The benefits of milk thistle have been known for centuries, and it was an herbal medicine used frequently by the ancient Greeks and the Chinese. As a result, there have been a number of studies carried out into its effectiveness.
It is recommended by a number of organizations for its effects on disorders of the liver. The herb is a member of the sunflower family, and the seeds are harvested for their medicinal benefits.
Liver Disease and Milk Thistle
One of the most recognized benefits of milk thistle is its help in repairing liver damage in such conditions as cirrhosis. It protects the organ from toxins in the body and encourages new cells to regenerate.
Milk thistle contains glutathione, which can help the liver to detoxify. This means that the liver will then work much more efficiently at helping the body to detoxify. It is particularly useful when the liver has been damaged by over-consumption of alcohol.
Milk Thistle and Fatty Liver
Milk thistle benefits also include help with dealing with fatty liver disease, which is simply a liver that is overloaded with fat. A milk thistle liver detox can help to correct these problems and will usually involve a course of treatment with the herb over a period of around a month to six weeks combined with a sensible diet.
Milk Thistle and Weight Loss
As part of a detoxifying regime, milk thistle can also help with weight loss but should be combined with a healthy diet.
Milk Thistle and Psoriasis
The cleansing benefits of milk thistle tincture can help the body to heal conditions such as acne, which can be aggravated by a poor diet. Psoriasis is another condition which can be worsened by toxins in the system, and a detox with an herb such as milk thistle can improve the symptoms, particularly with its anti-inflammatory properties.
Here are more benefits of milk thistle:
- The herb is a powerful antioxidant, which can protect the systems of the body from free radicals which can cause damage to cells.
- Milk thistle herb can help to prevent gallstones and treat them in those who already have them by encouraging bile flow.
- Several studies have shown that milk thistle extract is an effective anti-inflammatory and can be useful in the treatment of endometriosis.
- Its antioxidant qualities can have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels by encouraging the body to rid itself of waste products.
Milk Thistle Side Effects
As a cleansing herb, there are very few side effects to milk thistle, but over-consumption can lead to diarrhea, an upset stomach, headaches, and nausea. Any sign of an allergic reaction such as a rash or difficulty breathing should be reported to a doctor immediately. Milk thistle is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.
Milk Thistle Dosage
To determine the best dosage for you, it is always better to consult a qualified practitioner, particularly if you have a serious liver condition. However, an average dosage would be between 200 and 400 mg two or three times a day. Milk thistle extract may not be as strong as capsules, so the dosage should be altered accordingly.