In Europe, milk thistle was used as a well-known remedy for
liver problems and also as a digestive aid. Pliny the Elder,
the early Roman writer, explained how the juice of milk thistle
mixed with honey was used for carrying off bile. Gerard, an herbalist,
said in 1597 that milk thistle was one of the best remedies for
liver-related diseases. Milk thistle was also given to nursing
mothers to improve milk production.
The liver is an extremely important organ that is found in the body. It is responsible for filtering toxic material from the body, which prevents accumulation that can lead to disease and death. Often, the vital functions of the liver are overlooked. Nevertheless, they are extremely important. It is essential to keep the liver working properly. Milk thistle has been proven to be very beneficial for liver function. Milk thistle extract has been shown in observations to help reverse both acute and chronic liver problems, including cirrhosis and viral hepatitis.
The antioxidant properties may be due to the bioflavonoid content.
Milk thistle has also been found to help heal the liver from damage
that occurs from alcohol toxicity. It has been used to treat many
different liver ailments. Among these are fatty liver disorders,
chronic hepatitis, inflammation of the bile duct, hardening of the liver,
and cirrhosis. Milk thistle is also thought to actually help liver regeneration
when part of the liver is removed.
Milk thistle possesses a variety of compounds which are known as Silymarin. This includes silybin, silydianin, and silychristin. All of these substances are known to protect the liver against some toxins, which helps to increase the function of this important organ. Silybin is used as an antidote to the deathcape mushroom, which is known to destroy liver cells. The deathcap species is one of the most toxic of liver poisons and has a death rate of up to fifty percent.
A study with sixty patients suffering from deathcap poisoning treated with silybin produced incredible results. None of the participants died. Silymarin is an effective remedy if it is administered within forty-eight hours of ingestion. This compound seems to occupy the receptor sites to protect the cell membranes.
Not only does it work to treat serious liver conditions,
but it also prevents damage from occurring. Silymarin contains amines which
are known to help stimulate the production and flow of bile. This compound
has been found in studies to work exclusively on the kidneys and liver. Milk
thistle has also been shown to stimulate the synthesis of protein.
The seeds of the milk thistle plant are used to provide alterative, antioxidant, galactagogue, hepatic, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are bioflavonoids. Primarily, milk thistle is extremely beneficial in treating cirrhosis, hepatitis, jaundice, kidney problems, and liver disorders.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with alcoholism, appetite
loss, high blood pressure, boils, chemotherapy, depression, epilepsy, fatty d
eposits, gas, heartburn, heart problems, hemorrhages, hypoglycemia, indigestion,
absent lactation, menstrual symptoms, effects of radiation, skin diseases,
varicose veins, and the effects of toxins.
For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by milk thistle, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.