Milk thistle (or Silybum marianum) is the herb that has properties that can promote the liver health. Its seeds have silymarin, the group of compounds (which include silydianin, silybin, or silychristin) that have anti-inflammatory effects to protect the liver cells. Here we will look at some health benefits of milk thistle and its uses.
Table of Contents
Why to Use It?
Whereas milk thistle is generally used for the liver conditions, like cirrhosis and hepatitis, this herb will fight off following health issues as well:
- Gallbladder disorders
- High cholesterol
- Menstrual problems
- Insulin resistance
- Seasonal allergies
- Parkinson’s disease
Some proponents claim that the milk thistle will protect against some types of cancer, which includes prostate cancer and breast cancer.
What are the Health Benefits?
Here is a look at the potential benefits of the milk thistle:
Hepatitis C: Sometimes, Milk thistle is used by the people with the chronic hepatitis C (viral infection that attacks your liver).
Liver Disease: Some research recommends that silymarin will improve the liver function just by keeping the toxic substances to bind to the liver cells. But, studies on milk thistle’s effectiveness for treating liver disorders have actually yielded some mixed results. But it is very important to know how much milk thistle to be used.
Diabetes: Many studies have shown milk thistle is beneficial for the people having diabetes.
Seasonal Allergies: Silymarin can help to treat allergies. In the clinical trial, researchers observed that people treated with silymarin had the higher improvement in severity of the symptoms (when compared to people given the placebo for a month).
Are there any Side Effects?
Milk thistle might trigger many adverse side effects, which includes diarrhea, nausea, gas and abdominal bloating. It can cause indigestion, headaches, sexual dysfunction and joint pain. The allergic reactions like difficulty in breathing and hives are also possible. The people with allergies of artichokes, daisies, common thistle, kiwi, and plants in aster family can be allergic from milk thistle.
Milk thistle can lower your blood sugar levels, thus it must be used with complete caution by the people who are diabetic and by anyone who is taking drugs and supplements that can affect their blood sugar levels. As there is the theoretical risk that the milk thistle can have the estrogen-like effect, many people with the hormone sensitive conditions like uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and cancers of uterus, breast, and ovaries must completely avoid milk thistle.
Where Will You Find It?
The dietary supplements having milk thistle are actually sold in a lot of drugstores, natural food stores, and stores that specialize in the herbal products. You also can purchase these products on internet very easily.
Whereas laboratory studies recommend that milk thistle definitely has some beneficial properties, effectiveness of this for treatment of liver or other conditions has to be examined in large and well-designed trials. Suppose you want to know more about it, then talk with your doctor or healthcare provider and determine if it is right for you.