Widespread use of herbal drugs because of their protective effects on different organs toxicity has been shown in many studies. These protective effects have been illustrated in the fields of nephrotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, viral hepatitis, cancer, in vitro fertilization, neurotoxicity, depression, lung diseases, prostate diseases etc. Silymarin has cytoprotection activities due to its antioxidant activity and radical scavenging. The possible known mechanisms of action of silymarin protection are blockade and adjustment of cell transporters, p-glycoprotein, estrogenic and nuclear receptors. Moreover, silymarin anti-inflammatory effects through reduction of TNF-α, protective effects on erythrocyte lysis and cisplatin-induced acute nephrotoxicity have been indicated in some studies. Silymarin has also inhibited apoptosis and follicular development in patients undergoing IVF. Basis on such data, silymarin can be served as a novel medication in complementary medicine.
Keywords: Antioxidant; Cancer; Liver; Medicinal plant; Silymarin.