One Herb: ‘Triple Action’ Against Skin Cancer, Photo-Aging

Natural Society – by Christina Sarich

Milk thistle is already well-known for its ability to help the liver detoxify itself, but evidently it has several important effects on our skin, too. Milk thistle protects against photo-aging, or UV damage, and effectively blocks both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) induced skin carcinogens. Studies at the University of Colorado Cancer Center found that the extract of the milk thistle plant was exceptional at preventing skin cancer and photo-aging.  

milk-thistle-flower-735-250It’s a compound called silibinin in milk thistle that does all the hard work to protect you from cancer. Rajesh Agarwal, PhD, co-program leader of Cancer Prevention and Control at the CU Cancer Center and professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, said about one of the U of C studies:

“When you have a cell affected by UV radiation, you either want to repair it or kill it so that it cannot go on to cause cancer. We show that silibinin does both.”

Agarwal goes on to explain:

“When you take human skin cells – keratinocytes – and treat them with silibinin, nothing happens. It’s not toxic. But when you damage these cells with UVA radiation, treatment with silibinin kills the cells.”

In yet another study published by the same authors in the journal Molecular Carcinogenesis, researchers showed that instead of beneficially killing cells damaged by UVA radiation, treatment with silibinin protects human skin cells from damage by UVB radiation, which makes up about 5 percent of the sun’s radiation reaching Earth.

The study abstract reads:

“In view of the fact that an enhanced endogenous IL-12 level could effectively remove UVB-caused DNA damage and associated skin cancer, our findings suggest that the use of silibinin in UVB-damaged human skin would also be a practical and translational strategy to manage solar radiation-caused skin damages as well as skin cancer.”

So not only does milk thistle protect you once your skin is damaged, it helps to make sure that your skin doesn’t become cancerous in the first place. I’m adding some milk thistle to my beach bag today – how about you?

Additional Sources:


Read more:
Follow us: @naturalsociety on Twitter | NaturalSociety on Facebook

9 thoughts on “One Herb: ‘Triple Action’ Against Skin Cancer, Photo-Aging

  1. I have been taking milk thistle along with yellow dock, dandelion, and alfalfa
    for twenty years…In 1983 I started having liver problems. I worked in oil refineries and petrochemical plants, as well as gas and nuclear power plants as a pipe welder. By 1987 I was down to 10% of my liver, and was given 3 weeks to live. I had so much uric acid in my blood that I couldn’t walk or drive. The pain of holding the steering wheel, or pushing down the clutch or brake was excruciating. In 1991 I was diagnosed with hepatitis C. I had to eat
    sparingly, and stay on a strict diet, while still welding. Within three months after taking those four herbs, a hepatitis C test came back negative. I have
    been living a normal life since then. I know that others of you here are on the same page, and DO alternative treatments for different ailments. Herbs
    are cheap, and do work. My son had sick headaches that were devastating. He has started taking milk thistle, cayenne, garlic, and ginger.
    It’s been a while since he’s had a headache, and when he has felt one coming on, he takes an extra dose. Now he carries them to work with him.

    1. Thanks for posting this.
      It’s great to hear from people who treat themselves and
      return to good health.
      Again, the planet is perfect and we are from the earth…earth is not from us.
      This planet provides everything we need.


      1. Flek,
        I have seen a lot of people die needlessly because they went to the doctor for what ailed them. They believed in the system because they just didn’t know any better. The casualties just keep coming in. People are kept in fear by their doctor, who is supposedly there too help them. Thank GOD I wised up, or I wouldn’t be in this discussion today. Stay healthy Flek.

        1. Thanks,

          Do you have a blog or .pdf library to share?

          Or things you recommend to download.
          I ask because there’s a lot of crap online and want to hear from
          people who have real world experience and advice.


          1. Flek,
            Try A wealth of knowledge. It contains so many resources that you will find hours have gone by, and you’ve just scratched the surface…GOD BLESS!

    1. Yellow Dock and Dandelion stimulate bile flow, cleansing the liver.
      They are also diaphoretic and diuretic, causing one to perspire and
      urinate. This is beneficial too eliminate toxins. When coupled with Milk Thistle, they become synergistic, meaning the sum of the three
      is greater than any one tripled…They also increase energy.

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *