Milk thistle, a Mediterranean flowering plant belonging to the family of daisy flowers, is often used as a natural treatment for various health issues and detox regimens. Various studies have proved its detoxifying effect, which may be particularly beneficial for treating liver-related problems.
Silymarin, the active ingredient in milk thistle, has detoxifying properties that are very beneficial for the health of liver. A recent study conducted on mice suggested that milk thistle can effectively improve diet-induced liver damage. According to researchers, silymarin works as an antioxidant and reduces generation of free radicals.
Liver is an important organ in our body and it helps in various functions including filtration of blood coming from the digestive tract. Liver is also among the biggest internal organ in human body. As liver detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs, liver health is extremely important for overall health. Interestingly, liver has self healing and self-regenerating character unless the damage is beyond a certain limit.
Some other studies suggested that use of milk thistle, as prescribed by a qualified health expert, can help a lot in aiding individuals suffering from alcohol-related diseases of liver. However, the researchers hinted that more research is needed to find a stronger evidence of efficiency of milk thistle in curing alcohol-related, toxin-induced and drug-induced liver diseases.
In around half a dozen researches on milk thistle’s effect on chronic liver disease, most reported considerable progress in one measurement of liver function, that is, albumin, aminotransferases and malondialdehyde, when compared use of milk thistle with placebo.
The anti-inflammatory properties of milk thistle also make it apt to be used for supporting liver health as inflammation of liver often cause a range of potentially deadly health conditions.
A different placebo-controlled study evaluated the effect of milk thistle on viral hepatitis. It found considerable improvement in bilirubin and aspartate aminotransferase. In a larger study, milk thistle was found to have a notable trend in the direction of histologic improvement.
In some clinical studies, with different durations of therapy, milk thistle was found to be effective in improving liver function and reducing symptoms of jaundice and gallbladder disorders, as compared with placebo. However, the same studies established that the effectiveness of this natural cure differs across preparations and vary with the dose of the natural supplement. While milk thistle has been found effective in treating a range of health conditions such as cholesterol and type-2 diabetes, most researchers unanimously claim that this herb can play even a greater role in supporting liver health.