Milk Thistle: An Ancient Weed With Remarkable Health Benefits
This ancient herb has amazing health benefits, from detoxification to anti-aging properties! Learn more about milk thistle below…
If you’re looking for a way to detoxify and rid your body of toxic build up, you may wish to take a look at milk thistle. Milk thistle is a flowering herb in the daisy family, and while some may consider it a weed, this “weed” has been used for thousands of years for its ancient medicinal properties.
Besides detoxification, milk thistle has also been touted for its antioxidant and anti-aging properties due to a unique compound called silymarin, and it may also improve heart health and help control diabetes.
While you can eat milk thistle seeds or enjoy it as a tea, it can have a bitter taste, so most people prefer to take a more concentrated form of milk thistle in supplement form.
Here is more about the history of the use of milk thistle – and its healing and detoxifying properties:
People have been using milk thistle to address health ailments for thousands of years. Dioscorides, a Greek physician, described milk thistle’s healing properties before 100 AD (2). Use continued throughout the Middle Ages, the industrial revolution, and until today.
For the vast majority of that time, milk thistle was prized for its ability to help detoxify the liver. It’s often the go-to natural supplement for people dealing with cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis, or liver poisoning.
A lot of it has to do with silymarin, the active component extracted from milk thistle seeds. Silymarin, which is actually a group of flavonoids, provides the liver-protecting effect (3).
Researchers have found that the silymarin actually inhibits toxins’ ability to bind to membrane receptors within liver cells (4).
Numerous animal studies found that silymarin protected the liver against toxins like:
We don’t have equivalent human data, as those types of experiments would be clearly unethical. But one review of 36 different studies found that silymarin reduced liver-related mortality in alcoholics with liver damage (6). Another focused on people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and found that milk thistle reduced potentially dangerous liver enzymes (7).
This amazing herb doesn’t just help detox the liver. It can even potentially reverse past damage to liver cells. One study exposed rats to ethanol and found that silymarin helped regenerate liver cells afterward (8).
Your liver is your front-line defense against environmental toxins. Adding this supplement to your diet is a straightforward way to strengthen that protection and keep toxins where they belong – outside your body.
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