Benefits of Milk Thistle
By Owen Denning
What is Milk Thistle?
Milk Thistle, also known as Silybum marianum, is an herbal remedy derived from the milk thistle plant. The plant is known for been prickly and having distinctive purple flowers and white veins. A group of plant compounds known as silymarin is the active ingredient in milk thistle. Silymarin is extracted from milk thistle which has a high concentration of silymarin between 65% to 80% and is known to have antioxidant, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Milk Thistle was traditionally used for treatment of the liver and gallbladder disorders, promotion of breast milk production, prevent and treat cancer and it has also been used to protect he liver from snake bites, alcohol and other poisons.
Benefits of Milk Thistle
1. Milk Thistle Protects the Liver
Milk Thistle is known for its liver-protecting effect, its normally used for people who have liver damage due to conditions such as alcoholic liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatitis and even liver cancer. It’s known to help reduce liver inflammation and liver damage as it protects the liver against toxins like amatoxin.
2. It May Help Prevent Age-Related Decline in Brain Function
Milk thistle has been used as a traditional remedy for neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease for over 2000 years. Due to it’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties mean that it could possibly be neuroprotective and could help in preventing certain neurological conditions, as it could help prevent the decline in brain function as you age.
3. Milk Thistle Could Protect Your Bones
A disease called osteoporosis which is caused by progressive bone loss, it normally develops over years and causes bones to become weak and fragile which break easily, even after minor falls. Milk Thistle can be used as a therapy to delay the process of decaying bones especially in postmenopausal women.
4. It May Improve Cancer Treatment
It has been suggested that the silymarin may have some anticancer effects, which could be helpful for people receiving cancer treatment. It has also shown to help chemotherapy work more effectively, and for certain cancers, destroy the cancer cells.
5. It Can Help Treat Acne
Acne, a chronic inflammatory skin condition, is not dangerous but can leave scars, can be painful and can make people worry about their looks. Oxidative stress in the body has been suggested as a role in the development of acne.
6. Milk Thistle Can Lower Blood Sugar Levels for People with Diabetes
Milk Thistle can be used for complementary therapy to help manage type 2 diabetes, as it has been discovered that one of the compounds in milk thistle may work similar to some diabetic medications by helping improve insulin sensitivity and decrease blood sugar. Also, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties from milk thistle may also be useful for reducing the risk of developing diabetic complications like kidney disease.
How it works
How it works in layman’s terms. Chemicals that enter the body attach to receptors and cause damage. Milk Thistle attaches to these receptors causing no damage what so ever but also prevent the harmful chemicals attaching to them and in turn forcing them out of the body.
Overall Milk Thistle has significant long term benefits to your health. I personally use milk thistle on a daily basis to ensure the toxins are flushed out without causing damage.