According to Nutrition & Healing, as a precautionary measure, it's best to stop taking all herbs about one week prior to surgery. The exception to this rule is milk thistle. Read on to discover how milk thistle could help offset one of the most debilitating aspects of surgery: The side effects of general anaesthesia.
According to Kerry Bone of Nutrition & Healing
, the longer the surgical procedure, the more likely it is that you’ll experience the side effects of general anaesthesia.
But “milk thistle (Silybum marianum) reduces that risk by minimising the impact of general anaesthesia on the whole body, especially the liver,” says Bone.
Milk thistle: An effective treatment for reducing the side effects of general anaesthesia
If you’re going for surgery anytime soon, Bone recommends you start using the herb (in concentrated silymarin extract tablet form) about three weeks prior to your surgery. Continue taking it right up to the day before surgery and then pick up right where you left off as soon as possible afterwards.
What’s the dosage?
The dosage amount depends on the anticipated length of your procedure (and the time you’ll be under general anaesthesia).
For surgery up to two hours, the recommended dose is 600mg a day and you must continue taking it for four weeks after surgery.
If your surgery takes between two and four hours, take 800mg a day and then continue with that dose for six weeks after surgery.
And for surgery longer than four hours long, the recommended dose is 800mg a day. You must continue that dose each day for two to three months post-surgery.
According to Bone, milk thistle primarily protects your liver against toxic insult and is very safe. There’s no evidence to suggest it interacts with drugs by speeding up the rate that your liver metabolises them, so it won't adversely interact with the anaesthetic drugs.
Although milk thistle is safe, just make sure you run the idea of taking milk thistle past your doctor first.