The Medicinal Benefits of Milk Thistle
- Liver Problems - Milk thistle's primary claim to fame is its ability to treat a variety of liver conditions. For centuries, it has been used to treat cirrhosis, jaundice, hepatitis and alcohol-related liver damage. It has also been shown to shield the liver from toxins and from the potentially damaging effects of medications like acetaminophen. It is believed that another active ingredient, betaine hydrochloride, makes this possible.
- Gallbladder Problems - Silymarin has been shown to increase the solubility of bile, which helps it flow better. In turn, it can help ward off gallstones and help improve gallbladder function in general.
- Cholesterol - Some studies suggest that milk thistle may help to reduce levels of bad cholesterol, which is known as LDL cholesterol. By reducing bad cholesterol levels in the body, it is possible to ward off things like heart disease and high blood pressure.
- Diabetes - There have been many interesting studies related to diabetes. More specifically, milk thistle has been shown to have positive health benefits for people who suffer from Type 2 diabetes. In some people, it may reduce blood sugar levels. It may also improve insulin resistance.
- Cancer - Although research is not conclusive, mary thistle has been shown to potentially reduce the growth of cancer cells in people who suffer from breast, cervical and prostate cancer. Interestingly enough, people who suffer from uterine, ovarian and breast cancer are often told not to take supplements that contain milk thistle, so there is a lot of contradictory information out there.
- Detoxification - The silymarin in holy thistle is believed to help improve the liver's ability to flush toxins out of the body. Studies of workers who have been exposed to industrial toxins for five to 20 years have shown that those who took milk thistle supplements experienced improved liver function when compared with those who took placebos.
- Poisoning - Incredibly, milk thistle is the only known cure for poisoning from the ingestion of Amanita mushrooms. The poison in these mushrooms destroys liver cells, which can eventually lead to death. This is one of the most conclusive pieces of evidence that exists about milk thistle's positive impact on the liver.