Researchers are still evaluating the age-old silymarin uses, as well as some new ones.
Primarily, it has been used in the past to protect the liver from toxins or to treat diseases affecting it.
New studies explain how it works and what else it might be good for.
One of the more interesting findings is that this extract from the common milk thistle plant, which most people regard as an invasive weed, may help people maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
In a recent study, the extract was shown to increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels, which typically helps to lower the number of "bad" LDL particles.
In another recent study, researchers looked at the antioxidant activity and how it might protect the skin from free radical damage and oxidative stress.
Free radical damage is one of the primary causes of an aged appearance.
Scientists have looked at a variety of antioxidants and investigated their ability to protect the skin from this kind of damage.
Green tea catechins have proven to be beneficial.
Coenzyme Q10, when applied directly, prevents and repairs damage.
Most of the evidence comes from animal trials, but it looks promising.
So, currently the known and probable silymarin uses include liver protection, skin protection, cholesterol reduction and general antioxidant activity.
Like other antioxidants, it may prove beneficial for preventing and treating cancer.
One of the suggested uses is to help protect the organs from the damaging effects of the drugs used to treat cancer.
But, is it a magic pill? Scientists would like to find a single substance that can prevent and cure diseases of all kinds.
But, that's not likely to happen.
Scientists thought that they had found the proverbial fountain of youth in the skin's of red grapes.
The compound found in them is called resveratrol.
The uses of resveratrol may be similar to the silymarin uses, in respect to the antioxidant activity and the liver protective abilities, but some scientists believe that resveratrol can extend a person's lifespan.
Other scientists disagree.
They say that it is not the single compound, but the combination of antioxidants found in grapes and red wine, perhaps even the alcohol content, that provides the protective benefits.
So, what's the bottom line? Are dietary or herbal supplements a waste of time and money? Single ingredient supplements probably are a waste.
It makes more sense to take a multi-nutritional supplement containing a variety of different nutrients and plant extracts, because we really don't know which one is most important.
When it comes to the silymarin uses for protecting the skin against free radical damage, it makes more sense to use a topically applied antioxidant-rich cream or lotion.
The studies concerning the topical application of coenzyme Q10 have been more promising than those concerning oral supplements.
Of course, it wouldn't hurt to use both; antioxidant-rich creams and good nutritional supplements.
Now, you know a little more about the silymarin uses.
It's important for us to take the time to learn about protecting our health and appearance.
With natural solutions, we may be able to do more than any doctor could do.
You can learn more insights by visiting my web site and discovering more natural ingredients I personally use daily.