Natural Liver Protectant Milk Thistle
Natural Liver Protectant Milk Thistle – For over 2,000 years, Europeans have used milk thistle seeds as a health supplement for liver cleansing. In Western culture, its medicinal use dates back to the 1700s and is now used for a wide variety of ailments. The name “milk thistle” is derived from the appearance of the plant’s leaves. Milk thistle is also called silymarin, which refers to an antioxidant flavonoid comprised of three isomers, the most active of which is called silibinin. (1)
Its use in treating liver related ailments is widely known. Literally hundreds of research studies, mostly in Europe, have confirmed the remarkable ability of milk thistle seed to protect the liver against virtually all types of damage including accidental exposure to chemical pollutants, toxic side effects of medications, liver disorders like hepatitis, and even the self-inflicted damage from the overindulgence of rich food and alcohol — thereby enhancing overall liver health. In fact, The United States National Library of Medicine has catalogued more than 300 scientific studies of milk thistle seed and its active compounds (the primary one being silymarin) in their medicine database.
Double blind studies on the effect of milk thistle seed on toxic liver damage (mostly induced by alcohol), and ailments caused by certain drugs have been reviewed by medical experts. They concluded that basic lab and clinical data suggests milk thistle is a therapeutically useful medicinal plant product that stabilizes the cell membrane and stimulates protein synthesis, while accelerating the process of regeneration in damaged liver tissue, and that these effects are important in the therapeutic efficacy of milk thistle.
Over the past twenty+ years, intensive chemical, pharmacological, and clinical research has confirmed mechanisms of action and the therapeutic value of milk thistle seed in a wide range of human liver disorders, including toxic metabolic liver damage (such as fatty degeneration of the liver) and supportive therapy in cases of chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis.
While mainly known for its help with liver related conditions, according to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCD), milk thistle is possibly effective for treating heartburn when used in combination with other herbs. In addition, the NMCD also reports that silymarin is also rated as possibly effective for lowering blood sugar in Type 2 diabetics. (2)
Animal experiments have also shown that milk thistle seed extracts are safe, even in large doses, with practically no side effects, as well as no embryo-toxic effect. There are no contraindications or known side effects of concern. Milk thistle seed can be safely used by a wide range of persons, including pregnant and lactating women, although it may have a mild, transient laxative effect for some people.
The popularity of milk thistle grew around the 16th century to such a degree that almost all parts of it were eaten. For instance, the leaves can be trimmed of prickles and boiled and used as a spinach substitute. For medicinal purposes, the seeds are used to make powders, extracts, tinctures and capsules. It is possible to make a tea; however, the components are not very water-soluble. (3)
This is the best supplement for liver health. It is a great addition to the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle to help detox from time to time. With it’s potential to help lower blood sugars, it can be used as a natural hypoglycemic agent as well.
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