Side effects of Milk Thistle
I noticed that the last possible side
effect of Milk Thistle is anaphylactic. I am an RN who has had
anaphylactic reactions to the tetanus
toxoid, and to iodine based dyes.
I truly want to take milk thistle,
since my liver enzymes are up due to
taking Lipitor and Ezetrel for high
Would you consider me to be a high
risk person to take it?
I would not consider you to be high risk for an anaphylactic
reaction to milk thistle based on your previous anaphylactic tendencies.
First off, the tetanus toxid is designed to stimulate an immune reaction which
makes it more likely to have caused an over stimulation of the immune
system. The Iodine based dyes contain many other chemicals that are most
likely the culprit for the anaphylactic reaction you had. For
example, if you eat table salt (most of which all contains iodine) or fish
which naturally contains iodine and do not have a reaction to that then you are
not truly sensitive to iodine. It is the other chemicals in the dye that caused
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So now let’s discuss milk thistle. This is a naturally occurring herb
that has been consumed by humans for thousands of years. It does not have
any tendencies to stimulate the immune response and should not contain any
synthetic chemicals that might trigger an anaphylactic reaction. I have
never heard any accounts of someone having this type of reaction to Milk
Thistle. Now on the other side, each person's body is unique and there is
no way to 100% guarantee that you won't have some type of reaction although I
feel this is an extremely unlikely situation.
My advice would be to assume it is safe but take precautions to make sure. For
example, the first time you take the product, empty the capsule and rub some of
the contents onto your lips. If after 30 minutes you have no itching,
swelling or burning take some of the contents of a capsule and rub on the
inside of your mouth then rinse out. If you have no reaction to
this after 30 minutes then try taking a small amount (maybe 1/4 capsule) mixed
with some water. To be safe you can have some Benadryl on hand in case
you note any anaphylactic symptoms.
Once you have determined that it is safe for you to take, start working up the
full dose over the course of about 1-2 weeks to allow your body to
Again, I have never seen anyone have an anaphylactic response to milk thistle
but you can follow the protocol above just to be safe.
Lead Medical Director
As a certified and fully trained Naturopathic Doctor, Passero has trained and preceptored with some of the nation's leading doctors in the field of natural medicine, working under the guidance of MD’s, Chiropractors, Naturopaths and Acupuncturists. Furthermore, he is currently the Vice President of the Maryland Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
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