Silybum marianum (Milk Thistle): Review on Its chemistry, morphology, ethno medical uses, phytochemistry and pharmacological activities
The oldest remedies identified to mankind are herbal medicines. India is recognized worldwide for its Ayurvedic treatment. India has rich history of using many plants for medicinal purposes. Remedial plants are cooperating extremely dynamic position in customary drugs for the action of a variety of illness. However a key obstacle, which has hindered the promotion in use of alternative medicines in the developed countries, is no evidence of documentation and absence of stringent quality control measures. There is a demand for the evidence of every investigate effort execute on conventional remedies in the appearance of certification. The purpose of current review is to make accessible up-to-date information on, botany, morphology, ecological biodiversity, therapeutic uses, phytochemistry and pharmacological activities on diverse parts of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn (S. marianum). This review was assembled using technical literature from electronic search engine such as Springer link, Bio Med Central, Pub Med, Scopus, Science Direct, Scielo, Medline and Science domain. Supplementary texts were obtained from books, book chapters, dissertations, websites and other scientific publications. S. marianum a member of the Asteraceae family, is a tall herb with large prickly white veined green leaves and a reddish-purple flower that ends in sharp spines. It is native of the Mediterranean region and which has also spread in East Asia, Europe, Australia and America. Confident chemical constituents were exposed cognate as silybin A, silybin B, isosilybin A, isosilybin B, silychristin, silydianin, apigenin 7-O-β-(2″- O-α-rhamnosyl)galacturonide, kaempferol 3-O-α-rhamnoside-7-O-β-galacturonide, apigenin 7-O-β-glucuronide, apigenin 7-O-β-glucoside, apigenin 7-O-β-galactoside, kaempferol-3-O-α-rhamnoside, kaempferol, taxifolin and quercetin. The plant is exclusively used as anti-diabetic, hepatoprotective, hypocholesterolaemic, anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and as an anti-oxidant. Seeds of the plant are also used as an anti-spasmodic, neuroprotective, anti-viral, immunomodulant, cardioprotective, demulcent and anti-haemorrhagic. The plant is also serves as a galactagogue, agent that induces milk secretion and used in the treatment of uterine disorders. The plant is employed in dissimilar conventional schemes of remedy in the cure of different illness.
2. Khan FA, Zahoor M, Ullah N, Khan S, Khurram M, Khan S, Ali J. A general introduction to medicinal plants and silybum marianum. Life Science Journal 2014; 11(9s): 471-481.
3. World Health Organization. Containing Antimicrobial Resistance: Review of the Literature and Report of a WHO Workshop on the Development of a Global Strategy for the Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance. WHO/ CDS/CSR/DRS/99.2; 1999.
4. Ncube NS, Afolayan AJ, Okoh AI, Assessment techniques of antimicrobial properties of natural compounds of plant origin: current methods and future trends, African Journal of Biotechnology 2008; 7: 1797-1806.
5. Aiyelaagbe O, Antibacterial activity of Jatropa multifida roots. Fitoterapia 2001; 72: 544-546.
6. Prince L, Prabakaran P. Antifungal activity of medicinal plants against plant pathogenic fungus Colletotrichum falcatum. Asian Journal of Plant Science Research 2011; 1: 84-87.
7. WHO, Quality control methods for herbal materials, Updated edition of Quality control methods for medicinal plant materials, 1998.
8. Rai VM, Pai VR, Kedilaya PH, Hegde S. Preliminary phytochemical screening of members of Lamiaceae family: Leucas linifolia, Coleus aromaticus and Pogestemon patchouli. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science Review and Research 2013; 21(1): 131-137.
9. Lamaeswari G, Ananti T. Preliminary phytochemical screening and physicochemical characterization of Canna indica L.International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science Review and Research 2012; 14: 76-79.
10. Karthikeyan A, Shanthi V, Nagasathaya A, Preliminary phytochemical and antibacterial screening of crude extract of the leaf of Adhatoda vasica L. International Journal of Green Pharmaceae 2009; 3: 78-80.
11. Kingston DG. Modern natural products drug discovery and its relevance to biodiversity conservation. J Nat Prod 2011; 74:496-511.
12. Narayana DBA, Katayar CK, Brindavanam NB. Original system: search, research or research. IDMA Bull 1998; 29:413-6.
13. Hogan F, Krishnegowda N, Mikhailova M, Kahlenberg M. Flavonoid, silibinin inhibits proliferation and promotes cell-cycle arrest of human colon cancer. J Surg Res2007; 143:58-65.
14. Schuppan D, Jia J, Brinkhaus B, Hahn EG. Herbal products for liver diseases: A therapeutic challenge for the new millennium. Hepatology 1999; 30:1099-1104.
15. Bisset N. Herbal Drugs and Pharmaceuticals. CRC Press Boca Ratan, London, 1994, 121-123.
16. Lee DY, Liu Y.Molecular structure and stereochemistry of silybin A, silybin B, isosilybin A and isosilybin B, isolated from Silybum marianum (milk thistle). J Nat Prod 2003; 66: 1171-1174.
17. Ladas EJ, Cheng B, Hughes D. Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is associated with reductions in liver function tests (LFTs) in children undergoing therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Society of Integrative Oncology, Boston, Mass 2006.
18. Bhatia N, Zhao J, Wolf DM. Inhibition of human carcinoma cell growth and DNA synthesis by silibinin, an active constituent of milk thistle: comparison with silymarin. Cancer Lett 1999; 147: 77-84.
19. Duthie SJ, Johnson W, Dobson VL. The effect of dietary flavonoids on DNA damage (strand breaks and oxidised pyrimdines) and growth in human cells. Mutat Res 1997; 390: 141-151.
20. Allain H, Schück S, Lebreton S. Aminotransferase levels and silymarin in de novo tacrine-treated patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia Geriatr Cogn Disord 1999; 10: 181-185.
21. Hernandez R, Nazar E. Effect of silymarin in intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy. Ethiopia 1982; 47: 22-29.
22. Greenlee H, Abascal K, Yarnell E, Ladas E. Clinical applications of Silybum marianum in oncology. Integr Cancer Ther 2007; 6: 158-165.
23. Eliss RH, Covell S, Roberts EH, Sumerfield RG. The influence of temperature on seed germination rate in grain legumes. II. Interspecific variation in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) at temperature. J Exp Bot 1986;37: 1503-1515.
25. Patel CJ, Tyagi S, Kumar U, Patel S, Patel Ph, Bharat C. Clinical benefits of milk thistle (silybum marianum): a recent review. Journal of Drug Discovery and Therapeutics 2013; 1 (1): 08-11
26. Kirtikar KR, Basu BD. Indian Medicinal Plants, Vol. 2, International Book Distributors, Dehradun, 2006, 1417-1418.
27. Morazzoni P, Bombardelli E. Silybum marianum (Carduus marianus). Fitoterapia. 1995; LXVI: 3-42.
28. Luper S. A review of plants used in the treatment of liver disease: part 1. Altern Med Rev 1998; 3:410-421.
29. Schuppan D, Jia JD, Brinkhaus B, et al. Herbal products for liver diseases: a therapeutic challenge for the new millennium. Hepatology 1999; 30: 1099-1104.
30. Culpeper N. The English Physitian: Or an Astrologo-Physical Discourse of the Vulgar Herbs of This Nation. London: Peter Cole, 1652.
31. Giese LA. Complementary healthcare practices. Gastroenterol Nurs 2001; 24:38-40.
32. Libster M. Delmar′s integrative herb guide for nurses. Thamson Learning. 2002, pp: 669 -77.
33. British Pharmacopoeia. Herbal Drugs and Herbal Drug Preparations Milk-thistle Fruit. 2009, Volume III. pp: 7173.
34. Das SK, Mukherjee S and Vasudevan DM. Medicinal properties of milk thistle with special reference to silymarin an overview. Natural Product Radiance 2008; 7 (2): 182- 92.
35. Groves RH, Kaye PE Aust J Bot 1989; 37:351
36. Ghahreman A. Flora of IRAN. Research Institute of Forests Rangelands, Iran, 1999; pp: 587.
37. Wallace S, Vaughn K, Stewart BW, Viswanathan T, Clausen E, Nagarajan S, Carrier DJ. Milk Thistle Extracts Inhibit the Oxidation of Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and Subsequent Scavenger Receptor- Dependent Monocyte Adhesion. J Agric Food Chem 2008; 56: 3966-72.
38. Cwalina-Ambroziak B, Wierzbowska J, Damszel M and eresa Bowszys T. The effect of mineral fertilization on achenes yield and fungal communities isolated from the stems of milk thistle Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertner. Acta Sci Pol Hortorum Cultus 2012; 11 (4): 157- 68.
39. Andrzejewska J, Sadowska K, Mielcarek S. Effect of sowing date and rate on the yield and flavonolignan content of the fruits of milk thistle (Silybum marianum L. Gaertn.) grown on light soil in a moderate climate. Industrial Crops and Products 2011; 33 (2): 462- 8.
40. Morazzoni P, Bombardelli E. Silybum marianum (Carduus marianus). Fitoterapia 1995; 66: 3- 42.
41. Carrier DJ, Crowe T, Sokhansanj S, Wahab J and Barl B. Milk thistle, Silybum marianum L. Gaertn., flower head development and associated marker compound profile. J Herbs Spices Med Plants 2002; 10: 65-74.
42. Montemurro P, Fracchiolla M and Lonigro A. Effects of Some Environmental Factors on Seed Germination and Spreading Potentials of Silybum marianum Gaertn. Ital J Agron. / Riv Agron 2007; 3: 315-20.
43. Abenavoli L, Spagnuolo R, Luppino I, Luzza F. Recent progress in medicinal plants. Spllc Press. 2010, pp: 387-409.
44. Azim Khan M, Blackshaw RE, Marwat KB. Biology of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) and the management options for growers in North-Western Pakistan. Weed Biology and Management 2009; 9: 99-105.
45. Mel’nktov T M. Morphological-biological characteristics of Silybum marianum seeds as sowing material. Khimiko – Farmatsevticheskii Zhurnal 1983; 17 (8): 958 - 63.
46. Ghavami N, Ramin AA. Salinity and temperature effects on seed germination of milk thistle. Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 2007; 38: 2681-91.
47. Dodd J. Phenology and seed production of variegated thistle, Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn., in Australia in relation to mechanical and biological control. Weed Res 1989; 29 (4): 255- 63.
48. Qavami N, Naghdi Badi H, Labbafi MR, Mehrafarin A .A Review on Pharmacological, Cultivation and Biotechnology Aspects of Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn.) Journal of Medicinal Plants 2013; 12 (47): 19-37
49. Anonymous. Fructus Silybi Mariae. In: WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants, Vol 2. World Health Organization, Geneva, 2002;300-301.
50. Dwivedi S, Khatri P, Rajwar S, Dwivedi A. Pharmacognostic and pharmacological aspects of potent herbal hepatoprotective drugs-A review. International Journal of Research in Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences 2011; 2(2):492-499.
51. Pelter A, Hänsel R. The structure of silybin (silybum substance E6), the first flavonolignan. Tetrahedron letters. 1968; 9(25):2911-2916.
52. Pelter A, Hänsel R. Struktur Des Silybins: I. Abbauversuche. Chemische Berichte. 1975; 108(3):790-802.
53. Samu Z, Nyiredy S, Baitz‐Gács E, Varga Z, Kurtán T, Dinya Z et al. Structure Elucidation and Antioxidant Activity of (−)‐Isosilandrin Isolated from Silybum marianum L. Chemistry and biodiversity. 2004; 1(11):1668-1677.
54. Le QU, Lay HL, Wu MC, Joshi RK. Phytoconstituents and pharmacological activities of Silybum marianum (Milk Thistle): A critical review. American Journal of Essential Oils and Natural Products 2018; 6(4): 41-47.
55. Anonymous. The Wealth of India, A dictionary of Indian raw materials & industrial products: Raw materials. Vol. IX: Rh-So, National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources, New Delhi, 2005, 359-360.
56. Robbers JE, Tyler VE. Tyler's Herbs of choice: the therapeutic use of phytomedicinals. New York: Haworth Herbal Press 1999; p: 287.
57. Monograph, Silybum marianum (Milk Thistle). Alternative Medicine Review 1999; 4 (4): 272-274.
58. Schandalik R, Gatti G, Perucca E, et al. Pharmacokinetics of silybin in bile following administration of silipide and silymarin in cholecystectomy patients. Arzneimittelforschung 1992; 42:964-968.
59. Tyler V. Herbalgram 1994; 30:24-30.
60. Ahmad N, Abbasi BH, Fazal H. Evaluation of antioxidant activity and its association with plant development in Silybum marianum L. Industrial Crops and Products. 2013a; 49:164-168.
61. Lucini L, Kane D, Pellizzoni M, Ferrari A, Trevisi E, Ruzickova G et al. Phenolic profile and in vitro antioxidant power of different milk thistle [Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn.] Cultivars. Industrial Crops and Products. 2016; 83:11-16.
62. Qin NB, Jia CC, Xu J, Li DH, Xu FX, Bai J et al. New amides from seeds of Silybum marianum with potential antioxidant and antidiabetic activities. Fitoterapia. 2017a; 119:83-89.
63. Nazir N, Karim N, Abdel-Halim H, Khan I, Wadood SF, Nisar M. Phytochemical analysis, molecular docking and antiamnesic effects of methanolic extract of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn seeds in scopolamine induced memory impairment in mice. Journal of ethnopharmacology 2018; 210:198-208.
64. Qin NB, Li SG, Yang XY, Gong C, Zhang XY, Wang J, et al. Bioactive terpenoids from Silybum marianum and their suppression on NO release in LPS-induced BV-2 cells and interaction with iNOS. Bioorganic and medicinal chemistry letters 2017b; 27(10):2161-2165.
65. Das SK, Mukherjee S, Vasudevan DM. Medicinal properties of milk thistle with special reference to silymarin: An overview. Nat Prod Rad 2008; 7:182-192.
66. Cardile AP, Mbuy GK. Anti-herpes virus activity of silibinin, the primary active component of Silybum marianum. Journal of Herbal Medicine. 2013; 3(4):132-136.
67. Maghrani M, Zeggwagh NA, Lemhadri A, Amraoui ME, Michel JB, Eddouks M. Study of the hypoglycacemic activity of Fraximus excelsior and Silybum marianum in an animal model of type 1 diabetes mellitus. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2004: 91:309-316.
68. Qin NB, Hu X, Li S, Wang J, Li Z, Li D, et al. Hypoglycemic effect of silychristin A from Silybum marianum fruit via protecting pancreatic islet β cells from oxidative damage and inhibiting α-glucosidase activity in vitro and in rats with type 1 diabetes. Journal of Functional Foods. 2017c; 38:168-179.
69. Derosa G, D'Angelo A, Maffioli P. The role of a fixed Berberis aristata/ Silybum marianum combination in the treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus. Clinical Nutrition. 2016; 35(5):1091-1095.
70. Ebrahimpour-Koujan SE, Gargari BP, Mobasseri M, Valizadeh H, Jafarabadi MA. Effects of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. (Silymarin) extract supplementation on antioxidant status and hs-CRP in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytomedicine. 2015; 22:290-296.
71. Ebrahimpour- Koujan SE, Gargari BP, Mobasseri M, Valizadeh H, Jafarabadi MA. Lower glycemic indices and lipid profile among type 2 diabetes mellitus patients who received novel dose of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. (silymarin) extract supplement: A Triple-blinded randomized controlled clinical trial. Phytomedicine. 2018; 44:39-44.
72. Vilahur G, Casaní L, Peña E, Crespo J, Juan-Babot O, Ben-Aicha S et al. Silybum marianum provides cardioprotection and limits adverse remodeling post-myocardial infarction by mitigating oxidative stress and reactive fibrosis. International Journal of Cardiology, 2018.
73. Ulas T, Tursun I, Demir ME, Dal MS, Buyukhatipoglu H. Comment on: Infusion of lin−/sca-1+ and endothelial progenitor cells improves proinflammatory and oxidative stress markers in atherosclerotic mice. International journal of cardiology. 2013; 164(1):128.
74. Erel O. A new automated colorimetric method for measuring total oxidant status. Clinical biochemistry. 2005; 38(12):1103-1111.
75. Erel O. A novel automated method to measure total antioxidant response against potent free radical reactions. Clinical biochemistry. 2004; 37(2):112-119.
76. Shaker E, Mahmoud H, Mnaa S. Silymarin, the antioxidant component and Silybum marianum extracts prevent liver damage. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2010; 48(3):803-806.
77. Aghazadeh S, Amini R, Yazdanparast R, Ghaffari SH. Anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects of Silybum marianum in treatment of experimental steatohepatitis. Experimental and toxicologic pathology. 2011; 63(6):569-574.
78. Zhu SY, Jiang N, Yang J, Tu J, Zhou Y, Xiao X et al. Silybum marianum oil attenuates hepatic steatosis and oxidative stress in high fat diet-fed mice. Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy 2018; 100:191-197.
79. Albassam AA, Frye RF, Markowitz JS. The effect of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) and its main flavonolignans on CYP2C8 enzyme activity in human liver microsomes. Chemico-biological interactions 2017; 271:24-29.
80. Doehmer J, Weiss G, McGregor GP, Appel K. Assessment of a dry extract from milk thistle (Silybum marianum) for interference with human liver cytochrome-p450 activities. Toxicology in Vitro 2011; 25:21-27.
81. Jedlinszki N, Kálomista I, Galbács G, Csupor D. Silybum marianum (Milk thistle) products in Wilson’s disease: a treatment or a threat?. Journal of Herbal Medicine. 2016; 6(3):157-159.
82. Sayyah M, Boostani H, Pakseresht S, Malayeri A. Comparison of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. With fluoxetine in the treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. 2010; 34(2):362-365.
83. Toklu HZ, Akbay TT, Velioglu-Ogunc A, Ercan F, Gedik N, Keyer-Uysal M et al. Silymarin, the antioxidant component of Silybum marianum, prevents sepsis-induced acute lung and brain injury. Journal of Surgical Research 2008; 145(2):214-222.
84. Toklu HZ, Akbay TT, Erkanli G, Yuksel M, Ercan F, Sener G. Silymarin, the antioxidant component of Silybum marianum, protects against burn-induced oxidative skin injury. Burns 2007; 33:908-916.
85. Cullere M, Zotte AD, Celia C, Monterrubi ALR, Gerencser Z, Szendro Z et al. Effect of Silybum marianum herb on the productive performance, carcass traits and meat quality of growing rabbits. Livestock Science 2016; 194:31-36.
86. Kosina P, Dokoupilova A, Janda K, Sladkova K, Silberova P, Pivodova V et al. Effect of Silybum marianum fruit constituents on the health status of rabbits in repeated 42-day fattening experiment. Animal Feed Science and Technology 2017; 223:128-140.
87. Skottova N, Krecman V. Silymarin as a potential hypocholesterolaemic drug. Physiol Res 1998; 47:1-7.
88. Jadhav GB, Upasani CD. Antihypertensive effect of Silymarin on DOCA salt induced hypertension in unilateral nephrectomized rats. Orient Pharm Exp Med 2011; 11:101- 106.
89. Kittur S, Wilasrusmee S, Pedersen WA, et al. Neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) onneurons in culture. J Mol Neurosci 2002; 18(3):265-269.
90. Bhatia N, Zhao J, Wolf DM, Agarwal R. Inhibition of human carcinoma cell growth and DNA synthesis by silibinin, an active constituent of milk thistle: comparison with silymarin. Cancer Letters 1999; 147:77-84.
91. Alhidary IA, Rehman Z, Khan RU, Tahir M. Anti-aflatoxin activities of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) in broiler. World's Poultry Science Journal 2017; 73: 2-7
92. Fanoudi S, Alavi MS, Karimi G, Hosseinzadeh H. Milk thistle (SilybumMarianum) as an antidote or a protective agent against natural or chemical toxicities: a review, Drug and Chemical Toxicology 2018, DOI: 10.1080/01480545.2018.1485687
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0). that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgment of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).