As patients grow tired of the long list of side effects that pharmaceuticals produce, they are turning to herbal medicine like milk thistle. Milk thistle extract comes from a plant that some consider a weed because it grows so easily in many regions. Its properties have been used for many years before medical research proved it works so well. Though it costs very little, it has extraordinary healing benefits.
Instead of cold and sterile hospitals and doctor’s offices who crank out prescriptions with little empathy for patients, many are going to a center for integrative medicine for medical treatment. These holistic centers use many herbal remedies including milk thistle to help get patients better. They combine milk thistle treatments with rehydration therapy and vitamin iv therapy for a more complete healing program. Milk thistle extract has properties that cleanse the body of toxins, so by giving extra fluids and vitamins to a person as they take the extract, less dehydration occurs, and the cleansing process is faster. Some of the benefits of milk thistle extract include:
- Repairing liver cells
- Increasing lactation in nursing mothers
- Preventing the spread of cancer cells
- Cleansing the blood and lymphatic system
Milk thistle is so safe it can be taken by pregnant and nursing mothers. It does not pass on to babies through the blood stream or breast milk easily. Children can take the herb as well. The side effects of milk thistle are only due to the release of harmful microorganisms as the liver is flushed. A Herxheimer’s response occurs as this happens. Headache, nausea, and stomach pain can occur. The side effects can be lessened by starting with a very low dose of milk thistle and working up gradually to the full dose. Drink plenty of fluids to help flush out the toxins more quickly. Also, fatigue can occur, so try to take a few days off work or plan to begin the treatment when you know you can get enough rest. It usually take about two to three weeks of taking milk thistle for the entire liver and lymphatic system to be cleansed.