Google and Milk Thistle Saves Family from Death

My grandmother always swore milk thistle was the best thing for my screwed-up liver; she's mentioned it on many occasions over the years and I'm afraid I've always relegated it to the same category as the books I read at her place on spontaneous human combustion. However, she is sometimes exceptionally right (I am descended from her, after all) and she's definitely come out on the side of the milk thistle angels. Milk thistle extract just saved five family members from death cap mushroom poisoning.

Though I should point out it was a drug made from the extract,
prescription-grade, and that the drugstore milk thistle supplement did
not help. Nevertheless, something to discuss with my doctor next time
she writes me my usual eight-ten prescriptions. (Wish that was an
overstatement.) The story also speaks to the power of the internet:
though actually obtaining the drugs was expensive (they had to be
couriered from Germany to California) the research happened essentially
at lightspeed. Finally, it implies the potential dangers associated
with using supplements without knowing precisely what they do. If milk
thistle is that powerful, you do run risk of damaging yourself by using
it carelessly. Natural does not mean safe. [GT]

A life-or-death situation: Family poisoned by mushrooms first to receive experimental treatment [via Metafilter]

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