Milk Thistle

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The thistle is the medicinal plant that is usually taken, at a popular level, to cure hepatobiliary disorders. Milk thistle is considered a natural protector of the liver, it is tonic, detoxifying and it stimulates the flow of bile. Scientists have discovered in its composition silybin, the essential active ingredient of milk thistle, which reduces liver damage caused by alcohol and other drugs, as well as those derived from environmental toxins, heavy metals and bacterial toxins.

It additionally aids in the regeneration of the liver, among its other benefits.

The liver is a very resistent organ and has the extraordinary ability of regenerating itself and operating even when it is damaged. However, when the liver is overloaded and is forced to eliminate too many toxins, such as those that we ingest through food, water, drugs, alcohol, or that are in the air, permanent damage may be suffered.

Milk thistle seeds have been used for more than two thousand years in traditional medicine to treat liver disease, since it has properties that help the functioning of the liver and in its regeneration.

The milk thistle is one of the most studied medicinal plants in regards to the liver and heart, as well as for treating diabetes and cholesterol symptoms and has potential health benefits for the essential organs.

Silymarin is used to treat liver disease derived from alcoholism or toxins and acute and chronic viral hepatitis.

How does silymarin work?

Milk Thistle seeds are rich in silymarin which has antioxidant properties, reducing the production of free radicals. Lipid peroxidation is fibrotic and works by blocking toxins, by inhibiting them so that they can not affect the liver cell membranes.

It combats the peroxidation of lipids in the liver and accelerates the regeneration of liver cells in the damaged tissue. Liver damage is caused by the decomposition of glutathione in the liver. Silymarin and especially silybin, produce an increase in glutathione levels. In a healthy person silymarin produces an increase in glutathione content by more than 35%.

People with liver damage caused by chronic alcoholism, cirrhosis, hepatitis, or other diseases, can benefit greatly from treatment with milk thistle.

Silymarin, the key ingredient of milk thistle

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a plant native to the Mediterranean that contains extract of silymarin. The thistle is a natural extract made from the plant´s seeds.

Milk thistle seeds contains many bioflavonoids, including silibinin or silibin, which is the high activity biological component accounting for 50% to 70% of silymarin benefits in the plant.

Scientists have discovered that silybin reduces liver damage caused by toxic substances, such as alcohol, acetaminophen (Tylenol), as well as by drugs, environmental toxins, heavy metals, bacterial toxins and amanita green poison.

Milk thistle is a complementary treatment for cirrhosis, one of the most serious diseases that affects the liver.

Milk thistle seeds are a great antioxidant and have regenerating properties that promote proper liver function and thus greatly help people who suffer from this disease.

People with hepatitis C can also benefit from the many properties of this plant.

What health benefits and properties do milk thistle plants have?

  • Milk thistle is a natural plant that protects the liver
  • Another of the medicinal properties of the milk thistle is to help the regeneration of damaged liver cells
  • It helps to treat cholesterol, as it reduces hepatobiliary cholesterol
  • Reduces liver damage caused by a decrease in oxygen supply
  • It helps to treat hepatic cirrhosis
  • It protects against acute and chronic viral hepatitis
  • It is one of the safest remedies for treating chronic liver disease
  • It relieves inflammation
  • Another of milk thistle properties is that it is a potent antioxidant for hepatic tissue
  • It helps in the treatment of diabetes symptoms
  • It protects against pancreas damage caused by alcohol
  • Its properties also include improving heart health
  • It has immunostimulatory properties
  • It reduces the harmful effects caused by chemotherapy in the liver and kidneys

What medicinal benefits and properties does milk thistle have for diabetes?

There are clinical studies that show that taking milk thistle in combination with conventional treatment can lower blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance in patients suffering from diabetes.

Recent clinical studies conducted in 2016 also suggest that milk thistle is able to reduce glucose absorption as another of its properties. In any case, if you suffer from diabetes or you are receiving medications for your treatment, you should consult with your doctor before taking milk thistle extract.

Can milk thistle be combined with other dietary supplements?

A 2016 clinical study showed that milk thistle seeds combined with alpha lipoic acid and selenium is one of the most effective remedies for the treatment of hepatitis. The combination of these nutrients can offer many benefits to liver health through various mechanisms.

The combination of silymarin and glutathione with other dietary supplements, such as N-acetyl-cysteine and acetyl-glutathione also produces high levels of glutathione, which have antioxidant properties, especially in the liver.

Does milk thistle extract have side effects?

Milk thistle has been one of the most commonly used plants in traditional remedies for hundreds of years, due to its multiple benefits and properties.

Milk thistle plants are completely safe. Side effects are rare. Only pregnant or breast feeding women, those taking medications on a regular basis, such as acetaminophen pain relievers, or who are suffering from ragweed allergy, should first consult their doctor before taking milk thistle.

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