Milk Thistle: A Natural Antihistamine For Histamine Intolerance | Sepalika
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Milk Thistle: A Natural Anti-Histamine To Fight Allergies

Dec 1, 2017

Looking for a natural antihistamine for histamine intolerance? You might want to consider milk thistle. Milk thistle has been used for centuries as a medicinal plant. It is native to Mediterranean region and has been one of the most researched herbal plants for the treatment of liver diseases. Let’s find out how milk thistle helps in protecting against histamine intolerance.

What Makes Milk Thistle A Natural Antihistamine For Histamine Intolerance?

Mast cells in our body release allergic mediators like histamine and cause allergic reactions. Anti-histamines are mast cell stabilizers, which inhibit the release of these allergic mediators and help the body fight against allergies. Studies indicate that silymarin or silibinin, which is one of the main components of milk thistle, inhibits the release of histamine, thereby preventing allergic reactions.

How Is Histamine Intolerance Connected To the Liver?

Studies indicate that patients suffering from chronic liver diseases often have raised histamine levels in the body. Histamine is broken down in the liver by enzymes and if the liver is not functioning to its fullest potential, histamine levels remain high in the body, causing histamine intolerance.

Silibinin, a milk thistle extract, is one of the most researched plants in the treatment of liver disorders. It is known to balance liver enzyme levels and has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects. In short, milk thistle detoxifies the liver and improves its performance. Milk thistle is believed to protect liver cells from damage and help in regenerating liver cells. It also promotes liver health by scavenging heavy metal trace elements, free radicals, and environmental toxins.

Silibinin is also known to have antiviral properties, protecting the liver against hepatitis C.

Other Benefits of Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is said to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer and anti-viral properties. Apart from liver detoxification, milk thistle helps draw out toxins that cause cholesterol, diabetes, gallbladder disorders and prevents skin damage.

Contraindications of Milk Thistle

Some of the contraindications of milk thistle include:

  • Mild laxative effect on some individuals
  • There are some indications that milk thistle may reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives
  • Interference with certain drugs like antipsychotics, phenytoin, halothane and anti-anxiety drugs
  • Sometimes milk thistle mimics the effects of estrogen and hence may need to be avoided by some women
  • Breastfeeding and pregnant women are advised to exercise caution before having milk thistle


Finn, D. F., & Walsh, J. J. (2013). Twenty-first century mast cell stabilizers. British Journal of Pharmacology, 170(1), 23–37.

Gittlen, S. D., Schulman, E. S., & Maddrey, W. C. (1990). Raised histamine concentrations in chronic cholestatic liver disease. Gut, 31(1), 96–99.

Post-White J, Ladas EJ, Kelly KM. Advances in the use of milk thistle (Silybum marianum). Integr Cancer Ther. 2007 Jun;6(2):104-9. Review. PubMed PMID: 17548789.

Possible Interactions with Milk Thistle:

Hepatoprotective and Antiviral Functions of Silymarin Components in HCV Infection