Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health
Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health

Ailment: Gilbert's syndrome

Remedy: Milk thistle

Milk thistles (silybum marianum, silybum eburneum, cardo mari or St. Mary's Thistle) are flowering plants of the daisy family (asteraceae). They are native to the Mediterranean regions of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. The mottled leaves contain a milky sap. The roots, leaves, flowers and seeds can all be eaten.

The seeds of milk thistle have been used by herbalists for centuries to treat liver diseases and to assist the liver with detoxification. Milk thistle is regarded as a liver tonic; it has a protective effect on the liver and improves its function. It is used to treat liver cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis (liver inflammation), toxin-induced liver damage (including the prevention of severe liver damage mushroom poisoning), and gallbladder disorders.

Milk thistle is available as pills, capsules or as a tincture. A tincture is the result of soaking milk thistle in alcohol. It is higher quantity and better absorbed than capsules or tablets. The tincture contains so little alcohol that when taken in a glass of water or however recommended, it is not enough to affect most people in any way.

Milk Thistle can be taken for long periods of time with safety, except for women who are / want to be pregnant or those with complex immune disorders such as HIV. As with most herbs and other supplements, do not take it indefinitely. Take a break every couple of weeks or months, say three weeks / months on and then one off it.

Comment posted by Carl of worcester, West midlands, England on 25 March 2015 at 7:15       3368

I have gilberts syndrome which brought me to this site so I wanted to try milk thistle. I have been taking milk thistle for three weeks now and I feel much better even after having alcohol. I have cut my alcohol intake down since I started reading the grow youthful book but I admit my birthday got in the way. I have not had a hangover though and I feel alert in the morning after being awake for 5 minutes rather than 5 hours some days. I am sleeping better and don't feel as tired as I used to, but my job and hours of work are demanding so I don't think I'll ever feel at my best.

Comment posted by David Niven Miller of Perth, WA, Australia on 25 February 2015 at 11:8       3289

Reply to Carl of Worcester:
Milk thistle is not likely to be a quick fix. It seems to help some people and make things worse in others. In some, benefits appear after a couple of hours, in others it can take up to a month or two for the levels in your body to rise to the level where it is effective. Give it a try and see if it works for you, and please leave a comment here after you have gained your experience.


Question posted by Carl of Worcester, West midlands, England on 24 February 2015 at 23:51       3286

Are you saying then, that milk thistle is a quick fix or can it be used as on going treatment for GS?

Comment posted by Monica M of Gettysburg, PA, USA on 24 February 2015 at 1:25       3292

After doing some research I decided to try milk thistle for my Gilbert’s syndrome. After just taking just one dose I felt so much better. After a few weeks my tiredness had gone, my mental fog cleared, I actually became more outgoing and my nervousness went away. I feel better after eating carbs and my appetite has improved. The only downside is that I feel so energized that I am not sleeping as well as previously.

Comment posted by Marsden of Adelaide, SA, Australia on 12 January 2015 at 10:47       3291

I suffered from Gilbert’s syndrome and have taken milk thistle and vitamin C for three months. My bilirubin level has gone from ten times normal to just above normal. Take it - it really works - milk thistle is the most potent liver-protecting herb, and also helps rebuild new liver cells. It detoxifies the liver and protects it from damaging toxins. It is interesting that this herb should only work in phase 1 detoxing, and GS sufferers have most trouble with phase 2 detoxing, yet there's obvious relief for many sufferers.


Comment posted by Kelt of Bratislava, Slovakia, Slovakia on 23 February 2011 at 4:36       446

how can anybody recommend milk thistle for gilbert's syndrome?!!! Milk thistle slow down phase 2 detoxification and makes rise of bilirubin in blood! Milk thistle is good for liver, but not for gilbert's syndrome....

Remedy (new) posted by David Niven Miller of Perth, WA, Australia on 18 May 2010 at 13:49       212

Milk thistle is one of those traditonal herbs that strengthens the liver and helps it to perform optimally. If you have been out drinking alcohol, more than your liver can process so you're expecting a hangover, then milk thistle is a great remedy to take before going to bed, and again in the morning. Being a general liver tonic, it has been used by many people with Gilbert's Syndrome, sometimes with a high degree of success in preventing the symptoms.