Pharmacological and Pharmacognosticl Activity of Silybum marianum


  • Huda Khalil Al-Bazaz Department of Pharmacognosy & Medical Plants
  • Muthanna I. Al-Ezzi Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology
  • Ghaith Ali Jasim Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology



Silybum marianum, flavonolignan called silybin


Herbs have been utilized for all time as the significant sours of medication. Medical plants are significant by optional metabolites, for example; Silybum marianum, is a remedial herb with a thousand years history of utilization. It is a blend of flavonoids, called silybin, which isn't just the major silymarin component but at the

same time is the most dynamic element of this extract, which has been affirmed in different studies.

This compound has a place with the flavonoid group known as flavonolignan. Silybin's structure comprises in two fundamental units. The first depends on a taxifolins, the second a phenyllpropanoid unit, which for this situation is conyferil liquor. These two units are connected together into one structure by an oxeran ring contains mixes (taxifolin, silychristin, silydianin, silybinin A and silybinin B.

The present study is fundamentally centered on the medicinal important of Silybum marianum, its utility as a medicinal plant for the treatment of different issue of mind, cardiovascular, hepatic, kidney, and oxidative stress also, malignant growth is outstanding. As far as its medicinal properties, Silybum has no symptoms. In any case, it might cause mild nausea or gastrointestinal difficulties in uncommon cases. The leaves, seeds or some of the time the entire plant is utilized inmedicinal preparation.


- Thamer Mouhi Jasiem, Noor Mohsen Nasser, Huda K. AL-Bazaz. Tamarixaphylla L. A Review. Research J. Pharm. and Tech. 2019; 12(7): 3219-3222. DOI:

- Veres T, Tyr S. Milk thistle (Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn) as a weed in sustainable crop rotation. Res J Agric Sci. 2012; 44: 118-122.

- Diukendjieva A, Alov P, Tsakovska I, Pencheva T, Richarz A, Kren V, Cronin MTD, Pajeva I. In vitro and in silico studies of the membrane permeability of natural flavonoids from Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. and their derivatives. Phytomedicine. 2019; 53: 79-85. DOI:

- Lee DY, Liu Y. Molecular structure and stereochemistry of silybinA, silybin B, isosilybin A and isosilybin B, isolated from Silybum marianum (milk thistle). J Nat Prod. 2003; 66: 1171-1174. DOI:

- Greenlee H, Abascal K, Yarnell E, Ladas E (2007) Clinical applications of Silybum marianum in oncology. Integr Cancer Ther. 2007; 6: 158-165. DOI:

- Bhatia N, Zhao J, Wolf DM. Inhibition of human carcinoma cell growth and DNA synthesis by silibinin, an active constituent of milk thistle: comparison with silymarin. Cancer Lett. 1999; 147: 77-84. DOI:

- Kim JY, Kim JY, Jenis J, Li ZP, Ban YJ, Baiseitova A, Park KH.Tyrosinase inhibitory study of flavonolignans from the seeds of Silybum marianum (Milk thistle). Bioorg Med Chem. 2019; 27(12): 2499-2507. DOI:

- Allain H, Schück S, Lebreton S (1999) Aminotransferase levels and silymarin in de novo tacrine-treated patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 1999; 10(3): 181-5. DOI:

- Karkanis A, Bilalis D, Efthimiadou A. Cultivation of milk thistle (Silybum marianum L. Gaertn.), a medicinal weed. Ind Crops Prod. 2011; 34: 825-830. DOI:

- Eliss RH, Covell S, Roberts EH, Sumer field RG. The influence of temperature on seed germination rate in grain legumes. II. Interspecific variation in chickpea (Cicerarietinum L.) at temperature. J Exp Bot. 1986; 37: 1503-1515. DOI:

- Ebrahimpour-Koujan S, Gargari BP, Mobasseri M, Valizadeh H, Asghari-Jafarabadi M. Lower glycemic indices and lipid profile among type 2 diabetes mellitus patients who received novel dose of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. (silymarin) extract supplement: a triple-blinded randomized controlled clinical trial. Phytomedicine. 2018; 44: 39-44. DOI:

- Duthie SJ, Johnson W, Dobson VL. The effect of dietary flavonoidson DNA damage (strand breaks and oxidized pyrimdines) and growth inhuman cells. Mutat Res. 1997; 390: 141-151. DOI:

- Samah N. Azoz, Hend M. Farag, Azza M. Salama. Comparative botanical studies two varieties of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. (Asteraceae) in Egypt. Int J Adv Res Biol Sci. 2019; 6(6): 154-168.

- Robbers JE, Tyler VE. Tyler's Herbs of choice: the therapeutic use of phytomedicinals. New York: Haworth Herbal Press, 1999. Pp: 287.

- Carrier DJ, Crowe T, Sokhansanj S, Wahab J, Barl B. Milk Thistle, Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn, flower head development and associated marker compound profile. J Herbs Spices Med Plants. 2003; 10: 65-74.

- Silybum marianum (L.) Gaerth. USDA, NRCS. 2018. The PLANTS Database (, 25 October 2018). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901.

- Vaknin Y, Hadas R, Schafferman D, Murkhovsky L, Bashan N. The potential of milk thistle (Silybum marianum L.), an Israeli native, as a source of edible sprouts rich in antioxidants. Int J Food SciNutr. 2008; 9:339-346.

- Hetz E, Liersch R, Schieder O. Genetic investigations on Silybum marianum and S. eburneum with respect to leaf colour, outcrossing ratio, and flavonolignan composition. Planta Medic. 1995; 61: 54-57. DOI:

- US National Institutes of Health. Silybum marianum Clinical Trials. Govwebsite. Accessed 2018 October 25.

- Ahmad M, Khan MA, Hasan A, Zafar M, Sultana S. Chemotaxonomic standardization of herbal drugs milk thistle and globe thistle. Asian J Chem. 2008; 20: 4443-4459.

- Chambers CS, Holečková V, Petrásková L, Biedermann D, Valentová K, Buchta M, et al. The silymarin composition…and why does it matter??? Food Res Int. 2017; 100 (pt 3): 339-353. DOI:

- Dehmlow C, Murawski N, de Groot H. Scavenging of reactive oxygen species and inhibition of arachidonic acid metabolism by silibinin in human cells. Life Sci. 1996; 58: 1591-1600. DOI:

- Schandalik R, Gatti G, Perucca E. Pharmacokinetics of silybin in bile following administration of silipide and silymarinin cholecystectomy patients. Arzneimittelforschung. 1992; 42: 964-968

- Asghari-Zakaria R, Panahi AR, Sadeghizadeh M .2008) Comparative study of chromosome Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. J-stage, Cytologia, 2008; 73(3): 327-332. DOI:

- Zhang Y, Ge Y, Ping X, Yu M, Lou D, Shi W. Synergistic apoptotic effects of silibinin in enhancing paclitaxel toxicity in human gastric cancer cells lines. Mol Med Rep. 2018; 18(2): 1835-1841. DOI:

- Balian S, Ahmad S, Zafar R. Anti-inflammatory activity of leaf and leaf callus Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. in albino rats. Indian Journal of Pharmacology. 2006; 38(3): 213-4 DOI:

- Sewell RDE, Rafieian-Kopaei M. The history and ups and downs of herbal medicine usage. J Herb Med Pharmacol. 2014; 3(1): 1-3

- Hernandez R, Nazar E. Effect of silymarin in intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy. Ethiopia. 1982; 47: 22-29.

- Sonnenbichler J, Zetl I. Biochemical effects of the flavanol lignan silibinin on RNA, protein and DNA synthesis in rat livers. In: Cody V, Middleton E, Harbourne JB, eds. Plant Flavonoids in Biology and Medicine: Biochemical, Pharmacological, and Structure-Activity Relationships.New York, NY; 1986: 319-331.

- Tuchweber B, Sieck R, Trost W. Prevention of silybin of phalloidin induced acute hepatoxicity. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 1979; 51: 265-275. DOI:

- Wu CH, Huang SM, Yen GC. Silymarin: a novel antioxidant with antiglycation and anti-inflammatory properties in vitro and in vivo. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011; 14: 353-366. DOI:

- De La Puerta R, Martinez E, Bravo L. Effect of silymarin on different acute inflammation models and on leukocyte migration. J Pharm Pharmacol. 1996; 48: 968-970. DOI:

- Ou Q, Weng Y, Wang S, et al. Silybin alleviates hepatic steatosis and fibrosis in NASH mice by inhibiting oxidative stress and involvement with the NF-ĸB pathway. Dig Dis Sci. 2018; 63(12): 3398-3408. DOI:

- Fuchs EC, Weyhenmeyer R, Weiner OH, et al. Effects of silibinin and of a synthetic analogue on isolated rat hepatic stellate cells and myofibroblasts. Arzneimittelforschung. 1997; 26: 643-649.

- Deak G, Muzes G, Lang I. Immunomodulator effect of silymarin therapy in chronic alcoholic liver diseases. Orv Hetil. 1990; 131: 1291-1292, 1295-1296. [Article in Hungarian].

- Lang I, Nekam K, Gonzalez-Cabello R. Hepatoprotective and immunological effects of antioxidant drugs. Tokai J ExpClin Med. 1990; 15: 123-127.

- Kuo YJ, Chang HP, Chang YJ, Wu HH, Chen CH. Evaluation of nephroprotection of silymarin on contrast-induced nephropathy in liver cirrhosis patients: a population-based cohort study. Medicine (Baltimore). 2018; 97(37): e12243. 30212956 DOI:

- US National Institutes of Health. Silybum marianum. (2018). ClinicalTrials.govwebsite.

- Lindor KD, Bowlus CL, Boyer J, Levy C, Mayo M. Primary biliary cholangitis: 2018 practice guidance from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Hepatology. 2019; 69(1): 394-419. DOI:

- Huseini HF, Larijani B, Heshmat R, Fakhrzadeh H, Radjabipour B, Toliat T, Raza M. The Efficacy of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. (Silymarin) in the Treatment of TypeII Diabetes: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Clinical Trial. Phyto therapy Research. 2011; 20(12): 1036-9. DOI:

- Rafieian-Kopaie M, Nasri H. Silymarin and diabetic neuropathy. J Renal Inj Prev. 2012; 1(1): 3-6.

- Murata N, Murakami K, Ozawa Y, et al. Silymarin attenuated the amyloid b plaque burden and improved behavioral abnormalities in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. BiosciBiotechnolBiochem. 2010; 74: 2299-2306 DOI:

- Zhu SY, Jiang N, Yang J, et al. Silybum marianum oil attenuates hepatic steatosis and oxidative stress in high fat diet-fed mice. Biomed Pharmaco-ther. 2018; 100: 191-197. DOI:

- Yang Z, Zhuang L, Lu Y, Xu Q, Chen X. Effects and tolerance of silymarin (milk thistle) in chronic hepatitis C virus infection patients: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014: 941085. DOI:

- Carrier DJ, Crowe T, Sokhansanj S, Wahab J, Barl B. Milk Thistle, Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn, flower head development and associated marker compound profile. J Herbs Spices Med Plants. 2003; 10: 65-74. DOI:

- Vaknin Y, Hadas R, Schafferman D, Murkhovsky L, Bashan N. The potential of milk thistle (Silybum marianum L.), an Israeli native, as a source of edible sprouts rich in antioxidants. Int J Food SciNutr. 2008p; 9: 339-346. DOI:

- Hernandez R, Nazar E. Effect of silymarin in intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy. Ethiopia. 1982; 47: 22-29.

- Corchete P. Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn: the source of silymarin. In: Ramawat KG, Merillon JM, (eds.), Bioactive Molecules and Medicinal Plants. Springer, 2008: Pp: 123-148. DOI:

- Milk thistle (Silybum marianum): A concise overview on its chemistry, pharmacological, and nutraceutical uses in liver diseases. 2018: 2202-2213. DOI:

- Rafieian-Kopaei M, Baradaran A, Rafieian M. Oxidative stress and the paradoxical effects of antioxidants. J Res Med Sci. 2013; 18: 629.

- Scambia G, De Vincenzo R, Ranellletti FO, et al. Antiproliferative effect of silybin on gunaecological malignancies: synergism with cisplatin and doxorubicin. Eur J Cancer. 1996; 32: 877-882. DOI:

- Schleufe P, Seidel C. Amanita poisoning during pregnancy. Anasthesiol Intensivmed Notfallmed Schmerzther. 2003; 38: 716-718.

- Ramasamy K and Agarwal R. Multi targeted therapy of cancer by silymarin. Cancer Lett. 2008; 269 (2): 352-62.83. Luper S. A Review of Plants Used in the Treatment of Liver Disease: part 1. Alternative Medicine Review 3. 1998; 410-21. DOI:

- Jalloh MA, Gregory PJ, Hein D, Risoldi Cochrane Z, Rodriguez A. Dietary supplement interactions with antiretrovirals: a systematic review. Int J STD AIDS. 2017; 28(1): 4-15. DOI:

- Imai-Sumida M, Chiyomaru T, Majid S, Saini S, Nip H, Dahiya R, et al. Silibinin suppresses bladder cancer through down-regulation of actin cytoskeleton and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways. Oncotarget. 2017; 8(54): 92032-92042. 29190895 DOI:

- Won DH, Kim LH, Jang B, Yang IH, Kwon HJ, Jin B, et al. In vitro and in vivo anti-cancer activity of silymarin on oral cancer. Tumour Biol. 2018; 40(5): 1010428318776170. 29764340. DOI:

- Singh RP and Agarwal R. Mechanisms and preclinical efficacy of silibinin in preventing skincancer. Eur. J. Cancer. 2005; 41: 1969-79. DOI:

- Soto CP, Perez BL, Favari LP, ReyesJL. Prevention of alloxan induced diabetes mellitus in the rat by silymarin. Comp Biochem Physiol C Pharmacol Toxicol Endocrinol. 1998; 119(2): 125-9. DOI:

- Maghrani M, Zeggwagh NA, Lemhadri A, El Amraoui M, Michel JB, Eddouks M. Study of the hypoglycaemic activity of Fraxinus excelsior and Silybum marianum in an animal model of type 1 diabetes mellitus. J. Ethnopharmacol. 2004; 91: 309-16. DOI:

- Schleufe P, Seidel C. Amanita poisoning during pregnancy. Anasthesiol Intensivmed Notfallmed Schmerzther. 2003; 38: 716-718. DOI:

- Asadi SY, Parsaei P, Karimi M, et al. Effect of green tea (Camellia sinensis) extract on healing process of surgical wounds in rat. Int J Surg. 2013; 11: 332-337. DOI:

- Shirzad H, Shahrani M, Rafieian-Kopaei M. Comparison of morphine and tramadol effects on phagocytic activity of mice peritoneal phagocytes in vivo. Int Immunopharmacol. 2009; 9: 968-970. DOI:

- Desplaces A, Choppin J, Vogel G, Trost W. The effects of silymarin on experimental phalloidine poisoning. Arzneimittelforschung. 1975; 25: 89-96.

- Feher I, Deak G, Muzes G. Liver protective action of silymarin therapy in chronic alcoholic liver diseases. Orv Hetil. 1989; 130: 2723-2727. [Article in Hungarian].

- Ferenci P, Dragosics B, Dittrich H, Frank H, Benda L, Lochs H, et al. Randomized controlled trial of silymarin treatment in patients with cirrhosis of the liver. J Hepatol. 1989; 9: 105-113. DOI:

- Magliulo E, Gagliardi B, Fiori GP. Results of a double-blind study on the effect of silymarin in the treatment of acute viral hepatitis, carried out at two medical centres. Med Klin. 1978; 73:1060-1065. [Article in German]

- Parsaei P, Karimi M, Asadi SY, Rafieian-Kopaei M. Bioactive components and preventive effect of green tea (Camellia sinensis) extract on post laparotomy intra-abdominal adhesion in rats. Int J Surg. 2013; 11: 811-815. DOI:

- Singh RP, Agarwal R. Prostate cancer chemoprevention by silibinin: bench to bedside. Mol. Carcinog. 2006; 45(6): 436-42. DOI:

- Ibrahim S. Abass, Muthanna I. Al-Ezzi, Inam S. Arif, Ghaith A. Jasim. Determination of Essential Oil Percentage with Evaluation of Antihyperlipidemic Activity of Three Natural Gums in Rats. Int.J.Pharm.Sci.Rev.Res. 2016; 39(1): 41-44.

- Krecman V, Skottová N, Walterová D, Ulrichová J, Simánek V. Silymarin inhibits the development of diet-induced hypercholesterolemia in rats. Planta Med. 1998; 64(2): 138-142. DOI:

- Kock HP, Bachner J, Loffler E. Silymarin: Potent inhibitor of cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase. Meth Find Expel ClinPharmacol. 1985; 7: 409-413.




How to Cite

Huda Khalil Al-Bazaz, Muthanna I. Al-Ezzi, & Ghaith Ali Jasim. (2020). Pharmacological and Pharmacognosticl Activity of Silybum marianum. Al Mustansiriyah Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 20(3), 71–81.

Most read articles by the same author(s)