Milk thistle is a plant that is unique in its ability to protect the liver and has no equivalent in the pharmaceutical drug world. It has been so beneficial that the treatment has never been disputed, even by the traditional medical community.
Milk thistle is a plant that grows in sunny areas, particularly around the Mediterranean Sea, that has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries.
It is a natural herb that has a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, is used to protect the body from toxins, free radicals, and pollutants, especially the liver.
According to studies, milk thistle may protect the liver cells by blocking the entrance of harmful toxins, and remove these toxins from liver cells. As an antioxidant, milk thistle works to maintain health and energy by protecting the body against free radicals.
The main active compound or liver-protecting compound in milk thistle is a complex of flavonolignans called silymarin, composed of silybin, silicristin, and silydianin. As an antioxidant, milk thistle is also rich in other essential nutrients like vitamin C and vitamin A, which neutralize free radicals and slow the aging process.
The herb is strong hepatoprotective (prevents damage to the liver). Milk thistle stimulates the activity of an enzyme polymerase A, which promote regeneration of the damaged and create new liver cells.
One study, in particular, concerning workers exposed to toxic chemicals for 5-20 years showed significant improvement in overall liver function when given a standardized Milk Thistle extract (80% silymarin) for 30 days.
Milk thistle also repairs our liver from the harmful effects of alcohol, prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and other toxic substances.
Silymarin may also possess anti-cancer benefits. According to the University of Maryland, it stops cancer cells from proliferating, also shortening their life span and reducing blood supply to tumors.
Integrative Oncology Essentials notes that milk thistle has been shown to have an anti-cancer activity for numerous cancer cell types including prostate, lung, liver, skin, breast, cervical, ovarian, and colon cancers.
Control and prevent diabetes
A study shows that the main ingredient in milk thistle silymarin can help to control symptoms of diabetes by helping with glycemic control. Antioxidants found in milk thistle has been reported to help decrease blood sugar levels in insulin-resistant patients.
Milk thistle has strong anti-inflammatory effects that reduce chronic inflammation, which is one of the primary causes of heart diseases. It also helps to reduce blood cholesterol by reducing chronic inflammation in blood vessels. By now, studies have shown positive effects in reducing blood cholesterol.
There are some fungal infections that milk thistle can neutralize. That probably relates to milk thistle’s traditional use in folk medicine as a remedy for mushroom poisoning.
Studies show that phytochemicals found in milk thistle, are effective in inhibiting UV-light-induced oxidative stress on the skin and protects from skin cancer. Silymarin provides maintaining good skin condition, free of acne, psoriasis, and eczema.
Also, it reduces excessive proliferation of skin cells and reduces skin damage caused by radiation treatment in cancer patients.