Silymarin Research

Updated: May 14

Silymarin is a flavonoid that is produced by milk thistle and cannabis, among other plant species. It has been shown, via a wealth of peer-reviewed scientific research, to potentially serve as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of a variety of disease states and conditions.

Milk thistle


According to the 2017 book entitled Nanostructures for Oral Medicine (chapter 21) , "Silymarin has been shown to possess various pharmacological properties like hepatoprotective, antioxidant, antiinflammatory, anticancer, and cardioprotective activities."


According to this 2000 study, the silymarin flavonoid "has been used clinically for almost 25 years in Europe as an anti-hepatotoxic agent for nearly every known form of liver disease, including cirrhosis, hepatitis, and necrosis."

According to this 2000 study, the silymarin flavonoid may be a powerful anticancer agent for some patients. The researchers reported that this flavonoid "has been used clinically for almost 25 years in Europe as an anti-hepatotoxic agent for nearly every known form of liver disease, including cirrhosis, hepatitis, and necrosis."


Recent research has revealed the anticancer, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties of this special and widely studied flavonoid. It may be effective in treating a range of diseases, including various types of cancer, several viruses, depression, liver complications and dysfunction, and diseases of the skin.

A 2019 study entitled "Silymarin Antiproliferative and Apoptotic Effects: Insights into its Clinical Impact in Various Types of Cancer" that was published in the journal Phytotherapy Research discussed the "diverse molecular mechanisms for silymarin antiproliferative and apoptotic effects" for a variety of cancers, including "cell cycle control, cell proliferation, and cell death."


The study noted that "mechanisms involved in inflammation and angiogenesis have also been highlighted as silymarin-likely targets in cancer therapy."

The study noted that "mechanisms involved in inflammation and angiogenesis have also been highlighted as silymarin-likely targets in cancer therapy."


A 2019 study entitled "Antiviral Activities of Silymarin and Derivatives" that was published in the journal Molecules identified silymarin as a flavonoid that possess "antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and hepatoprotective functions."

The study also noted the significant antiviral properties of this flavonoid, citing its effectiveness against "several viruses, including the flaviviruses (hepatitis C virus and dengue virus), togaviruses (Chikungunya virus and Mayaro virus), influenza virus, human immunodeficiency virus, and hepatitis B."


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