Natural Antioxidant—Great for Liver Health

Recommended Milk Thistle Dosages

Recommended milk thistle dosage levels.

Doses for milk thistle depend on the level of silymarin in the supplement or dried herb. In general, bulk milk thistle contains about 70% silymarin compounds.(34)

Doctors of integrative medicine recommend the following for people with various conditions:

Milk Thistle Table 2: Recommended Dosage by Condition
Condition Dosage Level


Whole milk thistle: 420-600 mg/day containing 70-80% silymarin(35)

Gallbladder disease(36)

Whole milk thistle: 150 mg 2-3 times a day containing 70% silymarin(36)

General anesthesia side effects(37)

420 mg/day of milk thistle silymarin extracts to prevent adverse side effects, including liver damage(37)

Liver disease (including chronic hepatitis)(34)

  • Whole milk thistle: 300 mg 3 times daily(34)
  • Silymarin extract: 210 mg 3 times daily(34)

In 2 separately reported cases, patients with inoperable liver cancer experienced tumor regression linked to milk thistle supplements. Both patients took 450 mg/day of silymarin, with no other treatment.(3738)

Other Tips for Taking Milk Thistle

  • Avoid alcohol extracts of milk thistle if using to treat liver conditions.(34)
  • Look for milk thistle supplements that contain phosphatidylcholine. This natural anti-inflammatory compound improves absorption of milk thistle.(3439)
  • When making a tincture, grind the seeds with some alcohol in a blender.(40)
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