Liver is the organ that aids in digestion and eliminates waste products. It has detoxifying function. The liver has to handle with number of toxins we intake everyday. If having to much toxins liver can be damaged to certain degree. Some herbs can promote detoxification and repair damages of the liver.
Milk thistle, St. Mary thistle or Lady’s thistle is a Mediterranean herb, excellent for liver protection. It is a tall plant with thorny leaves and purple flowers. It grows also in North America, particularly in California and Eastern US. Milk thistle has been used for centuries for treating liver diseases and for liver protection. Silymarin is an active ingredient found in milk thistle.
How Milk Thistle Operates?Milk thistle attaches to the liver membrane and inhibits toxins from entering.It promotes RNA synthesis which promotes regeneration of the liver.It has antioxidant property and destroys free radicals.Milk thistle boosts immune system due to its benefit to T-lymphocytes. It benefits skin affected by liver damage.This herb reduces cholesterol level in the liver.It can prevent formation of gallstones.Usage
Milk thistle can be taken in capsule form or you can prepare it yourself. You can prepare it in two ways, using milk thistle seeds. You can make extraction using 40mg of seeds with 3 cups of cold water. Simmer this mixture for 20-30 minutes, strain and drink half a cup per day. Tincture can be prepared using 300mg of the seeds soaked in alcohol. Keep this mixture in glass jar, stored in dark and cool place for 10-14 days. Shake the jar every two days 1-2 minutes. After 14 days take a muslin bag and put it into a wine press, pour the mixture in the bag and slowly close the press. Store the mixture in a dark jar.
Generally, it is recommended to take milk thistle tree times a day. It takes about two months to experience its effects. Consult your doctor or herbalist about proper doses and interaction with other drugs and supplements. Keep your milk thistle away from direct sunlight and store it in a cool and dry place since otherwise, it loses its medical quality.
Side effects of Milk Thistle
Milk thistle has couple of side effects but it is generally considered to be safe to use. One side effect includes irritated stomach since milk thistle stimulates gall bladder. If this symptom doesn’t withdraw after 3 days, talk to your physician. Diabetics could also experience the side effect of milk thistle because this herb reduces the level of blood glucose.