Milk thistle is a prickly plant with distinctive purple flowers, widely seen growing in the UK. While the spikes deter snacking, the seeds are rich in antioxidants and an important bioflavonoid known as silymarin complex. The seeds are regularly fed to horses to promote optimum liver health, supporting effective liver function and assisting in healthy liver cell growth and renewal.
Supporting the liver has a number of knock on effects for general horse health and well-being. These include:
- A healthy liver more effectively flushes toxins and chemicals from the body. Milk thistle supports this mechanism by sustaining the body’s natural cleansing and detoxifying process
- The liver is hugely important for the health of the digestive system, blood and metabolism. Keeping it in optimum health is beneficial for manufacuring blood protein, blood clotting, producing digestive bile, and the processing and abortion of fats
- The health of skin, hooves and laminae are intrinsically linked with liver health. A healthy liver results in strong skin, supports the bodies own protection against sunburn and has shown linked with supporting laminitis.
While milk thistle seeds are known to mainly support the liver, they also promote kidney and pancreatic health, conveniently aiding nutrient absorption, a healthy digestive system and urinary tract. Sourced by Omega Equine in the UK, this seemingly humble ingredient is a brilliant addition to the feed room, with multiple knock-on effects for horse health and well-being.