The many health benefits of milk thistle even herbalists may not know
Friday, April 11, 2014 by: Reuben Chow
Friday, April 11, 2014 by: Reuben Chow
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/044675_milk_thistle_natural_treatments_constipation.html#ixzz2ymCsaeRT
(NaturalNews) Milk thistle is most well-known and widely-studied for its
benefits on liver health. However, milk thistle also has numerous other proven
health benefits not many know about.
Milk thistle boosts overall liver function and health, protecting the liver from
damaging toxins, detoxifying it, regenerating its cells, and giving it a
Research has also shown milk thistle helps with various liver conditions,
including cirrhosis, poisoning, hepatitis (viral or alcoholic, B or C), sluggish
liver, liver congestion, fatty liver, jaundice, and other liver issues related
to drug use and alcoholism.
Boosting the liver results in other benefits
Milk thistle's positive effects on liver health have a direct impact on a number
of bodily functions and health conditions.
• It helps those attempting to recover from substance addiction, including drugs
• By boosting the liver's ability to deal with environmental triggers, milk
thistle can help those suffering from chronic allergies,
especially multiple-chemical sensitivity.
• Milk thistle increases bile production by the liver, which then helps the body
to remove via bowel movements the testosterone by-products that cause acne.
Further, by boosting liver function, milk thistle helps to remove harmful toxins
in the blood which can cause skin flare-ups. Along the same vein, this makes
milk thistle also helpful for other skin conditions like chronic rashes, eczema
• Increased bile production helps to relieve constipation.
• The additional bile helps to protect the intestinal lining, which then aids in
alleviating Crohn's disease symptoms.
• Milk thistle also helps to relieve intestinal inflammation, and it has been
used for inflammatory bowel disorders.
• By protecting the liver, milk
thistle protects the body against the potential harmful effects of long-term
prescription medication use and harmful toxins in the workplace.
• This herb has been successfully used against deathcap mushroom poisoning.
• Traditionally, naturopathic physicians and herbalists have used milk thistle
to help deal with hemorrhoids and varicose veins. A clogged or sluggish liver
does not process blood very well, and that tends to cause blood to back up in
the leg veins and rectum. Thus, with a healthier liver,
these conditions can be improved.
• A cleaner and better functioning liver is better able to process and deal with
various hormones in the body, promoting better hormonal balance.
• This makes milk thistle helpful for premenstrual syndrome and prostate
• Some healing modalities, eg. Traditional Chinese Medicine and French folk
medicine, see the liver as closely tied to emotional well being. This makes
sense because the liver metabolizes neurotransmitters and hormones and thus has
great influence on the overall biochemistry of the human body. A toxic or
unhealthy liver can cause emotional discomfort, frustration, anger and even
depression. By detoxifying and improving the health of the liver, milk thistle
can thus help with emotional issues.
Silymarin in milk thistle is a potent antioxidant, while milk thistle can also
increase the levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione, other strong
antioxidants. Other health benefits
of milk thistle include helping to:
• stabilize blood cholesterol levels, reducing total cholesterol levels and
helping to convert LDL cholesterol to HDL cholesterol.
• stabilize blood sugar levels; used to help with type 2 diabetes.
• improve appetite and digestion, including fat digestion.
• improve gallbladder disorders, including dealing with gallstones.
• boost immunity.
• alleviate some symptoms of Parkinson's disease, including heartburn and
constipation; increased glutathione levels also help slow the disease's
• improve adrenal disorders.
• prevent altitude sickness.
• prevent and/or fight against certain types of cancer.
• slow atherosclerosis development by preventing plaque formation on artery
Sources for this article include:
Stengler, Mark, ND. The Natural Physician's Healing Therapies: Proven Remedies
Medical Doctors Don't Know. New York, NY: Prentice Hall Press, 2010. Print.
Balch, Phyllis A., CNC. Prescription for Herbal Healing: An Easy-to-Use A-to-Z
Reference to Hundreds of Common Disorders and Their Herbal Remedies. New York,
NY: Avery, 2002. Print.
Bratman, Steve, Dr. Complementary & Alternative Health: The Scientific Verdict
on What Really Works. London, UK: Collins, 2007. Print.
Gaby, Alan R., MD. The Natural Pharmacy: Complete A-Z Reference to Natural
Treatments for Common Health Conditions. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Three Rivers
Press, 2006. Print.
Murray, Michael, ND. The Pill Book Guide to Natural Medicines: Vitamins,
Minerals, Nutritional Supplements, Herbs, And Other Natural Products. New York,
NY: Bantam Books, 2002. Print.
About the author:
Reuben Chow has a keen interest in natural health and healing as well as
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