Liver is the largest internal organ of the human body and perhaps is the busiest and the most critical part of our entire physiological system. Standing in at around 3 pounds, this massive organ helps your body in crucial functions such as detoxification, improving your digestive abilities, storing vitamins and minerals and enhancing your metabolic rate.
In fact, the liver is often termed as your primary infiltration organ. It performs more than a whopping 300 functions to protect you against disease and infection arising from over 70,000 chemicals that have a potential to trigger liver damage.
What Is Milk Thistle
Milk thistle (silybum marianum), also known as Mary thistle or holy thistle, is an herb that grows naturally in the Mediterranean areas of Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. It is a flowering herb from the daisy and ragweed family, it has silymarin, a flavanoid complex, as its biologically active ingredient that gets concentrated in the hepatic tissue after ingestion. Research studies show that milk thistle extract has effective anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant properties. Put in technical terms, silymarin aids the synthesis of proteins in your body by altering the external layer of the liver cells that blocks toxins and facilitates their elimination.
Read on to know more about the series of beneficial properties of the miracle herb, milk thistle and its extract, the silymarin.
Milk Thistle as a natural remedy – 4 key ways
Milk thistle strengthens the liver, protects liver cells from incoming toxins and allows it to process and release toxins that are already there. It also acts as an anti-depressant, helping to move stagnant liver energy. It is also an effective natural remedy for a healthy liver as it is aiding in liver cleansing and rejuvenation.
There is substantive amount of research that shows effectiveness of milk thistle for patients whose liver gets damaged due to exposure to industrial toxins like toluene and xylene.
Below are 4 most important ways in which milk thistle serves as a natural remedy for your liver.
1. Prevents NAFLD
Research points towards milk thistle’s critical role in halting the progression of the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Apart from stopping its growth, milk thistle can even help in reversing the effects of the disease that mainly gets aggravated due to conditions like diabetes and obesity.
2. Performs metabolic functions
Earlier in this article, we mentioned how your liver helps in improving your metabolic functions. In fact, your liver single-handedly ensures a healthy metabolic rate through its critical functions. When included in your diet, milk thistle can help in liver tissue regeneration in conditions like cirrhosis by supporting these metabolic functions, through the following actions:
- Prevention of absorption of toxins
- Maintaining permeability and stability of the membrane
- Lowering the oxidized LDL cholesterol levels through its strong cellular antioxidant properties
- Prevention of accumulation of the disease causing collagen fibers
3. Fights critical liver diseases
Apart from NAFLD, milk thistle has also been found to be effective as a natural remedy in other liver conditions such as:
- Chronic active hepatitis
- Alcoholic cirrhosis
- Hepatic toxicity
4. Fights against cancer
Silymarin is believed to have anti-metastatic properties which makes it a powerful agent against various strains of cancer. It can effectively help fight the malignant conditions of liver, colon and skin and also serve as an effective chemo preventive agent against other forms of metastatic cancer such as prostate cancer.
You can include milk thistle in your diet in the form of the herb itself, have a milk thistle tea or have it as a milk thistle extract supplement.
A Word to Share
Liver damage can be quite debilitating and can have the potential to adversely affect the quality of your life. Whether it is an alcohol-induced damage or the other way around, milk thistle and its extract silymarin can act as powerful protective and healing natural agents. Have you ever had an experience where you’ve been keen to search for a suitable natural remedy for liver ailments that just don’t respond well to the usual medications and treatments?