The Health Benefits of Milk Thistle

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For over 2,000 years, milk thistle has been used to treat a number of common conditions that affect the pancreas and liver. While the herb is bitter tasting, it does a fine job of battling hepatotoxic agents, and can help reverse injuries to the liver. Just one benefit to the liver delivered by milk thistle is the ability to stimulate protein synthesis, which can help with the development of new liver cells. Early medical practitioners would use milk thistle to treat congestion in the veins, spleen, and kidneys. For the most part, milk thistle is considered to be a safe natural treatment, but some medical professionals warn that it can lead to an increase in hepatic clearance of pharmaceuticals.

The Benefits of Milk ThistleMilk Thistle Benefits:

  1. Liver Affinity

A number of common liver issues, such as jaundice, can be treated with milk thistle. It is the flavonoids found in the milk thistle seed that are thought to be responsible for the benefits that are delivered to the liver. The immune system is positively affected when flavonoids are introduced, making it easier for the body to fend off common illnesses. Cell membranes are stabilized, and cell function is brought under control. Other problems that can be treated with milk thistle include acute viral hepatitis, metabolic disease, continual-persistent hepatitis, and cirrhosis of the liver.

  1. Cancer

The research is still in the early stages, but it does indicate that anti-cancer effects may be delivered by the active materials found in milk thistle. One of these materials in particular, silymarin, possesses powerful antioxidant qualities that are effective in inhibiting the development of cancer cells in the breasts, prostate, and cervix. More work has to be done before the herb is safe and effective in the treatment of these particular types of cancer.

  1. High Cholesterol

Studies performed on animals showed that silymarin was as effective at lowering cholesterol as the drug Probucol. The tests also showed that HDL, or good, cholesterol was raised. Again, more research needs to be done before results are proven definitive.

  1. Gallstones and The Gallbladder

Silymarin also does a good job of raising bile solubility, making for easier circulation, which can be helpful in preventing or treating gallstones. When bile is able to circulate, it is more difficult for gallstones to form. The cholesterol levels in bile may also be decreased with the regular use of milk thistle.

5. Obesity

Not many people are aware of the role that liver function plays in fat reduction, to the point where it is routinely ignored in just about every weight loss program. The liver helps purify the blood, as well as metabolizing body fat. Liver function can be increased with the introduction of silymarin, which means body fat can be metabolized at a faster rate. The end result is being able to lose weight that much more effectively.

  1. Skin

Skin is the body’s largest organ, and it is responsible for cleansing. Psoriasis is just one ailment that can come as a result of toxins making their way into the bloodstream. Research has connected the dots and found that psoriasis may lead to abnormal liver function. It stand to reason that if milk thistle can help improve liver function, it will also mean that we may end up having healthier skin as a result.

The Side Effects of Milk Thistle:

Now that you know the benefits of milk thistle, you are probably wondering about potential side effects. This is perfectly natural, as you should study these effects before beginning any type of medical treatment. When you take an over the counter or prescribed medication, there are usually a list of common side effects that come as a result of taking them. The good news with milk thistle is that there are only really a couple of problems that might arise.

An upset stomach is the most common complaint that users of milk thistle have. For some, this might mean bloating, heartburn, appetite loss, and diarrhea. Allergies are rare, but can include rashes, hives, swelling, and problems breathing. Rarer still are lethargy, weakness, and impotence. Although most of these side-effects can be quickly remedied, such as looking on a site like www.vigrx.com to help with the impotence.

If you notice any of these side effects, you should stop using milk thistle for at least 3 days. A milk thistle product that is of inferior quality could lead to more severe side effects brought on by some form of chemical pollution. With that in mind, you should only ever buy milk thistle from established, reputable retailers.

Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, milk thistle and other natural treatments do not undergo strict analysis, which means that almost all of them will not be FDA approved for use in treating medical issues of any kind.