The liver is mainly responsible for digestion, growth, and detoxification – although it is known to have 500 different functions to keep the body working properly. It is a major player for our health. In today’s world, we’re hit with a growing amount of toxins. Unfortunately, the wear and tear on this vital organ cause it to become weaker and diseased. Paying attention to what we can do to help it regenerate is an essential part of maintaining good health.
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a plant with purple flowers native to the Mediterranean region. It is related to the daisy and ragweed family. It has a long history of being an edible plant. In the early 20th century, it became widely used to support liver function. Clinical studies have proved its benefits with this important organ as well as provides antioxidant protection. The plant promotes normal kidney function and boosts the function of the immune system.
Common Hepatic Disease
- Gallbladder Dysfunction
Why Milk Thistle Works
Studies have shown that the plant aids in the regeneration of hepatic cells, allowing it to work optimally. Also known as Sylimarin, it is said to prevent toxins from binding to liver cells, it helps with inflammation, and aids in cell repair. It alleviates symptoms without the dangerous side effects of pharmaceutical drugs.
Does it Have Any Side Effects?
The recommended dosage should be determined by a health expert familiar with your case. As each person is different, it is important that you pay attention to your body and what feels right to you. A healthcare practitioner should help you get started and teach you what you can monitor while on the supplement.
It is generally safe even in high dosages, however, some people have reported the following side effects: Nausea, Itchiness, Lower Blood Sugar Level, Headache, Gas, Diarrhea, and Loss of Appetite.
You also have to be aware of potential drug interactions as the herb may affect how some medications work. These include:
- Diabetes Medications
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Warfarin (Coudamin)
- Metronidazole (antibiotic)
How Can it Be Taken?
You may see it in liquid extractions, powders, pills, and capsules and other forms. It is important to look for guaranteed strength milk thistle or standardized 80% Sylimarin. It can be taken with water or mixed into foods such as a smoothie.
This wonderful plant when taken correctly helps protect the body from toxins. Sylimarin has been proven to reduce the morbidity and mortality of patients experiencing hepatic disease, even those related to drug and alcohol use. Data continues to accumulate as more studies are being performed all in favor of the plant. It is by far, one of nature’s gifts to help us live a healthy life.