that it prevents toxicity the liver. On its own, Milk thistle is not a symptom-relieving remedy, but rather acts at the enzymatic level in the liver to detoxify glands and to regenerate liver cells. It is useful as a liver tonic after serious toxicity from abuse of alcohol, drugs, foods or hepatitis. In combination with other liver herbals its antihepatotoxic activity can help reduce fatigue.


Serious liver toxicity/hepatitis, better in combination herbals. For fatigue due to liver overload.

(peumus boldus)

Boldo is renowned in Europe for promoting gastric juice secretions. It is also an antispasmodic for the liver, helping to relax a liver stressed by heavy meals. In combination with Milk Thistle and Artichoke it is an excellent preparation for treating digestive complaints.


Wind, pressure in the stomach and feeling of fullness, nausea. Better in combination with other liver herbs.

(Mentha piperita)

peppermint is anti-spasmodic, acting locally to produce smooth muscle relaxation which in turn helps to relieve stomach and intestinal colic and dyspepsia. It also has a carminative effect, reducing flatulence.


Spasms due to muscular tension and flatulence.

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