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Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle and Liver Disease

What is Milk Thistle?

Milk thistle is a plant native to Europe that can also be found in the United States and South America with a long history of use as a remedy for liver disorders and diseases. The active component of milk thistle is  silymarin, and antioxidant that protects against cell damage, which is found in the seeds of the milk thistle plant.  For more than 2,000 years, milk thistle has been used as a remedy for liver and gallbladder disorders and today, scientific research remains ongoing to determine the exact extent of benefit milk thistle has on liver diseases such as cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis. Milk thistle is also referred to as holy thistle Mary thistle, wild artichoke and the botanical name for milk thistle is Silybum marianum.

Usually administered orally in capsule or tablet form, milk thistle supplements are measured by the amount of silybin they contain.

How Does MIlk Thistle Effect Chronic Hepatitis and Cirrhosis?

Since liver diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis create abnormal functioning of the liver by attacking and killing healthy cells in the liver, causing inflammation associated with the damaged liver as it creates more cells to repair the dead and injured ones. Within walls of scar tissue caused by the cell production, clusters of new cells remain venerable  to attack by the liver disease itself.

The active component in milk thistle is silymarin which acts as an antioxidant protecting against cell damage in the liver. In clinical trials, the silymarin in milk thistle has been shown to act as an antioxidant by strengthening cell walls, which helps to prevent toxins from getting into healthy cells. The silymarin in milk thistle has also been shown to stimulate enzymes, which reduce the harmfulness of toxins to the liver.

These antioxidant functions of milk thistle have been proven to shown significant improvements in continued liver damage and disease, when taken as recommended.

Millions of people worldwide with problems from high liver enzymes to chronic hepatitis credit their improved health and survival to milk thistle and the antioxidant roles the silymarin plays in their bodies. As a completely natural alternative to synthetic drugs produced by pharmaceutical companies for profit, milk thistle has proven to have detoxifying and  liver strengthening effects in the human body and millions have experienced significant improvements in liver function after recommended dosage over just a few months.

With very few side effects, milk thistle is one of the safest supplements available today with such a dramatic effect on liver disorders.  Milk thistle should not be taken by those who have allergic reactions to other plants in the aster family or to artichokes, kiwi, or daisies, as well as any other components of milk thistle (silibinin, silychistin, silymonin or siliandrin).  People allergic to these substances may suffer from anaphylactic shock from milk thistle tea or milk thistle tablets.  As with any supplement or medication, it is always important to check with a medical professional and consider any allergies as well as interactions milk thistle may have with any other medications being taken.

Other Uses for Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is being studied in clinical trials all around the world for other possible benefits it may have in battling ailments and disorders in the human body.  Preliminary studies on the effectiveness of milk thistle on disorders such as cancer, acute viral hepatitis, amanita phalloides mushroom poisoning, diabetes, and high cholesterol are underway.  Some preliminary tests have shown a propensity for milk thistle to enhance the effectiveness of certain treatments already in use.   Milk thistle has shown promising initial clinical study reports for both enhancing the effectiveness of already used treatments, as well as a stand-alone treatment for many liver disorders such as hepatitis and cirrhosis.  Many health professionals are looking forward to being able to offer a highly effective and all natural treatment for these various life-threatening conditions.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle has been used as a treatment for liver disorders and diseases for thousands of years and in today’s world, millions of people swear by the components of milk thistle with antioxidant actions on the liver and it’s functions.  Not only is milk thistle a widely used and accepted form of treatment for liver disorders, but it’s effectiveness has been proven in clinical testing to the point at which it can be recommended as a supplemental treatment for liver disorders and improved liver function by healthcare professionals.

With infrequent and mild side effects, milk thistle is among the safest supplemental treatments for problems as serious as liver disorders and poor function.  The millions of people who have found relief and improved liver function by taking milk thistle as recommended are walking, proven studies of the effectiveness of milk thistle on the liver and it’s function. As we constantly strive to find more holistic means of healing ourselves, milk thistle is among the strongest supplemental trailblazers.

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