Some 50 years ago, researchers were looking into Milk Thistle’s liver-protecting properties that include an array of compounds that we now know can protect us from the dangerous side effects of prescription drugs.
In a world of over-the-counter drugs that millions of people feel are free of side effects and the myriad of television drug commercials that rattle off the side effects at the end with blinding speed, have led many to take Milk Thistle on a daily basis for healthy liver protection.
Milk Thistle has been used for over 2,000 years by the earliest of herbalists, shamans and physicians, and was the go-to herb when your eyes or skin turn yellow (jaundice). History tells us they used the herb for hepatitis and cirrhosis and other ailments associated with liver and gallbladder function. Germany’s Commission E recommends milk thistle for liver damage caused by toxins or cirrhosis of the liver and as therapy for liver inflammation.
This healing herb contains compounds called flavonolignans also known as silymarin and silybum, which protect liver cells from damage caused by alcohol, acetaminophen and many drugs, toxins and food chemicals and can protect against ‘death cap mushroom’ poisoning or anything that can affect the liver. Milk Thistle is known to protect, strengthen, detoxify and regenerate the liver when taken daily as a tea or standardized extract in supplement form.
According to the National Cancer Institute, silymarin in the herb protects the liver by preventing toxins from entering cells and by improving enzymatic function that detoxify toxins in the liver. Silymarin can protect liver cells during chemotherapy and appears to boost the effect of certain chemotherapy drugs.
Other uses for Milk Thistle
Another amazing effect of milk thistle it protects the kidneys against drug injury, radiation and prevents ultraviolet damage to the skin.