Silybum marianum (Milk Thistle)

What is Silybum marianum?

Extracts from the fruit of the Silybum marianumits plant may help to support a healthy liver.

The history of Silybum marianum use

Silybum marianum, also known as Milk thistle, has been used for more than 2,000 years to help health concerns related to the liver. Historically in some parts of the world, the plant’s leaves, roots and stems were eaten raw, or toasted and boiled. It is a thorny plant, which originates from the Europe and is now found throughout the world. The leaves of Silybum marianum contain splashes of white which were historically said to be ‘Mother Mary’s milk - hence its common nickname, milk thistle. It’s also commonly known as Holy thistle, Marian Thistle, Our Lady's thistle and Wild Artichoke. Modern milk thistle extracts are made from the fruit of the plant which are then often standardised to the amount of silymarin they contain.

The specific extract used by Flordis

The specific Silybum marianum extract used by Flordis is known as MZ 80.

Silymarin is generally understood to be poorly absorbed in the intestine, however the MZ 80 extract maintains bioavailability of the active ingredient by use of a patented simultaneous precipitation process which makes MZ 80 highly bioavailable.1 This means the extract has been uniquely formulated to efficiently release silibinin – believed to be the most beneficial component of silymarin. This individual and highly technical process helps ensure a consistent form and amount of MZ 80 in every formulation - meaning each final product will contain the same high quality active ingredient.

Natural medicines can vary considerably depending on how they are produced. Flordis believes it’s the science behind growing, harvesting and processing that delivers the true health benefits of natural medicine. That’s why in the making of a Flordis medicine, careful attention is applied to plant species and growing methods through to cultivation and harvest, using precise processes to help produce consistent crops. This is continued with extracting and manufacturing of specific ingredients following a series of strict controls to help deliver a consistent medicine from one batch to the next.

It is this specific medicine that is tested in clinical trials. And it’s the same medicine that you receive, which is one of the reasons you can feel good about its effectiveness. Flordis medicines follow processes where all of the steps involved in the growth and manufacture of the natural medicine are tightly controlled to reduce variability and to help ensure consistency.

The Silybum marianum extract used by Flordis, MZ 80, has been very well researched and has demonstrated good results in clinical trials.

Over 23 million people have used MZ 80 in the last 10 years.

MZ 80 has been used medically for over 4 decades and is sold in 64 countries

Key Studies on MZ80

MZ 80 has been studied and shown to demonstrate beneficial health effects in as many clinical trials.

Over many years, scientific research has shown that MZ 80 can help improve symptoms associated with liver health such as tiredness, gastric discomfort, lack of appetite, nausea, pruritus and general support for liver function.

The seed to patient journey

The specific extract of MZ 80 is manufactured in Germany. A series of strict controls are applied to the manufacturing processes - including everything from solvents and extraction methods through to packaging, storage and transportation of the final product - helping to ensure that every product is consistent (we refer to this as “batch-to-batch consistency”).

How it works

Scientific research has suggested that MZ80 can  help support healthy liver function by:

  • Having an antioxidant effect which may help reduce free radical damage2
  • Exhibiting an anti-inflammatory action1,3,4
  • Aiding renewal of healthy liver cells2
  • Assisting normal healthy detoxification and elimination processes2

More from Flordis


Supports liver health
Learn more


Chesty cough relief for the whole family
Learn more

Sign up for updates from Flordis

Stay up to date with the latest news and research in the world of natural medicines.

You might like


1. Butorova LI et al. Exp Clin Gastroenterol. 2010;3:85-91.  2.  Saller R et al. Drugs. 2001;61(14):2035-2063.  3. Dehmlow C, et al. Hepatology. 1996;23(4):749-754.  4. Trappoliere M, et al. Journal of Hepatology. 2009;50:1102–1111.