Milk thistle has been in use for more than 2,000 years as a natural cure for numerous liver-related ailments. Widely recognized for its detoxifying properties, there are many more benefits to milk thistle.
Today, many people are turning towards natural remedies to treat various ailments. This is why the amount of research conducted on these alternative treatments continues to increase too.
The research related to milk thistle tea and its benefits is still in its early stages. But one thing is clear; milk thistle is a powerhouse of beneficial properties that benefit the body in many ways.
Supports liver health
If you want a healthy body, it is essential to take care of your liver. After all, it is your body’s chemical processing plant. Your liver works non-stop, receiving 30% of the blood circulating in your body every minute. The liver filters chemical reactions and removes harmful toxins while holding onto the essential nutrients.
One of the main reasons why milk thistle is under scrutiny by researchers is its ability to guard the liver and help regenerate itself.
According to research published in University of Maryland Medical Center’s Complementary and Alternative Medicine Guide, the main component of milk thistle, which is a flavonoid called silymarin, protects the liver against harmful toxins and certain drugs like acetaminophen (Tylenol), which can cause liver damage if taken in high doses. The anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antioxidant properties of silymarin helps the liver creates new cells and repair itself.
WebMD further highlights that milk thistle can help the liver combat against many serious diseases like cirrhosis, jaundice and more.
Promotes skin health
Your skin is the body’s largest organ. So, it is imperative to nourish and take proper care of your skin. It is the medium through which your body absorbs and expels toxins.
According to Livestrong, examining the condition of you skin can readily assess your health. If you are experiencing recurring acne, eczema, psoriasis or other skin conditions, it means that your body is silently suffering from an undiagnosed disease. Milk thistle not only helps in detoxifying your liver but also encourages the colon to excrete harmful toxic waste more efficiently.
This is why milk thistle consumption shows a drastic improvement in your overall skin condition. You will notice reduced inflammation and redness with the regular use of milk thistle.
Another research suggests that milk thistle also helps protect the skin against UV ray damage, especially if used topically.
High cholesterol can have fatal results if left untreated. It can increase a person’s chances of heart diseases and stroke.
According to a study, milk thistle tea may be beneficial for people who are looking to control their cholesterol levels. The same research shows that people who were taking milk thistle to treat diabetes had lower cholesterol levels as compared to those who received a placebo.
Supports weight loss
Not many people know that the liver plays a significant part in managing body fat. If you want to get into shape and lose a few pounds, it is recommended to enhance your liver function. This is something, which is often sidetracked in most weight loss plans.
If the liver works efficiently, it can metabolize the fat in the body at a much quicker rate. This process results in successful weight loss in obese individuals.
Research conducted in 2016, further proved that silymarin caused weight loss in mice even when they were on a high-fat diet. More research is still needed to study the effects of milk thistle and weight loss in humans, but it does seem promising.
Reduces insulin resistance
An ongoing study found that milk thistle extract could reduce insulin resistance in mice. This research is still in its initial phases, but there is ample evidence that milk thistle can play a vital role in diabetes management.
The unique combination of antioxidants, fatty acids and silymarin in milk thistle can work wonders towards regulating insulin levels and balancing blood sugar levels.
Improves allergic asthma symptoms
If you are looking for a natural antihistamine, you might want to consider milk thistle. It has proven abilities that help against histamine intolerance.
Research indicates that silymarin inhibits the release of histamine in the body, thereby protecting against allergic asthma symptoms. The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians also recommends milk thistle as a natural remedy to help reduce allergic, inflammatory, and histaminic reactions.
Many scientists are working day and night to highlight the anti-cancer properties of milk thistle. Silymarin, which is a powerful antioxidant, has proven to inhibit the growth of breast, prostate and cervical cancer cells in the lab.
It also reduces the toxic effects of chemotherapy without hindering the cancer treatment. Milk thistle also slows the growth of cancerous tumors.
However, more research is still required to determine how well can milk thistle perform against fighting cancerous cells.
Supports bone health
Researchers are calling milk thistle a future potential anti-osteoporotic and fracture-healing agent. Milk thistle has strong bone healing and bone loss properties. Regular intake of milk thistle extract can keep your bone health at an optimum level.
Improves cognitive function
Milk thistle extract has also been used to treat cognitive decline, among other aging effects. It has a positive impact on the central nervous system, and according to a study, milk thistle shows improved resistance to oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress, which is caused by the imbalance of free radicals, can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. Regular intake of milk thistle can help to overcome learning and memory impairment.
Boosts the immune system
The liver plays an integral part in detoxifying the body. This is why, when liver function is compromised, so is the immune system. Hence, the liver is directly responsible for the body’s immune system by eliminating microorganisms, toxins and harmful tumors.
Regular intake of milk thistle can strengthen a person’s immune system, helping them to fight off infection more efficiently. Research confirms that milk thistle boosts the immune response in humans.
With so many benefits, you should consider introducing milk thistle extract in your daily nutrition regime. Afterall, it has a proven historical background and scientific backing which highlight the antioxidant and cellular regeneration properties of milk thistle. Thanks to its active ingredient, silymarin, milk thistle has a wide range of potential health benefits.
While research continues to outline the benefits of milk thistle as an herb, it is a healthy natural remedy that can be used along with conventional treatments.
However, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting any herbal supplement, as it may interact with your current medications or health conditions.