The milk thistle is a unique liver protectant and for this reason it can be used as a hangover cure too. The milk thistle is even more interesting because it has no equal in the world of conventional medicine.
Information about the Milk Thistle
Native to the Mediterranean region in Europe, the milk thistle is now found throughout the world, although it prefers dry, sunny climates. The spiny stems branch at the top and reach a height of 4 to10 feet. The leaves are wide with white blotches or veins and the milk thistle gets its name from the milky white fluid that comes from the leaves when they are crushed. Milk thistle grows so quickly that it is considered a weed in some parts of the world! It has a long history of being used as an herbal remedy for liver and gallbladder disorders.
Milk thistle is distributed in different formats – namely capsules, liquid extract, tincture and then “Silymarin phosphatidycholine complex”.
Why is milk thistle important?
The important and active ingredient is known as silymarin. Silymarin is actually a group of flavonoids which are thought to help repair liver cells damaged by alcohol and other toxic substances. Silymarin also keeps new liver cells from being destroyed by these same toxins. In addition, it also reduces inflammation (which is why it is often suggested for people with liver inflammation or hepatitis) plus it is a strong antioxidant.
The benefits of milk thistle therefore include
- The treatment of chronic hepatitis particularly hepatitis C.
- Help with cirrhosis and improving liver function when damaged by alcohol.
- Protection from liver damage.
- An emergency antidote to poisoning by deathcap mushroom (or Amanita phalloides). Animal studies have found that milk thistle extract completely counteracts the toxic effects of the mushroom when given within 10 minutes of ingestion. Even if given within 24 hours, the risk of liver damage and death is significantly reduced.
- Anti cancer effects from the silymarin and other active substances in milk thistle.
- Help with high cholesterol.
But there are some side effects to be aware of
- Mild cases of indigestion, headache and itching are possible side effects.
- Some people may get a rash from touching milk thistle plants.
- In rare cases, milk thistle may result in heartburn, gas, diarrhea, joint pain and sexual dysfunction.
- Those who are allergic to daisies, artichokes, kiwi, common thistle or plants in the aster family may well be allergic to milk thistle.
- People with a history of hormone-related cancers, including breast, uterine and prostate cancer, should not take milk thistle because milk thistle could have an estrogen-like effect.
- Milk thistle should be used with caution by those with diabetes, hypoglycaemia and those taking medications or supplements that affect blood sugar levels because milk thistle may lower blood sugar levels.
If you are suffering from any liver disorder, it should be checked by a doctor
Milk thistle is well known as a detox or detoxification which is a process of cleansing the body’s system of certain substances that come from different foods and nutritional supplements
The milk thistle detox process is done by the intake of a supplement infused with silymarin and other vitamins and nutrients needed in order to cleanse the body from harmful chemicals.
This supplement might also be capable of protecting other internal organs from toxins that might harm the body's defense system. These chemicals range from acetaminophen (Tylenol) to the chemicals brought about by smoking and alcohol intake.
Many consider the milk thistle detox process to be a breakthrough in the list of detoxification techniques. It might be the ideal detox process for you.