Benefits of Milk Thistle
Milk thistle is a plant that grows mostly in the Mediterranean region in Europe. Although most parts of the plants are edible, it is the seeds that have the most health benefits. Historically, milk thistle was used in the treatment of liver and gall bladder conditions. Once the plant has grown, the seeds of these herbs are harvested and used to make capsules and supplements which are both used as nutritional supplements.
The health properties of milk thistle can be attributed to the ingredient Silymarin. This ingredient makes this herb to be very effective in the treatment of chronic hepatitis as well as liver cirrhosis. Cirrhosis, which is commonly found in alcoholics, is a major cause of death around the world. The ingredient Silymarin helps to prevent further spread of this condition on the liver and also tries to repair damaged liver cells. Other health benefits that have been observed include reducing insulin resistance, reduction of inflammations and also it provides relief from different forms of cancer such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer etc.
Apart from Silymarin, milk thistle is also known to contain high levels of anti-oxidants. Antioxidants are known to get rid of free radicals in the body which helps to slow down the aging process and also reduces chances of cancer infections. A healthy diet should contain antioxidants.
Milk thistle has also been used to neutralize the poisonous nature of some mushrooms. According to several studies where animals were used, if milk thistle extracts were used immediately after consuming the deadly mushrooms, the poisonous effect was neutralized immediately and no damage was seen on the liver. If the extracts were administered 24 hour after consumption of the mushroom poison, it appeared that the damages caused on the liver tended to reduce and therefore dramatically reducing the chances of death.
The health benefits of this herb can be increased further if it is combined with other minerals and vitamins. When combined with other antioxidants, more free radicals will be removed from the body system and therefore the chances of getting cancer are greatly reduced.
According to various studies, it has been observed that those people who take milk thistle have reduced levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. Reducing the levels of cholesterol is beneficial as it promotes the health of the circulatory system and at the same time making it easier for one to control the body weight.
Before consuming any nutritional supplement, it would be wise to talk to your doctors to receive the best advice. Different people will react differently to different herbal ingredients. It has also been observed that some supplements will react negatively with other supplements, herbs and medication. The doctors will also advice you if it is safe to take the supplement when for example you are pregnant.
Using natural herbs will help many people to avoid most illnesses and also avoid the negative side effects that come with modern medicines. Knowing that milk thistle is among these useful herbs will help one to promote his overall body wellness.