Milk Thistle has a long history of successfully treating liver disorders which has been confirmed by scientific study. The plant is also used to increase the production of milk in nursing mothers. Most importantly, is its ability to prevent liver damage by inhibiting the production of enzymes that lead to free radical and leucotriene formation. It is an effective antioxidant that functions mainly in the liver. In this regard, it is useful in treating cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, fatty liver deposits, inflammatory skin conditions and jaundice. Standardized extract of milk thistle are widely used pharmaceuticals in Europe. There they are employed not only as cures for disease conditions but also as a daily form of liver protection. The plant appears to have no toxic effects even when used for months at a time.
The flavonoids in milk thistle are responsible for its actions. They have the ability to prevent liver destruction and enhance liver function. These bitter compounds protect the liver by inhibiting the enzymes responsible for the production of leucotrienes and prostaglandins. These compounds are often involved in inflammatory conditions of the liver and skin. In addition, the group of silymarin flavonoids are more powerful antioxidant than vitamin E which make them useful in preventing free radical damage.
These compounds also help regenerate liver cells by stimulating protein synthesis. This results in an increase in the rate at which new liver cells are produces to replace damaged old ones. However, this cell proliferant stimulus does not affect malignant liver tissue.
In summary, milk thistle is very useful in treating all inflammatory conditions of the liver and skin.
August 22, 2011 at 12:21 am
For several years my blood tests revealed and enlarged and fatty liver. A doctor told me it was due to prescription medicines I was taking. I began taking two capsules of milk thistle per day. The capsules were about 500 milligrams (very difficult to find). After three months I took the same blood tests and my liver numbers revealed my liver was normal. I have continued taking one capsule per day for the last several years. My blood tests have never since revealed an enlarged liver. It is my understanding that milkthistle along with dandilion can help with gallstones. I was having symptoms resulting from gallstones and taking these two herbs along with more apples has resulted in my symptoms disappearing. The length of time for the effect was many months. Im sure it would depend on the severity of the problem.