Last update: Sept. 12, 2015

Mariana lactea Hill

Very Low Risk for breastfeeding

Safe. Compatible.
Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

Milk thistle is a herb from which its fruits are used. It contains flavonolignans, silymarin and especially silibinin isomers, silychristin and silydianin, flavonoids, steroids and estrogen-like compounds.

Attributed properties: Liver Protector.
Indications based on the Commission E of the German Ministry of Health: cholelithiasis, liver disorders.

Devoid of toxicity. It is excreted into breast milk in little or no amount.
There is no evidence of its effectiveness as a galactogogue. Two studies have been performed (one with cows and the other with women) trying to show a galactogogue effect, but both are limited by a very flawed methodology.
Best galactogogue is a frequent and on-demand breastfeeding together witn an appropriate technique.

Precaution is recommended before taking herbal infusions:
1. Ensure a reliable source: poisoning occurred by confusion with another plant that resulted to be toxic, poisoning from heavy metals and food poisoning by contamination with bacteria or fungi.
2. Avoid excessive consumption. The "natural" products are not good in any amount: plants contain active substances from which come out much of our traditional pharmacopoeia and can cause poisoning if eaten in exaggerated quantity or prolonged time.


We do not have alternatives for Mariana lactea Hill since it is relatively safe.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM´s pediatricians and pharmacists, and are based on updated scientific publications.
It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Mariana lactea Hill is also known as Milk Thistle. Here it is a list of alternative known names::

Mariana lactea Hill in other languages or writings:


Mariana lactea Hill belongs to these groups or families:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Mariana lactea Hill in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. 20 - 50 %
Molecular weight 482 daltons
T1/2 6 hours


  1. ABM: Brodribb W. ABM Clinical Protocol #9: Use of Galactogogues in Initiating or Augmenting Maternal Milk Production, Second Revision 2018. Breastfeed Med. 2018 Jun;13(5):307-314 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. Amer MR, Cipriano GC, Venci JV, Gandhi MA. Safety of Popular Herbal Supplements in Lactating Women. J Hum Lact. 2015 Abstract
  3. Powers CN, Setzer WN. A molecular docking study of phytochemical estrogen mimics from dietary herbal supplements. In Silico Pharmacol. 2015 Mar 22;3:4. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. Castoldi F, Pivetti V, Moiraghi L, Marangione P, Lista G. [Silymarin/galega administration in term and preterm mothers to sustain breast feeding: an observational study]. Minerva Pediatr. 2014 Abstract
  5. Sim TF, Sherriff J, Hattingh HL, Parsons R, Tee LB. The use of herbal medicines during breastfeeding: a population-based survey in Western Australia. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  6. Mortel M, Mehta SD. Systematic review of the efficacy of herbal galactogogues. J Hum Lact. 2013 Abstract
  7. The Royal Women’s Hospital Victoria Australia. Herbal and Traditional Medicines in Breasfeeding. Fact Sheet. 2013 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  8. Forinash AB, Yancey AM, Barnes KN, Myles TD. The use of galactogogues in the breastfeeding mother. Ann Pharmacother. 2012 Oct;46(10):1392-404. Abstract
  9. Mannion C, Mansell D. Breastfeeding self-efficacy and the use of prescription medication: a pilot study. Obstet Gynecol Int. 2012;2012:562704. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  10. Zapantis A, Steinberg JG, Schilit L. Use of herbals as galactagogues. J Pharm Pract. 2012 Abstract
  11. CML - Comité de Lactancia Materna AEP. Preguntas frecuentes sobre lactancia materna. Folleto. 2012 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  12. ABM. Academy Of Breastfeeding Medicine Protocol Committee. ABM Clinical Protocol #9: Use of galactogogues in initiating or augmenting the rate of maternal milk secretion (First Revision January 2011). Breastfeed Med. 2011 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  13. ABM. Comité de Protocolos de la Academia Médica de Lactancia Materna. ABM Protocolo Clínico #9: Uso de Galactogogos para Iniciar o aumentar la tasa de secreción de Leche Materna. Breastfeed Med. 2011 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  14. Javed S, Kohli K, Ali M. Reassessing bioavailability of silymarin. Altern Med Rev. 2011 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  15. Amir LH, Pirotta MV, Raval M. Breastfeeding--evidence based guidelines for the use of medicines. Aust Fam Physician. 2011 Sep;40(9):684-90. Review. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  16. Zuppa AA, Sindico P, Orchi C, Carducci C, Cardiello V, Romagnoli C. Safety and efficacy of galactogogues: substances that induce, maintain and increase breast milk production. J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2010;13(2):162-74. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  17. Jackson PC. Complementary and alternative methods of increasing breast milk supply for lactating mothers of infants in the NICU. Neonatal Netw. 2010 Abstract
  18. Wen Z, Dumas TE, Schrieber SJ, Hawke RL, Fried MW, Smith PC. Pharmacokinetics and metabolic profile of free, conjugated, and total silymarin flavonolignans in human plasma after oral administration of milk thistle extract. Drug Metab Dispos. 2008 Abstract
  19. Di Pierro F, Callegari A, Carotenuto D, Tapia MM. Clinical efficacy, safety and tolerability of BIO-C (micronized Silymarin) as a galactagogue. Acta Biomed. 2008 Abstract
  20. Petry JJ, Hadley SK. Medicinal herbs: answers and advice, part 1. Hosp Pract (1995). 2001 Abstract
  21. [No authors listed] Silybum marianum (milk thistle). Altern Med Rev. 1999 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  22. WHO. World Health Organization. Geneva. WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants. Volume 2. WHO monographs. 1999 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  23. Vojtísek B, Hronová B, Hamrík J, Janková B. [Milk thistle (Silybum marianum, L., Gaertn.) in the feed of ketotic cows]. Vet Med (Praha). 1991 Abstract

Total visits


Help us improve this entry

How to cite this entry

Do you need more information or did not found what you were looking for?

   Write to us at

e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine - 2021 from United States of America

Would you like to recommend the use of e-lactancia? Write to us at corporate mail of APILAM