Milk Thistle Side Effects, Contraindications, Use During Pregnancy

Side effects

At higher doses a sporadic mild purgative effect may appear.

Toxicity / harmful effect

In recommended doses milk thistle-based products show no harmful effects, even after a long-term usage.1


None known.

Use during pregnancy and breastfeeding

There are no reports of harmful effects of milk thistle on mother and child during pregnancy, or during breastfeeding. Some sources do not recommend the use of milk thistle during pregnancy and breastfeeding because there are no studies confirming the safety of the herb during those periods. Other sources state that milk thistle may be used during pregnancy and lactation.2

Drug interactions

No major negative interactions between milk thistle and other herbs and medicinal products were noted.3

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  1. 1. Ożarowski A. (1987) Rośliny lecznicze i ich praktyczne zastosowanie. Instytut Wydawniczy Związków Zawodowych, Warszawa. ISBN 83-202-0472-0.
  2. 2. Duke J. (2008). Duke's handbook of medicinal plants of the Bible. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
  3. 3. (2008) The Gale encyclopedia of alternative medicine, Gale Cengage. ISBN 1414448724