Milk Thistle is one of the most frequently used medicinal plants in the world. It is the most recommended natural herb for liver health. It helps detoxify the liver, and aids in protecting and promoting the livers vital functions. It has a deep rooted history in natural medicine and has been used for over 2,000 years. Scientifically known as Silybum marianum, milk thistle gets its name from the milk white liquid that secretes from the plants leaves when they are crushed. It is native to areas in southern Europe, Russia, Asia, and it also grows in North and South America. Supplementing with milk thistle can play an important role in wellness. Visiting a holistic healing center would also be a great way to stay in good health.
Benefits of Milk Thistle
Milk thistle has a variety of benefits. There are many scholarly articles and research studies which support the benefits of milk thistle, particularly in relation to protecting the liver. The United States National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health have over 400 scientific studies in their catalog regarding milk thistle and some of its active compounds. The center for integrative medicine also recommends involving milk thistle to your health regime. The extract of milk thistle is used to protect the liver against toxins like alcohol, pollution, or various diseases in the liver. Some issues with the liver milk thistle helps treat are:
- Chronic Hepatitis
- Alcoholic Cirrhosis
- Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Studies also suggest that milk thistle has benefits outside of the liver. Some examples include:
- Anti-aging properties
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Aids in indigestion (also try moxibustion acupuncture)
How Milk Thistle Works and The Side Effects
Silymarin, a bioflavonoid complex, is the active ingredient in milk thistle, which is just the purified extract of the seeds in the plant. It helps to stabilize the cell membrane of the liver and stimulate protein synthesis while accelerating the regeneration process in liver tissue that has been damaged. Milk thistle is also a powerful antioxidant which helps protect the body against cell and tissue damaging free radicals. Milk thistle is an extremely gentle herb with no toxicity. It can cause a slight laxative effect but can be used safely by everyone, including nursing woman and children.