We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Effective Is Milk Thistle for a Hangover?

By Page Coleman
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Milk thistle is a commonly suggested herbal supplement for a hangover, but there is no clear evidence that it is effective for this use. A placebo effect may aid some people and it may offer other benefits to people who drink, though it can have side effects. The only sure way to prevent hangovers is to abstain from alcohol, though other techniques may help reduce the chance of hangovers. Hangovers can impair physical and mental functioning.

Although milk thistle for a hangover might not be especially effective, it may have properties that can be beneficial for people who indulge in alcohol. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can provide health benefits. Taking milk thistle shows some promise in treating people with alcoholic liver disease, particularly those with milder cases.

People who choose to take milk thistle for a hangover should be aware that it can interact with other medications and cause side effects. Some of the drugs it can interact with include allergy, cholesterol reducing drugs, anti-anxiety drugs, anticoagulants, antipsychotics, and certain seizure and cancer medications. Side affects of milk thistle are mild diarrhea or irritated stomach.

Taking milk thistle for a hangover is usually considered safe. This is especially true for healthy people who aren’t on other medications or supplements. Even so, they should be taken under the guidance of a health care professional.

The only way to completely prevent a hangover is to refrain from drinking alcohol. If an individual chooses to drink, she should limit consumption to one alcoholic drink an hour. Rotating alcoholic drinks with a non-alcoholic beverages such as water or juice will also help reduce the severity of hangovers. Non-alcoholic liquids help prevent dehydration, a main cause of hangovers.

Other than taking milk thistle for a hangover, there are some ways to reduce the severity of hangovers. Eating a fatty meal before drinking may help. Activity, such as walking and dancing, can help the body process alcohol more quickly and reduces hangovers, as long as the person does not drink more alcohol to slake his thirst. Vitamin C may also help reduce hangovers, and a glass of orange juice after a night on the town can help by providing vitamin C and fluids.

Hangovers can impede physical and mental performance. Anyone suffering from a hangover should refrain from driving or other tasks that can be dangerous if done in an impaired state. People should be cautious about drinking the night before important events, such as examinations or other activities that require mental focus.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By candyquilt — On Jan 04, 2015

I think milk thistle is fairly effective for hangovers. The main issue I see with people using this supplement though is that some may think that they can prevent liver damage from excessive and frequent alcohol use with it. I don't think milk thistle can do that so this supplement should never be an excuse for people to drink more alcohol or drink regularly.

It also doesn't make a lot of sense to drink a toxin like alcohol and then try to get it out of the body faster and reduce its effects with herbs and supplements. Rather than trying to fix damage after it has occurred, isn't it better to prevent it in the first place. So the wisest thing to do is to just not drink. Especially those with low tolerance to alcohol and who have severe hangovers should avoid it completely.

By fify — On Jan 04, 2015

@discographer-- I think you can take it both before drinking and after drinking. Most people take it right before they drink to aid the liver with alcohol metabolism. You could also take it afterward for the detoxifying effects, to get the alcohol out of your system better. It's probably better to take it before drinking rather than only after drinking though. It will reduce the chances of a hangover. And even if you do get a hangover, it won't be as bad.

I take my milk thistle before going out. I discovered this supplement a few months ago when a friend recommended it. It makes a huge difference for me.

By discographer — On Jan 03, 2015

Does anyone here use milk thistle for hangovers? How do you use it?

I have not used it before but planning to. Should I take it before I drink or after? Which is most effective?

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.