Milk Thistle. Principal uses

Benefits of milk thistle

Milk Thistle is a herbaceous plant of the genus Silybum, flowering plants of the daisy family (Asteraceae).

This plant originated in the Mediterranean regions of Europe, North Africa and Middle East. Milk thistle has been used in some cultures to treat many medical problems. Doctors at the end of the ages 19 and 20 in the United States used milk thistle seeds to relieve obstruction of the liver, spleen and kidneys.

In milk thistle, especially, silymarin is the main active ingredient. The investigation of this substance has confirmed the mechanisms of action and therapeutic value of silymarin in a wide range of liver diseases, including toxic metabolic liver damage (such as fatty degeneration of the liver) and supportive treatment of chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis.

Silymarin, derived from the seeds of the plant (and more specifically, its main component silybin) has shown its effects as well as in defense and as a sedative in liver disease. This substance, which actually consists of a group of compounds called flavonolignanos, helps renew damaged liver cells by alcohol and other toxic substances.

Silymarin protects the liver from damage caused by viruses, toxins, alcohol and certain medications such as acetaminophen (common in the counter medications used for headaches and pain. Acetaminophen, also called paracetamol, can cause liver damage if taken in large quantities or by people who drink alcohol regularly. The chemical component of milk thistle known as silybin, which functions as an antioxidant, is one of the most effective agents known to protect the liver.

Benefits of milk thistle:

  • Milk thistle protects the liver from damage that can result from prolonged use of drugs.
  • Milk thistle can slow the progression of cirrhosis.
  • Milk thistle supports the liver's ability to maintain normal liver function.
  • Milk thistle may also have some usefulness for men with prostate cancer.
  • Milk thistle protects the liver from damage by toxins or disease, and may actually increase the regeneration of liver tissue where the damage occurred.
  • Milk thistle is actually an herb, like many supplements and acts as an antioxidant with an effect similar to vitamin E.
  • Milk thistle has also been used to increase milk production, stimulate the secretion of bile, and even as a treatment for depression.

Main indications of milk thistle as a food supplement

Acute and chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, cancer, hepatobiliary failure, fatty liver, dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, dyskinesia, psoriasis, diabetes, gallstones, poisoning, loss of appetite, headache, intoxication, etc..

Precautions Milk Thistle

Herbs or medicinal plants should be taken with care, under the direction of a physician familiar in the field of botanical medicine. Milk thistle should not be used by pregnant or lactating.

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