Silybum marianum (Milk Thistle): Review on Its chemistry, morphology, ethno medical uses, phytochemistry and pharmacological activities

  • Omji Porwal
  • Muath Sheet Mohammed Ameen
  • Esra T Anwer
  • Subasini Uthirapathy
  • Javed Ahamad
  • Amani Tahsin


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.


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Author Biographies

Omji Porwal

Head of Department of Pharmacognosy, Tishk International  University, Pharmacy Faculty, 100 Meter Street and Mosul Road, Erbil, KRG, IRAQ

Muath Sheet Mohammed Ameen

Dean of Department of Pharmaceutics,  Tishk International  University , Pharmacy     Faculty, 100 Meter Street and Mosul Road, Erbil, KRG, IRAQ

Esra T Anwer

Head of Department of Pharmaceutics,  Tishk International  University , Pharmacy     Faculty, 100 Meter Street and Mosul Road, Erbil, KRG, IRAQ

Subasini Uthirapathy

Department of Pharmacy, Tishk International  University, 100 Meter Street and Mosul Road, Erbil, KRG, IRAQ

Javed Ahamad

Department of Pharmacy, Tishk International  University, 100 Meter Street and Mosul Road, Erbil, KRG, IRAQ

Amani Tahsin

Department of Pharmacy, Tishk International  University, 100 Meter Street and Mosul Road, Erbil, KRG, IRAQ


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Porwal O, Mohammed Ameen MS, Anwer ET, Uthirapathy S, Ahamad J, Tahsin A. Silybum marianum (Milk Thistle): Review on Its chemistry, morphology, ethno medical uses, phytochemistry and pharmacological activities. JDDT [Internet]. 15Sep.2019 [cited 8Dec.2022];9(5):199-06. Available from: