Milk Thistle: Health Benefits, Uses | What Are Milk Thistle Good For?

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What are Benefits of Milk Thistle?

Milk Thistle plant is native to Mediterranean region. It is also a member of asteraceae family which includes sunflowers and daisies.

Milk Thistle all over world now. Thistle usually grows in dry, sunny areas. Branch stems on spikes can reach 5 to 10 feet high.

Milk Thistle leaves are wide and have white veins. When thistle is crushed, a liquid similar to white milk emerges, so milk is also referred to as milk thistle.

Milk thistle flowers are purple and red. Small, hard-skinned fruit with brown spots and shiny. Milk thistle (considered as a weed in some parts of world) spreads rapidly and matures in less than a year.

Milk Thistle has been used as a medicine for liver disorders, kidney and gall bladder problems for more than 2000 years. Many scientific studies suggest that Thistle prevents liver damage, especially because of contains a flavonoid called silimarin.

Silimarin has antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. Thus, liver is repaired for growth of new cells.

milk thistle 1

Health Benefits of Milk Thistle

Protects to Liver: Thistle plants can help with general liver problems including liver pain, swelling and jaundice. Flavonoids in milk thistle plant can be particularly effective in protecting liver. Flavonoids increase in body’s immune system, allowing body to resist disease.

It helps to control cell membranes and cell function. It is thought that thistle are useful in cases such as acute viral hepatitis, metabolic disease, persistent permanent hepatitis and liver cirrhosis.

Protects from Cancer: According to research on milk thistle plant, some active substances in plant have anti-cancer properties. An active substance called silymarin offers strong antioxidant properties. In studies, thistle plant can disable development of breast, prostate and cervical cancer cells.

Good for Gallbladder Health: Silimarin affects bile solubility by encouraging body to circulate. To prevent or eliminate formation of gallstones, when necessary, thistle plant may be useful. The first stages of gallstones formation are more effective for taking the most positive effect.

Affects Cholesterol Levels: According to US National Library of Medicine, inflammation, one of causes of heart disease, can stop milk thistle with strong anti-inflammatory property.

milk thistle benefits

The ability to reduce cholesterol levels, one of benefits of milk thistle tea, also reduces inflammation and cleans blood. This detoxification to body prevents oxidative stress damage in arteries and thus helps to control high cholesterol levels.

Struggles with Fungal Diseases: It is known that thistle milk struggles with infections and fungi. In these cases, known as a remedy, thistle plant is used against many types of mushrooms in traditional medicine. In addition, mushroom poisoning may be effective to prevent death of thistle plant.

Good for Diabetes: The antioxidants, fatty acids and silymarin substances in milk thistle plant can regulate insulin levels to balance blood sugar levels. If you suffer from a condition like diabetes, you can try thistle plant. It regulates both blood glucose levels and reduces risk of developing diabetes.

Supports Heart Health: Thistle extract contains a high concentration of beneficial fatty acids and omega-3 substances necessary to protect heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids balance your body’s cholesterol levels; therefore, you can reduce your risk of stroke or heart attack and prevent atherosclerosis.

Helps to Lose Weight: Very few people know function of liver in reducing fat. Almost all weight loss plans are neglected as liver function is not fully developed. The liver is important in burning fat because blood in body cleanses and accelerates metabolizing.

These functions of liver raises material of silimarin in thistle; therefore accelerating accelerates metabolism. This means that weight loss is becoming easier.

Supports Skin Health: Skin is physically very important and largest organ. Due to presence of certain toxins in blood, skin disorders such as psoriasis occur. Abnormal liver function has potential to increase risk of psoriasis. Increased liver function through consumption of thistle tea helps you to get a cleaner and healthier skin.

Helps in State of PMS: Liver breaks down hormones such as estrogen and sometimes leads to hormonal imbalances. When liver does not function properly, blood circulation does not function properly and accumulates in toxins.

Healthy liver contributes to a better hormone balance, thereby alleviating symptoms of PMS. Thistle tea helps reduce discomfort and alleviate ailments that consume in this period.

Strengthens immune System: Silymarin helps liver to remove dirt from blood. On the other hand, antioxidants in thistle protect cells from free radicals to prevent damage. It is important to clean blood to stay healthy. In this case, immune system is strengthening.

milk thistle seed

Benefits of Milk Thistle Seed

The seeds of this plant contain high concentrations of silimarin, an active component. This component is an antioxidant that reduces oxidative damage and production of free radicals. It also helps neutralize toxins in liver.

It prevents liver from damaging liver by stimulating functions of liver, such as disease, malnutrition, and alcohol. It is especially useful for people with liver cancer, cirrhosis and hepatitis.

• Cleans in skin acne.

• It helps to increase good cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol.

• Relieves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease.

• Prevents gallbladder stone, treats and protects kidney function.

• It helps digestion and also works as an inflammatory and helps inflamed intestine.

• It is especially used as an antidote to death in fungal poisoning.

• In studies, was found that thistle seed prevented proliferation of cancer cells and decreased blood flow to tumors.

Damages of Milk Thistle

x Most adults are considered safe when taken by mouth.

Sometimes milk thistle can see laxative effect.

Other less common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, gas in intestine, bloating, fullness, pain, and loss of appetite.

There is not enough information about whether thistle milk is completely safe when applied to skin or when injected.

Pregnancy and Lactation: If you are in period of pregnancy and breastfeeding, there is insufficient information about safety of consumption of milk thistle. It is useful to stay away from thistle consumption to stay on safe side.

Diabetes: Thistle can reduce blood sugar in people with diabetes because of some chemicals contains. For this reason, dosages with diabetes medications need to be adjusted.

Sensitivity to Hormones: Breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids if you have conditions such as thistle plant extract can act like estrogen.

If exposure to estrogen makes you worse,avoid using thistle. In contrast, more commonly used thistle seed extracts do not show effect of estrogen.


Based on clinical studies, consumption of milk thistle plant is considered safe when consumed for up to 41 months (70 standardized for 80% silimarin) in divided doses of 420 mg per day.

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