Milk thistle is a certain plant found in Europe along the Mediterranean regions. This plant contains some seeds also called the holy thistle; the seeds produce a substance known as silymarin. Reports from the National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) showed that this herb has numerous health benefits.
This herb has been used for many years to treat many health disorders. However, one of the most important health benefits is in protecting the liver from many health disorders. Below are the positive effects of this herb on the liver.
*Prevents damage of liver cells
Milk thistle is believed to have a hepatoprotective effect, which means it simply protects your liver from damage. It has the unique ability to change the outer cell structure of liver cells (hepatocytes); this happens in such a way that it prevents the harmful toxins from attacking the cells. It’s there very useful in protecting the liver and also slows down cirrhosis advancement from drug toxicity, alcohol and hepatitis. Some laboratory rat Studies have also shown proven that milk thistle can block some toxic properties of certain drugs that are highly poisonous to your liver and also aid in stimulating a healthy re-growth. This herb contains silymarin a natural antioxidant that helps prevent the liver from tumor-causing chemicals and toxic chemicals.
*Repairs the damaged liver cells
One of the ingredients of milk thistle, silymarin, contains flavonoids (silidianin, silibinin and silicristin) that a plays crucial role in protein synthesis. This aids in stimulating the liver’s regenerative properties by promoting growth of some new hepatocytes; this means it’s very useful in repairing a liver damaged by food poisoning, alcohol and other toxins. Milk thistle has regenerative properties; this is according to the AHRQ research findings that showed evidence of a much improved liver functioning especially among people with acute viral hepatitis and other chronic diseases and even those with alcoholism.
The main cause of hepatitis is a virus. Some forms of this disease, such as hepatitis B and C can turn chronic.
In addition to that, the damage from viral hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis over time. Other studies from The University of Maryland Medical Center, show that milk thistle is a very popular treatment of viral hepatitis and most especially the chronic hepatitis C.
Other studies have proven that the silymarin has some anti-inflammatory properties that are useful in regulating the molecules known as inflammatory mediators and also reduces enlargement of your liver. People suffering from liver inflammation and hepatitis may also benefit from this herb’s anti-inflammatory properties.
*Improves the overall liver function
Studies conducted by Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ) showed the popular frequent benefit of the milk thistle appears on overall liver functioning; this also includes improvements in liver enzymes plus some proteins such as albumin, aminotransferases, malondialdehyde and bilirubin.
Milk thistle is considered very safe.
However there are a few side effects such as diarrhea and stomach aches. Some people may also be allergic to this herb and may develop a skin rash. A pregnant woman or a woman planning to get pregnant should also not take this herb. These symptoms generally happen when high dosages are consumed.
The Recommended dose is 175mg to 350mg daily, in acute cases one can consume double that.