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Milk thistle and its story
Milk thistle is a thorny plant originating in the Mediterranean region. Many have seen this herb and know it to be a common weed. The plant’s leaves have milk white veins and it is also known as Holy Thistle or Our Lady’s thistle. Ancient belief is that the Virgin Mary's milk dropped onto the leaves and left white traces on them. Perhaps why over the ages, many lactating mothers take milk thistle as an herbal supplement.
Herbal Medicines in modern times
Herbal medicine is becoming more mainstream as improvements in analysis and quality control, along with advances in clinical research show the value of herbal medicine in treating and preventing disease. Of course caution must be observed while combining herbs and prescription medication, as each can alter the way the body metabolizes the other.
Traditionally, milk thistle products have been used to stimulate the flow of breast milk in women. It was also a folk remedy for depression. Recent biomedical research has found more benefits in using milk thistle.
The active ingredient of Milk thistle (botanical name Silybum marianum) is silymarin. Today, milk thistle is still one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in the world and is also the number one recommended natural herb for liver conditions. It protects the liver from the effects of toxins such as alcohol, a polluted environment or workplace, and a host of liver related diseases such as:
In fact in Europe, milk thistle is a prescribed medication. 1
Research has also been carried out on its effectiveness on diabetics. The Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine 2017 states Numerous herbs have been investigated for their use in patients with diabetes. Many of these herbs have been shown to possess hypoglycemic effects in animal and human studies. Milk thistle, nettle, and olibanum were among these herbs that were traditionally recommended for diabetes in Iran. 2
Milk thistle has potential benefits for Osteoarthritis sufferers. Osteoarthritis (OA) the most prevalent joint disease in adults, ranks among the top 5 causes of disability. 3 Accumulating evidence suggests compounds extracted from natural plants have become the potential and reasonable agents of choices for OA patients because of their strong anti-inflammatory activities and less toxicity. Silibinin, a polyphenolic flavonoid extracted from seeds of Silybum marianum, has been reported to have potent anti-inflammatory effects. 4
Antioxidant & Anti-aging
As you age, your body tissues suffer from oxidative stress due to the process of oxidation. Although antioxidants aren't proven to treat any conditions, research has shown that antioxidants have also been implicated in the prevention of a number of degenerative, age-related disease, including:
Milk thistle has antioxidant properties, a crucial contributor to the body’s defence system and potential for preventing aging and age-related diseases. 5
What are the side effects of milk thistle?
Milk thistle is very gentle in its nature. Adverse effects in clinical and lab studies related specifically to the seed extract (silymarin) are also virtually nonexistent, although it may have a mild and short-lived laxative effect for some people. Milk thistle can be used safely and effectively by a wide range of people. 1
Buying Milk Thistle Supplements
Bioforce Milk Thistle Complex Drops 50ml is available from Rekindle Online Health shop @ Kshs 1,970/-
Dosage: 15 to 20 drops twice daily, in a little water.
Bio-Health Silamarie® Milk Thistle 60’s are available from Rekindle Online Health shop @ Kshs 2,230/-
Dosage: Take 1 or 2 capsules 3 times daily