Milk thistle’s therapeutic effects work on the liver & gallbladder and have been known for more than 2000 years. Even some ancient philosophers praised it’s effectiveness in detoxifying the liver. The main component of this plant/herb is silymarin which is the substance that protects the liver cells. it consists of flavonoids that can nurture the liver like no other with milk thistle's antioxidant powers, it can help keep the liver healthy & strong & even help to restore it! (the NA are still using it today to treat boils & skin diseases) There are many studies showing milk thistle's protective properties against the damaging effects of alcohol, toxins, drugs & viruses. This is especially useful for people taking antidepressants, anti-psychotics & acetaminophen (tylenol and the like) which are all known to cause serious damage to the liver. Many herbalists recommend this herb to help the liver & support it! The silymarin content in this plant is more potent than the vitamins C & E!!
It is the seeds themselves from the flowering plant that offer such medicinal value to us humans. each full-grown plant can produce abt 6,000 seeds! and even these days medical science has proven there is some truth behind the usefulness of this plant where the liver is concerned!!
Now those with severe liver disease or cirrhosis can't be cured with this, but it sure can help. But those with mild liver disease, viral hepatitis, particularly hepatitis C...milk thistle has shown to be very effective in treating as it improves the liver enzyme activity & overall liver function!
Soo...recent studies have found that among helping the liver...milk thistle also can be effective on different types of cancer & has been proven that is helps patients that are also on chemical therapy as it helps it be less toxic to the liver. It can also help in slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells. but alas, it has not been approved by the FDA to be used as a cancer treatment.
Milk thistle can help with high cholesterol as it can help lower the LDL levels.
It can also help with heart disease...because as it lowers the LDL bad cholesterol, that can decrease your risk heart attacks & strokes.
They have also found that milk thistle can help with diabetes in combination with other traditional remedies. This herb helps to regulate blood sugar levels & is said to be effective in improving sensitivity to insulin.
Now other benefits of milk thistle are secondary because as your liver gets better, so do a lot of other health issues you might have. For instance skin issues...as toxins clear out of your system, so skin problems would clear up. Some say milk thistle even helps with menopause symptoms.
For some people it can cause some negative side effects, but it is usually safe to take up to 41 months...41 months?!! Some side effects could be diarrhea, but that is rare along with nausea, bloating, etc. If you have ragweed allergies, it could cause a rash. Milk thistle could mimic estrogen effects, so if you have fibroid tumors or endometriosis, you should avoid it or if you have ovarian, breast or uterine cancers, consult with your dr. first. and of course if you add it to your regime for blood sugar issues, make sure you keep an eye on your blood sugar levels.
The recommended dosage of this would be 200 mg 2-3 times a day, so the herb contains approx. 70% of that wonderous component silymarin!!