What Is Milk Thistle Used For?
A derivative of the milk thistle plant, also known as Silybum marianum, it goes by the moniker, magic milk thistle due to its unbelievable benefits, especially for the liver. Silymarin is an active group of compounds in the plant and the plant extract used for the herbal remedy has about 65-80% of silymarin in it, making it a potent cure for chronic liver ailments.
Since ancient Greek times and through the middle ages, milk thistle vegetarian capsules have been used for their healing properties. Nowadays, the seeds are being used in supplements as they are high in silymarin. This is a compound that has antioxidant flavonoids, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, which aids in fighting free radical damage.
Science has acknowledged milk thistle’s healing properties. Let’s take a look at some:
- Protects liver: Patients suffering from liver damage such as cirrhosis of the liver which is due to alcohol mainly, fatty liver disease, hepatitis, and even liver cancer have shown great improvement with regular usage of milk thistle. It has also proved to help with liver poisoning. Although it is used as a complementary therapeutic herbal remedy, science has backed it with the success rate that it has shown and is now included with regular allopathy.
- Prevents decline in age-related brain function: For over 2000 years, organic milk thistle extract capsules have been used for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions. Age does have a decline in brain function but the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties prevent oxidative damage to the brain cells; thus preventing medical decline. While the exact doses are not yet been understood that could help with Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Parkinson’s, there is evidence that the amyloid plaques (a type of sticky clusters of amyloid proteins that build up between nerve cells) are reduced with a daily dose of milk thistle and potentially help with reducing the damage caused.
- Protects bones: After a considerable age, osteoporosis sets in especially in women. This is a disease that causes bones to become weak and fragile. Milk thistle is known to stimulate bone mineralization and protect against bone loss. This helps post-menopausal women as it delays bone loss specifically.
- Improves cancer treatment: Studies suggest that silymarin, the compound in milk thistle, may have some anti-cancer effects due to its antioxidant properties. It has shown hope in the direction of the destruction of cancer cells as well as it may help in some cancers and their subsequent chemotherapy procedures. Having said that, more studies are needed to show a meaningful clinical effect in people although research in animals has given a purpose in this direction.
- Boosts production of breast milk: Reports have shown that milk thistle has beneficial effects on lactating mothers by producing more milk. It boosts the milk-producing hormone prolactin. Although the data is limited, a study showed that mothers produced 64% more milk after taking 420 gms milk thistle for 63 days.
- Treats acne: Globally, this skin condition has troubled people over the years. While not life-threatening, this chronic inflammatory skin condition leaves scars and affects appearance. The oxidative stress in the body causes acne, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of milk thistle make it a useful supplement against acne.
- Lowers blood sugar levels: It has been discovered that milk thistle works similarly to some diabetic medicines and can be a useful complementary medicine in Type 2 diabetes. Helps improve insulin sensitivity and shows a decline in blood sugar. Also, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of milk thistle reduce the chances of getting diabetes related complications such as kidney disease.
Organic milk thistle capsules have a lot of properties that make them a must-have in one’s apothecary. Besides all the benefits stated above, it also is a natural detoxifier and handles digestion well. It is a safe supplement to be used for CAM ( Complementary and alternative medicine ).
Herbalism was the grounding of flower power. Nature woke us up.