The use of herbs and extracts as alternative medication is increasing as people seek new ways to cure both everyday and chronic illnesses. Milk thistle, in particular, is gaining popularity due to its abilities to treat a wide range of liver issues including hepatitis, cirrhosis, and damage caused by excessive drinking. The seeds of the herb are primarily responsible for all of its benefits. Each one contains silymarin, a substance that promotes cell growth in the body to repair and replace damaged tissues like those resulting from liver damage. Milk thistle can also be used as naturopathic medicine, which emphasizes preventing the onset of diseases by strengthening the body’s systems.
Routes of Administration for Milk Thistle
Because the benefits of milk thistle have been isolated to the seeds, they must be consumed in order to take effect. Supplements made from the seeds can be purchased from local stores including:
- CVS Caremark
For people who prefer more natural forms, the seeds can be ground into a fine powder and added to food or drinks for direct consumption. Teas can also be brewed from the plant, but the concentration of silymarin in them may not be as high. Depending on the purpose of its use, one route of administration may be better than another. For example, milk thistle being used in integrated therapies, which focus on cognitive, behavioral, and psychological health, may be ingested in small amounts via tea to carefully note its effects across all of these systems.
The Future of Alternative Medicine and Where to Find Practitioners
Milk thistle is just one of many forms of alternative medicine rising in popularity. Other forms of treatment include electrical and energy-based methods like Reiki, Shiatsu, acupuncture, electromagnetic therapy, and magnet therapy. These forms, next to many others, are increasingly being used alongside conventional treatments. For those interested in beginning or resuming alternative therapy, a quick search online will reveal hundreds of groups in each state that specialize in their own area. For example, an individual looking for advanced integrative therapy can visit the Center for Holistic Healing in Vermont for treatment from a licensed clinical psychologist. Someone looking for a renowned acupuncturist could visit Dayton Medical Center in Miami.