Milk Thistle Benefits

Milk Thistle

Are there any Milk Thistle Side Effects?

All about milk thistle benefits and side effects..

What is Milk Thistle?

Milk thistle is a tall prickly spiny perennial with a distinctive white marking on its leaves. When broken, the leaves and stems exude a rather bitter milky sap - hence the name milk thistle. Reaching a height of five feet, the plant puts out distinctive reddish purple flowering heads that resemble miniature artichokes.

Although considered a common weed –its seeds are collected and dried for its therapeutic powers. The medicinal compound within the seeds is called silymarin.

Milk Thistle Benefits - How can it Benefit You?

Milk thistle is famously known as a potent liver protector. Herbalists have come to admire this herb because of its power to protect and revitalize the liver. The liver is the major detoxification center of the body as well as the body's second largest organ. Milk thistle stimulates the regeneration of liver cells, making it a valuable herb for alleviating a host of ailments associated with the liver, such as hepatitis, fatty liver, cirrhosis of the liver, and mushroom poisoning – more specifically, the Amanita mushroom. The Amanita mushroom, also known as "death caps" contains a very potent liver poison and milk thistle has been used as an effective antidote.

Another one of milk thistle benefits is that the herb is a powerful antioxidant. Silymarin has been found to be ten times more potent than the "almighty" vitamin E, the vitamin most renowned for its antioxidant power.

Antioxidants are compounds that help protect the body from cellular damage caused by free radicals. The body needs antioxidants because with every breath you take you generate free radicals, which are highly reactive substances that can attack and damage cells, resulting to premature aging and disease.

In addition to the aforementioned milk thistle benefits, this herb has the ability to boost levels of glutathione content of the liver.

Why is this important?

Because glutathione is crucial for efficient detoxification. In fact, glutathione is one of the body's most important antioxidants. It also increases the levels of yet another antioxidant known as superoxide dismutase (SOD).

However, milk thistle benefits do not stop here……

Milk thistle stimulates the flow of bile, which promotes good digestion. For this reason, milk thistle is helpful for improving the digestion of fats.

Milk thistle has also been used for psoriasis. Perhaps this is due to milk thistle's ability to increase production of bile, which flushes away toxins associated with the disease. Nonetheless, Naturopath physicians report that milk thistle is of value in reducing the frequency of psoriasis outbreaks.

And lastly, milk thistle has been used in connection with gallstones.

Milk Thistle Benefits: Intriguing Possibilities

Indeed, milk thistle has earned its reputation as the "liver protector," which is backed by many studies and research. However, researchers are always searching for other benefits.

Some research suggests that that milk thistle may reduce the risk of complications from diabetes. In addition, it holds promise for cancer benefits. However, much more research is needed.

Precautions and Side Effects

Milk thistle is considered safe with virtually no side effects when taken at recommended dosages. However, at very high dosages it can cause loose stools or diarrhea due to increased bile flow.

It is not recommended that anyone with a liver condition to use milk thistle as a means of self-treatment. If you should have a liver condition, it is advised that you consult your physician before starting any supplementation.

In addition, always speak with a physician before starting any dietary supplements, especially if you have a health condition or are on any prescribed medications.

Women who are pregnant or nursing should consult a physician before using any dietary supplements.

Tips on Choosing a Supplement

In order to maximize your milk thistle benefits, we have provided you with a few recommended tips on how to choose a quality supplement.

1. Make sure it contains standardized herbal extract, which are the purest extracts with the most active ingredient - in this case, silymarin. The standardized extract should provide you with 70-80% or higher silymarin.

2. Some milk thistle tinctures are made with alcohol and, as such, it is not recommended for treatment of liver disease.

3. Select a supplement that is formulated by a company that follows pharmaceutical GMP compliance.


Because dietary supplements are not strictly regulated in the U.S. Therefore, manufacturers do not have to guarantee the safety, effectiveness, or even the true content of their products. In fact, consumers only have a 1 in 5 chance of buying a product that contains what is stated on the label or one that does not harbor harmful contaminates.

Facilities that are pharmaceutical GMP compliant adhere to stringent regulatory standards.

Featured Health and Wellness Product

If you are interested in a product to serve as a foundation for vibrant health we highly recommend Total Balance from Xtend Life located in New Zealand.

Total Balance contains a full spectrum of over 70 nutrients including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, specialty nutrients, potent antioxidants, and many herbal extracts.

Total Balance is formulated by a highly credentialed scientific team that can blend these ingredients perfectly to ensure maximum benefits, but as importantly that do not interact adversely. Xtend-Life also uses only standardized herbal extracts, the purest herbal extracts with the highest quality and therapeutic benefits, and they adhere to strict pharmaceutical GMP compliance, which is the toughest in the industry.

We hope this webpage discussing milk thistle benefits was useful to you!

To Your Health!

The Editors

More than Milk Thistle Benefits at our Herbal Nutritional Supplement Web- Page

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