September 08, 2022 6 min read
Though the title of this blog post is ‘what is milk thistle good for, you may not know what milk thistle is to begin with!
So, what is milk thistle?
According to Medical News Today, milk thistle is a plant that belongs to the same family as the daisy and is a native feature in Mediterranean countries. The plant is used in several traditional remedies and also goes by other names including:
The benefits of milk thistle are by no means a recent discovery, in fact, the plant has been recognized and used for its medical benefits for centuries!
As per sources, milk thistle was initially recognized for its healing properties between 40 and 90 AD. Following this, the plant drew the attention of English herbalist and author John Gerard who recognized the benefits of milk thistle in the process of treating “melancholy diseases”.
An even more recent study conducted in Iran demonstrated the benefits of milk thistle extract for patients suffering from OCD. Since then, several other studies have been conducted it is now known that milk thistle offers benefits which are physical and neurological alike.
Milk thistle offers a diverse range of benefits including:
According to research, the extract from the seeds of milk thistle is a potent ingredient when it comes to supplementing treatment for liver diseases which include:
The active ingredient in milk thistle extract is also known to help with liver inflammation. Furthermore, studies also suggest that milk thistle extract can help mildly improve the life expectancy of those suffering from cirrhosis due to alcohol abuse.
Tip: Using milk thistle for liver protection, and/or for supplementation of ongoing treatments is recommended following consultation with a physician or specialist.
The reason milk thistle and milk thistle extract is so effective when it comes to liver treatment is because of its properties. One of the active ingredients silymarin not only eases inflammation but also facilitates and supports cell repair that is essential by way of healing livers that have suffered heavy liver damage.
Milk thistle or milk thistle extracts and supplements are highly recommended to both those recovering from alcohol related liver damage and active drinkers who wish to ensure liver safety in the long run.
As mentioned earlier, one of the first things that milk thistle was recognized for were its neuro-supportive properties and as per sources, this has been known for around 2000 years.
The plant and herbal medications derived from it have been used extensively over the centuries to combat and slow down the progression of age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Though modern research on the neuro-regenerative abilities of milk thistle have yet to be tested on humans, animals trials have been highly successful.
Our bones deteriorate as we age – it’s a slow but sure process. Bone loss is a particular concern for post-menopausal women as certain studies suggest.
Milk thistle extracts and supplements are also said to be an effective means to address this condition. It does so by facilitating the mineralization and subsequent strengthening of bones.
Though large-scale human trials have yet to be conducted, milk thistle has been proven to be effective in protecting against bone loss during animal testing.
Milk thistle can also facilitate the production of breast milk. It does so by enhancing the production of the hormone called prolactin, which is responsible in part for the healthy production of breast milk.
One study proved that mothers supplied with milk thistle supplement produced more breast milk than the control group that wasn’t.
Diabetes is a condition that doesn’t just affect the old or unhealthy. Another major benefit of milk thistle is its ability to reduce and manage blood sugar and insulin levels in those suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Fasting blood sugar in particular according to sources is said to be reduced by up to 11% in patients given a controlled milk thistle supplement.
Apart from helping with liver disorders, studies have also proved the usefulness of milk thistle as having the ability to supplement cancer treatment.
This has been attributed to the antioxidant properties of one of the active ingredients - silymarin - found in milk thistle.
Current research is also being conducted on the ability of milk thistle extracts to both aggressively annihilate cancer cells and even facilitate the affect of chemotherapy against certain forms of cancer.
The same antioxidant properties of milk thistle that are found to be helpful with cancer treatment, as well as its anti-inflammatory properties are also associated with the treatment of acne.
Acne is inflammation of the skin that can occur for various reasons.
In a study conducted, those given the ingredient silymarin (derived from milk thistle) as mentioned earlier experienced a reduction of acne of over 50%.
Silymarin is what milk thistle is referred to as scientifically but it is also an ingredient or extract from the seeds of the plant which is known to offer several benefits as mentioned above.
It has been proven to be effective in the treatment of liver disorders, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and acne to name a few.
Due to its anti-oxidant affects, it is also recognized as a deterrent for heart diseases and diseases related to high sugar levels and cholesterol.
Derived from the plant milk thistle, as mentioned earlier, silymarin has been recognized as a potent medication for thousands of years.
Though milk thistle contains several beneficial active ingredients, silymarin is among those that has proven to offer the most benefits.
It's always a good idea to be preemptive about health, but it also makes sense to be clear on what nutrients your body truly needs.
On one hand, if you can relate to any of the conditions above, a milk thistle supplement would likely be recommended.
If you don’t, however, we would advise that you check with your physician before adding to your repertoire of health aids.
That said, there is no question about the fact that milk thistle supplements are beneficial!
The first thing you want to be clear on is why you need milk thistle or milk thistle supplements to begin with. Your dosage and intake frequency depend on what exactly you’re looking to address.
The active ingredient silymarin which is key when it comes to most of the benefits of milk thistle is not easily water soluble and may be difficult to be naturally absorbed by the body if not administered correctly.
For this reason, upon approval from your physician, milk thistle supplements are likely the best way to supply your body with the right amount of silymarin and other nutrients present in the plant.
If you’re actively looking for milk thistle supplements, check out our Premium Milk Thistle Supplement! It helps with liver support and is easy to swallow, digest and absorb.
Good to know: Our Milk thistle supplement is also available on Amazon.
There have been a number of herbs, milk thistle included that have been used by mankind to remedy illnesses both life-threatening and otherwise for centuries. Today, we possess the technology to not only extract the most powerful and potent active ingredients from these herbs and plants, but also to better understand how they may benefit us in the long term.
Milk thistle is a plant that has been known to offer a plethora of benefits for two thousand years if not more, and today, we have a deeper understanding of why this is so. Supplements unlike old remedies offer those who need them, concentrated amounts of the very active ingredients that are effective when it comes to fighting certain diseases and mitigating and healing certain conditions.
Apart from this, it is common knowledge today, that preemptive care and the establishing of a healthy day to day habit pattern is often more effective than careless living followed by frantic responses to age or lifestyle related medical crises.
Whether you’re someone actively struggling with a damaged liver or high sugar levels, or you’re someone who simply wants to add yet another healthy element to your day to day, thistle milk and thistle milk supplements might just be what will ensure you enjoy the health and longevity you’re looking for.
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