Milk Thistle May Improve Liver Health and More
Milk thistle is a solitary purple flower originally found in North America and used medicinally for the treatment of liver disease and other chronic ailments. It is a member of the daisy family. Not only is milk thistle the ideal natural remedy for liver disease such as cirrhosis and hepatitis, it has also been shown to help lower cholesterol, prevent diabetes, and more!
Milk Thistle for Chronic Liver Disease
The main function of the liver is to cleanse the blood of toxins and impurities. Any disease of the liver can compromise this ability and milk thistle can be used to improve liver health. The main compound of the milk thistle plant is silymarin, which has been shown to promote liver health in five critical ways:
- Strengthens the outer membranes of the liver cells, which prevents toxic damage to the liver.
- Enhances protein synthesis of the liver.
- Reduces inflammatory liver enzymes.
- Softens the liver cells. (Which aids in healing cirrhosis of the liver).
- Acts as a powerful antioxidant that is 10 times stronger than vitamin E!
To treat alcohol liver disease or another liver condition, milk thistle can be taken in capsule form, as a tea or a tincture. If you are currently taking any medications for your liver, talk with your doctor or an integrative medicine physician (naturopath) about milk thistle as adding it could interfere with your current prescription.
Other Health Benefits of Milk Thistle
The health benefits of milk thistle go beyond liver health. Its natural anti-inflammatory properties make it ideal for treating many chronic conditions.
- Improves Prostate Health
Prostate cancer is a common concern for millions of men. Silymarin, the active ingredient in milk thistle, is a potent antioxidant that has been shown to prevent the development of prostate cancer.
- Treats Arthritis
Arthritis plagues millions of people and NSAID pain relievers can cause digestive discomfort and ulcers. Milk thistle acts as a natural anti-inflammatory to treat arthritis without these side effects.
- May Reverse Colon Cancer
Silibinin, a flavonoid in found in milk thistle has been shown to destroy colon cancer cells. It is also an excellent natural herb to use during chemotherapy as it can help prevent the liver damage associated with this cancer treatment.
- Improves Digestion
Whether you suffer from diarrhea or constipation, milk thistle can help improve your digestion. It improves bowel function and digestive flow while softening stools so elimination is easier and more frequent.
- Prevents Gallstones
Gallstones can be horribly painful and often require surgery. Milk thistle increases bile flow from the gallbladder while reducing inflammation. This can help lessen the severity and frequency of gallstones.
- Reduces Heart Disease Risk
Chronic inflammation and cholesterol oxidation has been shown to increase heart disease risk. Supplementing your diet with antioxidant-rich milk thistle can help keep your heart healthy for years to come.
- Lowers Cholesterol
Statin drugs have been associated with some disturbing side effects including degenerative muscular disease. Milk thistle lowers cholesterol naturally, reducing your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
- Maintains Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
With the epidemic of obesity in the United States, millions of Americans are being diagnosed with diabetes each year. Milk thistle can help offset the side effects of a poor diet by helping stabilize blood sugar naturally. However, no natural herb should ever be a substitute for a balanced diet.
Milk Thistle Contraindications
Milk thistle acts as a natural detoxifier so your body may go through some detoxifying symptoms such as abdominal bloating, diarrhea, mild skin reactions, and fatigue. In rare cases, anaphylactic allergic reaction may occur. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use milk thistle or any other herbal remedy without first consulting their physician. If you are taking any prescription medications, talk with your doctor first before using this or any other natural health supplement.
Milk thistle is the ideal natural remedy for treating alcohol liver disease and other chronic liver diseases. Healing remedies found in nature have been used successfully to treat a wide variety of illness for thousands of years. Used as recommended, milk thistle can heal not only your liver but chronic inflammation and digestive upset. Try some in tea, capsule or tincture form today!