"It may or may not be fanciful, but I do think I feel much less affected by the after-effects of alcohol (let's not use the H-word) when I take milk thistle," she adds. "My co-author of Wine Grapes, José Vouillamoz in Switzerland, is a professional specialist in medicinal plants, and has not uncovered any evidence to contradict taking it to stave off the harmful effects of toxins such as alcohol."
It helps undo some of the damage
Drinking in abundance isn't great for your credit card bill or Tinder correspondence, but it's downright garbage for your liver. Enter milk thistle to help undo some of that booze-induced damage.
"The active ingredient of milk thistle, silymarin, helps to improve liver function tests by acting as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory in the hepatic cells," says Dr. Westin Childs. "It also helps the liver metabolize toxic compounds, lowering the damage to liver cells in the process."
Although it's helpful, Dr. Childs adds it's not a cure-all; it doesn't reduce all of the damage from drinking in excess. "It can help heal the process once the person has quit drinking, but by itself is not enough to counteract all of the effects of the alcohol," he notes, though if you're trying to go on a serious detox, you may just want to add milk thistle.