One of the health benefits of milk thistle is that it is one of the best liver detoxifiers. The liver is one of the most important organs in your body and this is why detoxifying it is a must.
Is this the first time you’re hearing about milk thistle? So what is really this milk thistle and what are its benefits to the body?
What Is Milk Thistle?
Milk thistle has a lot of other names like the blessed thistle, Mary thistle, Marian thistle, variegated thistle, Mediterranean-milk thistle, Scotch thistle, and St. Mary’s thistle. Milk thistle is a typical flowering plant that natively grows in the Mediterranean region.
It is best known for its overwhelming effects on overall liver health. The different parts of this flowering plant were also traditionally used for treating a wide variety of health disorders.
Silymarin, which is the active ingredient of milk thistle is responsible for making it as one of the most amazing natural herbs which have endless potential health benefits.
I guess you’re now a bit familiar with milk thistle. Let’s now check some of the best health benefits you can get from milk thistle.
1. Milk Thistle Supports Liver Health
Among all the milk thistle uses, this is definitely the most common. According to 2016 research, milk thistle has been proved to recover diet-induced liver damage in mice.
Silymarin, which is the active ingredient in it, acts as an antioxidant thereby reducing
Many studies have also suggested that milk thistle can help reverse the damage to the liver that is caused by prolonged alcohol consumption.
2. Boosts Immune System
According to a 2016 research that was conducted on an animal model, milk thistle extract has the ability to improve a person’s immunity.
When regularly used, milk thistle may help you strengthen your immune responses as well as in fighting infections.
3. Promotes 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 has the ability to recover inflammatory skin conditions.
Further studies showed that it also had anti-aging properties on human skin cells when applied on the skin.
Turmeric is another plant or herb that you can consume to help you have better skin health. You can learn more about turmeric health benefits here.
4. Beneficial For People With Type 2 Diabetes
Recently, researchers have been able to discover that milk thistle may be very helpful in regulating the blood sugar level.
According to a 2007 research done by Universidad de Salamanca in Spain, milk thistle has “anti-hyperglycemic properties” that makes it beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.
5. Helps With Depression
Liver overload can result in the buildup of neurotoxin 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.
6. Reduces 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 at check.
The study indicated that the cholesterol levels of those people who regularly used milk thistle for diabetes were ultimately lower compared to who used a placebo.
7. May Help With Weight Loss
In a study done in 2016, silymarin which is its main ingredient was found to facilitate weight loss in mice that had previously been fed on foods that were known to cause weight gain.
From this research, researchers claim that milk thistle may be beneficial if you are looking to cut on some pounds.
8. Reduces Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is one of the major problems that are faced by those people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Thankfully, a study conducted on mice has discovered that milk thistle can help in reducing insulin resistance.
9. 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 gallbladder, it also helps in case of Cholestasis whereby the gallbladder decreases or stops bile formation.
10. Improves Allergic Asthma Symptoms
A study conducted in 2002 confirmed that Silymarin, the active ingredient in milk thistle, has the ability to reduce inflammation.
In the study, milk thistle helped in protecting against inflammation in the airway passages of those mice that had allergic asthma.
11. May Limit The Spread Of Cancer
According to a 2016 review, milk thistle extract has the ability to inhibit the growth and reproduction of cancerous cells in colorectal cancer.
This means that it has the ability to stop the growth and spread of specific types of cancer.
12. 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 as 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 on human bone health.
13. Improves Cognition
Oxidative stress is one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease. In a study done in 2015, milk thistle was found to increase the resistance towards oxidative stress.
This means that regularly using milk thistle may help when it comes to treating degenerative conditions and improving cognition.
From 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.
There is nothing much known of or if there are side effects in consuming milk thistle. I consume milk thistle through capsule supplements. I think I need to make my liver healthier because of the pain killers I’ve been taking.
How about you, how are you taking care of your liver? Are you also using milk thistle supplements like me?