Milk thistle may aid in one of several liver disorders, such as cirrhosis and liver damage caused by chemicals, according to WebMD. As of 2014, research has not proven with certainty that milk thistle is effective.
Other conditions milk thistle is thought to help are jaundice, chronic hepatitis and chronic inflammatory liver disease, notes WebMD. People also use milk thistle to combat the effects of Amanita phalloides mushroom poisoning and treat heartburn and gallbladder complaints. Clinical studies suggest that milk thistle may be beneficial in patients who have a damaged liver due to cancer, according to Drugs.com; however, clinical trials are still ongoing, and using milk thistle in this way is not recommended.