Did you know…that milk thistle is not only a natural treatment for liver disorders…but also slows the growth of skin, breast and prostate cancer…and prevents and treats gallstones?
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a flowering plant belonging to the daisy family. It is named for the milky white fluid that oozes from its leaves when squeezed. Its ripe seeds are used to make an herbal nutrient that has been used for over 2,000 years, as a natural remedy for liver and gallbladder disorders, such as hepatitis C, jaundice, and cirrhosis.
It has also been used to treat malaria, melancholy, and the plague—and is believed to reduce the effects of toxins, such as poisonous mushrooms.
Benefits of milk thistle’s therapeutic properties originate from a compound know as silymarin, which is made up of 3 flavonoids with superior antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities. Silymarin repairs and detoxifies the liver by producing new liver cells—defending against toxic damage, improving overall liver function, and removing waste build-up.
Promotes Circulatory, Lymphatic and Cardiovascular Health—and Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease
The 20th century ushered in a host of milk thistle health benefits beyond its original therapeutic usefulness as a liver detoxification aid.
Today, the benefits of milk thistle is used to:
- Lower cholesterol levels, which improves cardiovascular health
- Decrease the proliferation of cancer cells in breast, lung, colon,prostate, cervical and renal cancers
- Lessen cell damage caused by chemotherapy and radiation treatments
- Prevent Alzheimer’s disease
- Stabilize blood sugar levels
- Defend against premature aging
- Protect against sun damage and other problematic skin conditions
- Fight free radical damage with its antioxidant properties
- Treat menopausal symptoms
- Remedy intestinal and indigestion issues
- Treat the symptoms of death cap mushroom (Amanita phalloides) poisoning
Benefits of milk thistle protects the entire circulatory system by helping the liver flush out toxins from the blood, thereby keeping the blood moving easily through the bloodstream.
Prevents and Treats Cancer—and Boosts Lymphatic System
Early studies in test tubes and laboratory animals have shown that the silymarin compound in milk thistle may help prevent and treat cancer. Human studies are, of course, necessary to discover the role silymarin may play in cancer prevention and treatment in people.
More benefits of milk thistle also aids the lymphatic system, which is a major component of immune health. The spleen, often referred to as the “heart” of the lymph system, is particularly affected by milk thistle. These benefits of milk thistle have been shown to effectively treat spleen disorders such as an inflamed spleen, which is the result of an overworked and sluggish liver.
Many health experts believe that a 200 mg daily dose of milk thistle promotes overall intestinal health, treating digestive problems, such as constipation. Constipation occurs when the intestines contract too slowly to adequately move waste into the colon for elimination.
Milk thistle produces a laxative effect by encouraging the production of bile, which is responsible for breaking down fats and cholesterol in the intestines—and stimulating bowel movements. By increasing bile production, the benefits of milk thistle also decreases the risk of developing gallstones.
Milk thistle is also a demulcent, which means it softens and moisturizes the mucous membranes, healing inflamed intestinal walls and calming the symptoms of digestive disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It likewise soothes inflamed gallbladders, helping to clear away stagnation by removing the gunk that can obstruct gallbladder ducts. Milk thistle is also used to treat and prevent gallstones—as it helps to slowly dissolve these hard, mineralized stones.
Before implementing milk thistle as part of your healthcare regimen, consult the advice of a physician. Side effects are mild and may include stomach upset, diarrhea and rash.
Do not take if pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have been diagnosed with prostate, uterine or breast cancer. You must also avoid supplementing with milk thistle if you are taking any blood thinning, allergy, anxiety, cholesterol, seizure, or cancer medications.