Milk thistle, a flowering Mediterranean herb that’s a member of the daisy family, has been revered since ancient times for its effects on liver health and function as well as its effect on gallbladder and kidney disorders.
In the modern day, silymarin, an antioxidant flavonoid extracted from milk thistle seeds, is thought to be responsible for many of the herb’s beneficial properties, which actually span far beyond liver health.
Milk Thistle: 8 Top Benefits
8. Antidote for Mushroom Poisoning
If you ever happen to eat a deathcap mushroom, which can lead to life-threatening liver destruction, an intravenous form of milk thistle extract appears to provide an effective antidote (this is currently undergoing clinical testing).
7. Protect Your Liver from Pain Meds, Alcohol, Radiation, Iron Overload and More
Animal studies have shown that the silymarin in milk thistle reduces liver injury caused by acetaminophen (Tylenol), carbon tetrachloride (an industrial chemical), radiation, iron overload, alcohol and more.[i] There is also evidence that milk thistle may be beneficial for cirrhosis of the liver as well as chronic liver disease.
6. Improvements in Alcoholic Liver Disease
In a review of six studies of milk thistle and chronic alcoholic liver disease, four reported significant improvement in at least one measurement of liver function.[ii]
5. Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects
Silymarin has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which may play a role in suppressing a number of chronic diseases as well as help your liver to repair itself. The antioxidant properties of silymarin are significantly greater than that of vitamins C and E.
4. Improvements in Type 2 Diabetics
People with type 2 diabetes who took silymarin for four months experienced numerous improvements in their glycemic profile, including a significant decrease in glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA(1)c) (a measure of blood sugar average over the last three months), fasting blood glucose, total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides compared to those taking a placebo.[iii]
3. Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Animal studies suggest the silymarin from milk thistle may suppress the formation of amyloid beta-protein (a toxic protein linked to Alzheimer’s) and neurotoxicity, thereby helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.[iv]
2. Possible Anti-Cancer Effects
Animal research also suggests the flavonoids in milk thistle may have anti-cancer effects and could reduce the growth of cancer cells — particularly in breast, cervical, prostate and possibly liver cancers.[v]
1. Support for Digestive Issues and Colon Health
Milk thistle’s anti-inflammatory effects make it a potentially invaluable supplement for anyone who has experienced ongoing digestive issues, as the toxins that leak through the inflamed GI tract wall are particularly harmful to your liver. It may also help reduce the overall inflammation of your GI tract.
One of the best ways to take advantage of milk thistle’s anti-inflammatory benefits to your GI tract is with Natural Cleanse, which combines 100 mg of milk thistle extract with seven other natural ingredients for complete digestive health.
Developed using the very latest research and clinical studies in digestive health, Natural Cleanse has been formulated to gently release and flush impacted fecal matter from your colon while at the same time revitalizing and tonifying your colon with a patented blend of essential probiotics.
This uniquely powerful yet soothing 30-Day Colon Flush & Revitalization Program also uses the power of milk thistle to soothe inflammation of your GI tract lining to reduce “leaky gut” (the transfer of toxins form your colon to your bloodstream) as well as offer liver support.
If you’re looking for all of the benefits milk thistle has to offer, plus natural relief from digestive issues like bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea and more, Natural Cleanse is your answer. Try it now, risk-free for 90 days.
Written By: Updated: February 22,2013