Milk thistle (silymarin) is a flowering herb and an herbal remedy belonging to the daisy and ragweed family. It is a plant popular in Mediterranean countries, also known as Silybum marianum. Some people also call it my thistle and holy thistle.
Experts believe that the active extracts of milk thistle seeds are from a group of plant compounds known collectively as silymarins. It contains high amounts of silymarin (between 65-80%) which is a concentrate from the milk thistle plant.
In fact, silymarin is an antioxidant compound traditionally used to treat liver and gallbladder problems, promote breast milk production, prevent and treat cirrhosis, jaundice, hepatitis, and cancer, and even treat snakebites It is used as a natural remedy to protect the liver from other environmental poisons.
Although, A person can use different parts of the Silybum marianum plant to treat a variety of health conditions.
Some claim Silybum marianum helps diabetes in people who have type 2 diabetes, People sometimes add it to skin creams, and additionally, some believe it lowers cholesterol levels.
Here are some science-based benefits of milk thistle.
Supports liver health
Milk thistle can be used for excellent liver health. Actually, silymarin (polyphenolic flavonoid) is found in milk seeds. Consuming its extracts can protect against conditions such as alcoholic liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatitis (an inflammatory condition of the liver), and even liver cancer and gallbladder. (study)
A 2016 study found that it improved diet-induced liver damage in rats. More evidence is needed to prove that milk thistle benefits the human liver in the same way.
This herb seems to reduce damage to the liver caused by free radicals, although more research is needed.
Promotes skin health
Milk thistle can help promote healthy skin! One study found that it helped improve inflammatory conditions when applied to the skin of rats.
Another study also found antioxidant and anti-aging effects of milk thistle on human skin cells in a laboratory environment.
Further research on humans is needed to find out what other benefits one can expect from applying milk thistle to their skin.
High cholesterol can cause problems for the heart, due to which a person can increase the chances of stroke. A 2006 study suggests that milk thistle may play an important role in keeping cholesterol levels low. It was found that people who took milk thistle for the treatment of diabetes had lower cholesterol levels than those who took a placebo.
Aids in weight loss
Preliminary animal research conducted in 2016 found that silymarin played a significant role in weight loss. This suggests that Silybum marianum can be beneficial for those looking to lose weight. However, more research is needed on the effects of milk thistle on weight loss in humans to confirm this.
Boost breast milk production
One purported effect of Silybum marianum is that it helps to increase the production of breast milk in lactating mothers. It is believed to work by making more of the milk-producing hormone prolactin. One study found that mothers who took 420 mg of silymarin for 63 days produced 64% more milk than those taking a placebo. This is the only clinical study available. More research is needed to confirm these results and the safety of milk thistles for breastfeeding mothers.
Lower blood sugar levels
Some research shows that taking silymarin, a chemical found in Silybum marianum, along with conventional treatment might lower blood sugar, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides in people with diabetes.
Acne is a condition of the skin in the form of chronic inflammation. It can cause scars! It can also prove to be painful for people! And they may be concerned about its effects on their appearance!
It has been suggested that oxidative stress in the body may play a role in the development of acne. Due to its antioxidant effect, milk thistle can be a useful supplement for people with acne.
Promote brain health
We’re not saying you should rely on milk thistle to protect you from Alzheimer’s or anything! But the antioxidant properties of silymarin may protect your body from the harmful effects of free radicals, which may promote healthy brain function as you age!
However, along with the benefits of milk thistle, there are also some side effects. Consuming excessive amounts can cause allergic reactions. Allergies, the problem of headaches, itching on the skin, etc. can also be a problem.
Milk thistle appears to have some side effects even when taken for many years. For example, some people may have nausea, diarrhea, itching, and swelling.
While milk thistle has traditionally been used in lactating women. Check with your doctor before using this herb if you are pregnant! it is not recommended for children!
If you are already suffering from any other disease, then you must consult a doctor once before consuming it.
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