Where does Milk Thistle name come from? Milk thistle gets its name from the milky white fluid that comes from the leaves when they are crushed.

Milk Thistle Plant: Milk thistle (is considered a weed in some parts of the world) is a flowering plants of the daisy family. The flowers are red-purple. The small, hard-skinned fruit is brown, spotted, and shiny.

Part Used Medicinally: Virtually all parts of the plant is being use as food, but it’s the milk thistle seeds that have medicinal properties. The seeds contain a group of flavonoids that are collectively known as Silymarin.

Available Forms: capsules, tea, and tincture

milk thistle plant

milk thistle plant

Health Benefits:

  • Silymarin is a powerful antioxidants that can protect the liver from the toxic substances that enter the liver. Silymarin has been found to be 10 times more potent than vitamin E.
  • Milk thistle is one of the few substances that can increase the glutathione content of the liver. Glutathione is an important antioxidant for efficient detoxification.
  • Milk thistle stimulates the regeneration of liver and kidney cells. This makes it valuable for conditions such as hepatitis, fatty liver, and cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Milk thistle is one of the beneficial herbs for stimulating the flow of bile, which is essential to good digestion and helpful in improving bowel elimination.
  • Milk thistle can help improve skin condition. Chronic cases of skin rashes, acne, eczema, and even some cases of psoriasis greatly improve when people take milk thistle.
  • Milk thistle may also help lower cholesterol level and lower insulin resistance and decrease the growth of cancer cell.

Note: A few studies show that a silymarin-phosphatidylcholine complex may be absorbed more easily than regular standardized milk thistle. Phosphatidylcholine is a key element in cell membranes. It helps silymarin attach easily to cell membranes, which may keep toxins from getting inside liver cells.

Side Effects: The only major concern with milk thistle is that a very high dosage can cause loose stools due to increased bile flow. If you have a sensitive digestive system, start with one capsule and gradually increase the dosage.

Precautions:

  • Milk thistle should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • People with a history of hormone-related cancers, including breast and uterine cancer and prostate cancer, should not take milk thistle.