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Milk Thistle for Morning Sickness

The following is one of the most exciting morning sickness remedies I have come across. However, before we get to the what, we need to address the why behind the recommendation of milk thistle for morning sickness. Let’s jump right in.

(If you have come looking for morning sickness remedies, you’ve come to the right place. Not only have I written an eBook called Morning Sickness Remedies, I also have many articles all about morning sickness remedies. For all the information you need in one place, hop on over to Amazon to get your copy of Morning Sickness Remedies.)

——->>>>>>> link to Amazon


  1.  Pregnant women with hyperthyroidism are more likely to have abnormal electrolyte levels and increased liver enzyme levels. The severity of hyperemesis (vomiting) was found to vary directly with the degree of hyperthyroidism. The cause of the hyperthyroidism may link to the cause of hyperemesis itself. (Goodwin, Montoro, & Mestman, 1992)
  2. Another study shows that the thyroid gland activates in early pregnancy, (possibly by hCG) which may cause morning sickness. (MORI, AMINO, TAMAKI, MIYAI, & TANIZAWA, 1988)

Sum it Up

What this means is that our thyroids are hyperactive during pregnancy and our livers can’t process the excess hormones and toxins fast enough. The excess hormones and toxins are what is causing our morning sickness.

The following are examples of how we can apply this information to our lives to both prevent and treat morning sickness.

Preventing Morning Sickness with a Liver Detox

Since the liver has problems eliminating excess hormones and toxins while pregnant, it makes sense to clear the liver before pregnancy to prevent further buildup.

Shonda Parker, in her book Naturally Healthy Pregnancy writes,

“I have found milk thistle (standardized to contain at least 70% – 80% silymarin) to be invaluable in preventing morning sickness. I began taking 2 tablets each day, two months prior to this pregnancy, and increased to 3 tablets daily when our pregnancy was confirmed. Milk thistle is liver supportive and protective. I feel this is why it worked so well to prevent the nausea and vomiting I have had with every other pregnancy.”

The Jarrow milk thistle capsules (pictured below) work wonderfully for detoxifying the liver prior to pregnancy. I have also had success using the RenewLife brand of detoxification products prior to pregnancy.

Milk Thistle for Morning Sickness

This is one of the most exciting morning sickness remedies I have come across! However, before we get to the what, we need to address the why behind the recommendation of milk thistle for morning sickness.

Above I discussed the research behind a sluggish liver, hyperthyroidism and cleansing the liver to prevent morning sickness. However, once you’re pregnant doing a full cleanse is not recommended.

Milk Thistle Dosage for Morning Sickness:  During pregnancy an excellent remedy for morning sickness is milk thistle extract (standardized to contain at least 70% silymarin) at the recommended daily amount of 280 mg.

milk thistle for morning sickness

Jesse Hawkins also recommends this liver supportive herb in The Handbook of Vintage Remedies.

“By boosting the liver to eliminate toxins and excess hormones from the body, many women experience relief. Within days of beginning milk thistle three times a day, I was back to normal, yet still less than 9 weeks along. For the next 6 weeks, if I missed as little as one dose, nausea began to return. The best part about milk thistle is that it is perfectly safe, with no risks to the baby.”

Milk Thistle Tea

Another way to ingest milk thistle for morning sickness is to use the herb. The following is a milk thistle tea for use during pregnancy to treat morning sickness.


Ingredients: 1 tsp crushed milk thistle seeds

Instructions:  Simmer milk thistle in 8 oz of water for 10 minutes.

Dosage:  The dose is 1 to 3 cups daily, or 1 to 3 grams of ground milk thistle seed in capsule form.

(Note that this is not the standardized extract typically used for liver disorders but rather crude preparations of the seeds. (Low Dog MD, 2010))

Where to Buy Herbs

I buy a lot of my essential oils, herbs and tea from Amazon. (In fact I buy my beeswax and tins to make green salve and all the ingredients I need to make my facial cleanser, all from there too.)


By preparing the body before pregnancy through detoxification and healthy living we can eliminate or drastically reduce the chance of developing morning sickness. During pregnancy, milk thistle in pill form or in preparations like a tea may help ease the symptoms of morning sickness.


Sunday 7th of October 2018

Is it possible that taking Milk Thistle to help the liver process Hcg more efficiently can cause a positive pregnancy test to take longer to show up?


Monday 17th of August 2020

I’m curious about this too! I’ve been taking milk thistle for about 2 months as a way to get healthier following a MMC and two surgical procedures. I haven’t gotten my AF but tests are negative.


Wednesday 31st of January 2018

Hello, I came across your post back-inking to the 'Morning Sickness and Thyroid Function in Normal Pregnancy.' (

This study does point to increased T4 and hCG as being a potential underlaying cause of morning sickness, but they emphasize that the temporary increase of these hormones during the first 18 weeks are an important part of early pregnancy, and that treatment shouldn't be given to stop the production of these hormones.

Milk Thistle can have a powerful effect on hormonal levels, and I would really caution against taking it while pregnant...

Consider this, if increased hCG (which plays an important role in early pregnancy) causes morning sickness, and you consume something that stops that morning sickness...

It is likely you are decreasing your hCG levels, which you don't want.

Is there a good solution to morning sickness?

Unfortunately, I don't know of one, but I would truly caution against any remedy that effects your hormone levels at this crucial developmental stage.


Tuesday 13th of February 2018

Interesting point you raise about the hormone levels and how we should stay away from messing with them. However, many women do not experience morning sickness when they are pregnant, yet they have healthy children. My grandmother had 12 children and 0 morning sickness with either one. She thinks of morning sickness as a strange phenomenon because the women in her village didn't have it either. My mother also had 5 children and 0 morning sickness and I'm now pregnant 7 weeks and dealing with morning sickness, I have read that vitamin D deficiency may be another cause. and I was vitamin D deficient for a long time, maybe still am, haven't had new blood work done. I've read statistic as high as 80% of American women are vitamin D deficient, so could that be the real culprit. In the caribbean where my mother and grandmother experienced their pregnancies, there is plenty of sunshine so they don't become vitamin D deficient but back to the hormones. I was thinking, maybe hoping that the milk thistle revs up the liver so that it can deal with the excess hormones more efficiently, not exactly reduce them. Because I'm sure women who don't have morning sickness have their levels or hormones increasing as well due to the pregnancy, but perhaps their livers are more efficient at dealing with the excess hormones, and perhaps milk thistle just provides the boost, in revving up the liver if you will, not making the body decrease it's natural elevated hormone production but more like process them more efficiently???? It really helps me, that along with ginger and lemon, if I don't make that tea, I am nauseated. I am not convinced this is bad for my child, and I take the Eclectic Institute milk thistle whichi s basically the seeds ground up, no fillers, grown on US soil and organic. Just pure milk thistle seeds ground up and freeze dried, it's not the 80% Silymarin because it's the whole food in it's whole form and I take 4 tablets in the morning in my tea which has about 120 mg of silymarin and that seems to work for now, but I will reduce it to three and increase dosage throughout the day. Thank you for your input, hopefully more studies are done on this.


Tuesday 23rd of May 2017

My friend went to the health food store and asked the man for milk thistle. On their way to grab it, he mentioned you have to take dandelion root as well for it to be well rounded for the body. He said something like it helps the kidneys in this process of dealing with toxins too. Do you know if this is true?


Sunday 19th of January 2020

I have read that dandelion root is not safe during pregnancy.

Lindsey Morrow

Tuesday 23rd of May 2017

I'm not sure. Sorry!


Monday 1st of May 2017

I would also like to know about that confusion of dosage. Thx Lanie


Wednesday 22nd of February 2017

Hi! I need some clarification, The dosage of milk thistle is 280mg for morning sickness, but the Jarrow brand you have listed contains 150mg in one pill, bottle says to take one a day, but in your comments you mentioned taking three a day. Even if i took two a day that would exceed the rec amount of 280mg. I'm confused!

Lindsey Morrow

Saturday 6th of May 2017

Unfortunately the only dosage I've found is is milk thistle extract (standardized to contain at least 70% silymarin) at the recommended daily amount of 280 mg. You're right, this is more than one pill but less than two. If you have a local herbalist, I would contact them for a more exact dosage for you and your needs. Sorry about that!


Tuesday 25th of April 2017

Yes, I'm confused on this too!