Milk thistle gets its name from the milky-white liquid that runs off of the plant’s leaves when they’re crushed. The actual leaves of the plant also have a spotted white pattern that makes them look as if they’ve been dunked in milk.
Treats Liver Problems:
Milk thistle is widely known for its efficacy in naturally treating liver-related conditions. These conditions include the following:
Cirrhosis caused by alcohol
Liver damage induced by drug and alcohol abuse
Fatty liver disease
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Hepatic toxicity caused by the use of steroids
Pollution of the liver due to toxins and pollutants
Milk Thistle and Glutathione
Silymarin, the active ingredient in it, is an antioxidant that can protect against depletion of glutathione, which is a “master antioxidant” that’s extremely useful at helping prevent disease formation. Glutathione is found naturally in the human body, as well as in some plants, mushrooms, fungus and algae.
Its biggest role is to help fight oxidative stress that leads to such diseases as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases. It can help prevent damage to important cellular components caused by reactive oxygen species, such as free radicals.
One of the biggest milk thistle benefits is that it preserves glutathione. The modern American diet, pollution, toxins, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections and radiation all work to deplete liver capabilities and also glutathione in the body. Milk thistle helps increase glutathione levels by improving liver detox functions. Milk thistle strengthens the liver cell walls, buffering them from invading toxins, and supports liver regeneration and glutathione formation.
Strengthens And Protects Hair Follicles:
Hair loss and balding is a major problem among many people all over the world. Many hair loss remedies include milk thistle as it is believed that it can prevent hair loss when combined with other important ingredients. When used with other natural and herbal plants, it is known to be effective to strengthen and protect the hair follicles.
Helps Prevent Gallstones
The liver is a major digestive organ, helping process nutrients and toxins that enter our body through foods, water and air. Because the liver and other digestive organs — like the gallbladder, pancreas, intestines and kidneys — work closely together to improve liver health so much, milk thistle is also able to help prevent gallstones and kidney stones.
Milk thistle benefits help support the endocrine and gastrointestinal systems by aiding in the production of bile and enzymes, on top of helping clean the blood. Milk thistle can help purify the body of metabolic waste, thereby regulating the function of the gallbladder, in addition to the kidneys and spleen.
Milk Thistle Benefits For Skin:
It is believed that the herb has anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, demulcent and antioxidant properties that help in improving your skin’s condition. Experts recommend consulting a doctor before taking milk thistle supplements, as there isn’t strong evidence to prove the benefits of milk thistle. Here are a few ways that this magical herb could do wonders to your skin:
Prevents Skin Cancer And Photo-Aging:
According to the studies conducted at the Cancer Center of the University of Colorado, silibinin, which is an extract of milk thistle, has the ability to repair or kill skin cells that have been affected by the exposure to the UVB radiation. It also protects the skin against the damaging effects of UVB radiation.
How Does Milk Thistle Work?
Milk thistle seeds contain a bioflavonoid complex known as silymarin. Silymarin, which is the active ingredient in milk thistle, is simply the purified extract of the fruits (seeds) of the milk thistle plant. It is responsible for the main medical benefits of the milk thistle plant, and it is made up of three main flavonoids:
silybin – also know as silibinin
silydianin – also known as silidianin
silychristin – also know as silicristin