I know that many of us have seen this out in a pasture somewhere and thought of it as a weed but this is actually one of the safest and most clinically tested herbs out there. The benefits are great and it has been found to support many different health related issues. But first…
Did ya know?
This plant has actually earned a reputation for preventing death in mushroom poisoning? Still to this day many European poison control centers keep milk thistle on hand for this purpose. It often amazes me when studying traditional herbal history that the early people groups used many herbs for ailments that today those same herbs have been clinically proven to help! The Greeks and the Romans used Milk Thistle for liver support and many clinical trials have found it to be beneficial to the liver today. It has an ability to stimulate healing of damaged organs and can even prevent damage done by other drugs. Lets look at some of its top benefits.
Its a great antioxidant….
The active substances in Milk Thistle is silymarin and silybin. These two substances help to protect the liver tissue from damage especially in the case of alcohol and acetaminophen. And has even been found to help support the liver in the use of chemotherapy . It helps to increase the level of glutathione in the liver which is the major detox vehicle in the body. Typically when I am feeling sluggish or am trying to gently detox my body Milk thistle is my go to for gentle liver cleansing. Since the liver is the major detox organ in the body helping to provide it with extra support is very beneficial.
Help with blood sugar….
Due to the increasing amount of side effects of pharmaceutical drugs more and more people are working in conjunction with their doctors to turn to supplements to help manage some of their health concerns. Milk Thistle has been shown to be one of the more promising herbs to lower glucose levels in Diabetics with few if any side effects at all. Those who took silymarin for 4 consecutive months saw a significant difference in their overall glycemic profile. This even had a an effect on their LDL cholesterol as well as their fasting glucose level. This was something I just discovered in my research as I had always heard of it being so supportive for the liver but the studies have proven that this is one of the potential effects of taking milk thistle for an extended period of time.
Help for your kidneys….
The effects of milk thistle on the liver has been found to also affect the kidneys in the same way. Studies showed that milk thistle reduced the effects of toxins in the kidneys. If you frequently get kidney stones Milk Thistle would be a nice supportive herb to help tone the kidneys when you are not in the midst of eliminating a stone. Due to its protective properties it’s great at helping to protect and support all of the internal organs especially the liver and kidneys.
It protects from cancer….
Milk thistle contains a substance called silybin. This particular antioxidant causes synthesis of the protein in healthy cells which changes the outside layer. Because of this action it inhibits toxins that might be taking up residence in the body and can counteract the detrimental side effects of pollutants, chemicals and heavy metals which can cause free radical damage. This could help give the bodies cells protection from cancer.
There have been very few side effects of taking milk thistle. It is very well tolerated and only very mild occasional laxative effects or very rare allergic reaction have been reported. It’s even considered safe for pregnant women, of course don’t take anything without checking with your doctor first. A good dose would be 200-400 milligrams a day of a good quality brand.