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Milk Thistle is a herbaceous annual or biennial plant with a dense-prickly flower head and reddish-purple tubular flowers. It is native to the Mediterranean region and has been naturalized in Central Europe, North and South America, and Southern Australia. Milk Thistle has an extensive history of use as an edible plant. Numerous scientific studies have explored Milk Thistle and a group of its constituents called silymarins. Many of these clinical studies have demonstrated that this herb supports healthy liver function and provides powerful antioxidant protection, particularly from free radicals and other toxins that normally enter into the liver and cause damage. A primary constituent of silymarin called silibinin also helps to support healthy liver function, encouraging healthy cholesterol synthesis by the liver. In addition to its well-recognized role in promoting liver health, key constituents in Milk Thistle also help to maintain normal kidney function and promote optimal immune function. Limited research suggests that this herb may also support healthy prostate function, and encourage a vital gastrointestinal tract by protecting it from free radical damage. More research is warranted to support the use of this herb for supporting its role beyond enhancing healthy liver function. Much of the modern day research has been conducted in Germany where it is an approved herb in The German Commission E Monographs.