- 1 Milk thistle in the natural treatment of liver diseases, fatty liver, cirrhosis and hepatitis
Milk thistle in the natural treatment of liver diseases, fatty liver, cirrhosis and hepatitis
Milk thistle is a medicinal plant that protects the liver
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn.) is a medicinal plant used since ancient times to treat liver ailments, since its active ingredient, silymarin, is a powerful liver regenerator. It is highly recommended in case of cirrhosis, fatty liver, hepatitis, and in any condition in which the liver may be congested.
Other uses of milk thistle
In addition, milk thistle is also used as an adjuvant in the treatment of cancer, in the treatment of high blood sugar and diabetes, when there is obesity and metabolic syndrome (high bad cholesterol, high triglycerides) and in people who have to take many medications (to protect the liver), being a very useful aid to help the liver when many medications are taken, for example in chemotherapy.
In all these affections, the health of the liver can be compromised and the use of milk thistle can be of fundamental importance.
Benefits of milk thistle for the liver
This plant has been used for more than 2,000 years to treat all diseases that affect this organ and help in its detoxification functions, during liver diseases, or after taking medications, exposure to chemicals, or toxins such as alcohol.
Functions of milk thistle
Among its functions and courses of action, scientific studies have shown that:
- Regenerates liver cells: Scientific studies have shown that silymarin stimulates the metabolic processes that precede the creation of new liver cells (stimulates the synthesis of DNA or genetic material of these cells).
- It stimulates liver detoxification processes through which the body can eliminate toxins. The plant extract increases glutathione levels in liver cells. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that is used by the liver to eliminate and neutralize toxins.
- Another possible mode of action of this plant would be to stimulate apoptosis or natural death of cells damaged by chemicals such as drugs or diseases such as cancer.
- It has very useful hypoglycemic properties in those cases of fatty liver in which there are high blood sugar levels.
Liver treatments with milk thistle
These properties should not be understood as a magical or anecdotal use, but rather research shows that milk thistle is so effective that it is already used by many doctors in conventional medicine treatments.
Currently, there is much research on the benefits of milk thistle in official or conventional medicine treatments for liver patients, cancer, diabetes, dyspepsia and other ailments.
For all these reasons, it is recommended to assess, together with the specialist doctor, the possibility of including this plant in treatments for the liver, since even in severe cases, a possible improvement can be expected, at least in the symptoms.
How is milk thistle taken for cancer?
All studies have used milk thistle supplements in tablets or capsules. Infusions or ingestion of the seeds of the plant may not be effective, because it does not contain enough active ingredient.
In a clinical study, in patients with diabetes and alcoholic liver cirrhosis, the administration of milk thistle tablets with 600 mg of silymarin (active ingredient) per day for 6 months produced a significant reduction in fasting flucose and decreased mean levels of daily glucose from the second month of treatment, without hypoglycemia.
It is recommended to consult with your doctor, who assesses the convenience of combining milk thistle therapy for each particular case.
*See: How to take milk thistle
More information on milk thistle
28 April, 2022