Today is a pleasant day to talk about the health benefits of milk thistle.
What is milk thistle?
Milk thistle is a flowering herb that has been used for centuries to treat various ailments.
The active ingredient in milk thistle is silymarin, which is thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Milk thistle is most commonly used as a liver tonic, but it may also be effective in treating other conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and certain types of cancer.
Let’s now check out some more of the best health benefits that you can get from milk thistle.
- Milk thistle can be used to treat kidney stones.
- Your brain can benefit from milk thistle.
- Your eyes may benefit from milk thistle.
- Helps keep the liver healthy.
- Milk thistle can help reduce inflammation.
- Milk thistle might make you make more breast milk.
- Milk thistle is a plant that has antioxidants.
- Enhances the immune system.
- You might be able to lose weight with milk thistle.
- Milk thistle is good at killing fungi.
- Helps keep the skin healthy.
- Milk thistle can be used to treat psoriasis.
- Milk thistle keeps your heart in good shape.
- Is good for people with type 2 diabetes.
- Milk thistle can help people who are depressed.
- Cholesterol is lowered.
- Milk thistle can help clear gallstones out of your body.
- Helps with the symptoms of allergic asthma.
- Could be good for bone health.
Please continue reading if you want to discover more.
1. Kidney Stones May Be Treated With Milk Thistle
Kidney stones may be treated with milk thistle.
This traditional remedy has been used for centuries to treat kidney stones.
The active ingredient in milk thistle is silymarin.
Silymarin is thought to protect the liver and kidneys from damage.
There are several studies that support the use of milk thistle for treating kidney stones.
One study found that milk thistle was effective in reducing the size of kidney stones in rats.
Another study found that silymarin was able to inhibit the growth of kidney stones.
The exact mechanism by which milk thistle treats kidney stones is not known, but it is thought that the plant’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties play a role.
2. Milk Thistle Is Good For Your Brain
Milk thistle has been traditionally used to treat neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s for generations.
You can read this study in “A Mini Review on the Chemistry and Neuroprotective Effects of Silymarin.”
It may also have neuroprotective qualities that can prevent the decline of your brain’s functions as you age.
This is due to the anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant content in silymarin, which is found in milk thistle.
More of this can be read in “Neuroprotective Potential Of Silymarin Against CNS Disorders.”
There are more different studies conducted on animals that showed milk thistle to help prevent oxidative damage in the brain cells which can prevent mental decline.
3. Milk Thistle May Be Beneficial To Your Eyes
Silymarin, found in milk thistle, is thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
These properties may be beneficial in the treatment of several eye conditions, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
A number of clinical studies have shown that milk thistle can help to improve vision and prevent the progression of AMD.
One study found that milk thistle extract was able to reduce the size of drusen, which are deposits under the retina that can lead to vision loss in people with AMD.
Cataracts are another common eye condition that milk thistle may be beneficial for.
Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, making it difficult to see clearly.
4. Good For The Liver Health (Favorite Health Benefit Of Milk Thistle)
Among all the milk thistle’s uses, this is the most common.
It’s said that milk thistle plants can help treat liver disease and improve liver function.
According to 2016 research, milk thistle has been proven to recover diet-induced liver damage in mice.
Silymarin, which is the active ingredient in it, acts as an antioxidant, thereby reducing the production of free radicals.
This is what researchers believe creates a detoxifying effect.
Many studies have also suggested that milk thistle can help reverse the damage to the liver that is caused by prolonged alcohol consumption.
5. Milk Thistle Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
A recent study found that milk thistle may help to reduce inflammation in the body.
The study looked at the effects of milk thistle on people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The results showed that milk thistle was able to reduce inflammation in the intestine and improve symptoms of IBD.
These findings suggest that milk thistle could be a helpful natural treatment for inflammation.
If you are interested in trying milk thistle, talk to your doctor or naturopathic practitioner to see if it is right for you.
An expensive spice that also has anti-inflammatory properties is saffron. You can read about its health benefits below.
6. Milk Thistle May Increase Breast Milk Production
There is limited research about this, but some studies show milk thistle can improve the production of breast milk in mothers who are lactating.
Researchers think that the cause of this is that the herb can make more of the milk-producing hormone prolactin.
In summary, the study shows mothers who take milk thistle for 63 days were observed to have 64% more milk compared to a placebo group.
7. Antioxidants Are Found In Milk Thistle
Antioxidants are found in milk thistle. These antioxidants can help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Free radicals are molecules that can cause damage to cells, and they are found in the environment and in the body.
The body produces free radicals when it breaks down food, and exposure to pollution and UV radiation can also increase the amount of free radicals in the body.
Antioxidants can help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals by scavenging them and reducing their ability to cause damage.
As mentioned, the active ingredient in milk thistle is silymarin, which is a group of compounds that have antioxidant activity.
Silymarin has been shown to scavenge free radicals and protect cells from damage in several studies.
8. Take Milk Thistle To Boost Your Immune System
According to 2016 research that was conducted on an animal model, milk thistle extract can improve a person’s immunity.
When regularly used, milk thistle may help you strengthen your immune responses as well as fight infections.
9. Milk Thistle May Help You Lose Weight
A study has found that milk thistle may help with weight loss.
The study looked at a group of obese adults who were given milk thistle extract for 16 weeks.
The participants were also put on a calorie-restricted diet and given exercise recommendations.
At the end of the study, the participants who had taken milk thistle extract lost an average of 5% of their body weight, while those in the control group lost less than 1%.
The milk thistle group also had lower levels of inflammation and insulin resistance.
These findings suggest that milk thistle may be a helpful addition to a weight loss plan. However, more research is needed to confirm these effects.
10. Milk Thistle Has Antifungal Properties
A study has shown that milk thistle has antifungal properties.
This is good news for people who suffer from fungal infections, as milk thistle can help treat them.
Fungal infections are a common problem, and they can be difficult to treat. However, milk thistle may be able to help.
The plant contains a compound called silymarin, which has antifungal properties.
In the study, researchers tested the effects of silymarin on a type of fungus called Candida albicans.
They found that silymarin was able to inhibit the growth of the fungus and kill it.
This is exciting news, as milk thistle could potentially be used to treat a variety of fungal infections.
A vegetable that also has antifungal properties is yacon. I also have an article about Yacon’s health benefits that you may want to read.
11. Milk Thistle Could Promote Skin Health
The oil from milk thistle is very beneficial when it comes to improving skin health.
A study that was conducted in 2015 confirmed that, when applied to the skin, milk thistle can recover inflammatory skin conditions.
Further studies showed that it also had anti-aging properties on human skin cells when applied to the skin.
These anti-aging properties help delay the signs of aging in your skin, like black spots and wrinkles.
The anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidant contents of milk thistle are also helpful in keeping acne away or treating it.
12. Psoriasis May Be Treated With Milk Thistle
Psoriasis, a chronic skin condition that causes red and scaly patches, may be treated with milk thistle.
This herbal remedy has been used for centuries to treat various ailments, and studies have shown that it may be effective in treating psoriasis.
Milk thistle is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help to reduce the redness and irritation associated with psoriasis.
If you are considering using milk thistle to treat your psoriasis, speak to your healthcare provider first to ensure that it is safe for you.
13. Milk Thistle Helps Keep Your Heart Healthy
Milk thistle contains fatty acids and omega-3s that are beneficial for maintaining your heart’s health.
Omega-3s are great at balancing out the cholesterol levels in your body.
This can prevent atherosclerosis, which can cause heart attacks and strokes.
14. Is Beneficial For People With Diabetes
Recently, researchers have been able to discover that milk thistle may be very helpful in regulating the blood sugar level.
According to 2007 research done by the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain, milk thistle has “anti-hyperglycemic properties” that make it beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes.
Milk thistle was also found to have similar improved insulin sensitivity and decreased blood sugar effects compared to diabetic medications.
More specific details of this study are found in “The Therapeutic Potential Of Milk Thistle In Diabetes.”
15. Milk Thistle Helps With Depression
Liver overload can result in the buildup of neurotoxins in the brain, which in turn can cause mental imbalances like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.
Since milk thistle supports detoxification, it can help turn around neurological imbalances and depressive conditions.
There are a lot of herbs that can help you with your mental health and treat depression. Another one of these is horny goat weed.
You can check out my article about the health benefits of horny goat weed here.
16. Use Milk Thistle To Reduce Cholesterol
A study that was conducted in 2006 suggested that milk thistle has an important role to play when it comes to keeping the body’s cholesterol levels in check.
The study indicated that the cholesterol levels of those people who regularly used milk thistle for diabetes were ultimately lower compared to those who used a placebo.
17. Milk Thistle Helps In Clearing Out Gallstones
Many studies have linked the use of milk thistle to a reduction in gallstones.
The studies also found out that apart from boosting the gallbladder, it also helps in the case of cholestasis, whereby the gallbladder decreases or stops bile formation.
18. Improves Allergic Asthma Symptoms
A study conducted in 2002 confirmed that silymarin, the active ingredient in milk thistle, can reduce inflammation.
In the study, milk thistle helped protect against inflammation in the airway passages of those mice that had allergic asthma.
19. May Support Bone Health
A study that was conducted in 2013 confirmed that milk thistle was responsible for preventing bone loss in humans.
The study mainly focused on bone loss, which was a result of a deficiency in the hormone estrogen.
Since it is not clear if it is equally important for bone loss resulting from other causes, further studies still need to be done on its benefits for human bone health.
These are just some of the potential health benefits of milk thistle that I’d like to share with you.
With these milk thistle benefits, it is arguable that milk thistle is not only beneficial for the liver but also ensures the overall health of your body.
I consume milk thistle supplements, which can easily be bought online.
I think I need to make my liver healthier because of the painkillers I take whenever I get arthritis attacks.
Let’s try to avoid liver problems or any bad liver conditions as early as possible.
So for the best health benefit of milk thistle, my pick is that it can help protect your liver.
I usually go for the anti-inflammatory benefit. But for today, the liver is super important.
How about you? Which one of the listed health benefits of milk thistle is your favorite or the one you need the most?
Milk thistle is generally considered safe, but to be sure, you should first consult with your doctor or health professional to see if you’re fine or if it’s OK for you to consume it.
If you’re looking for more herbs that share similar health benefits, you can check my list here.
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