Milk thistle ocd


Nutritional and herbal supplements in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder

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Milk Thistle Can Help Fight Symptoms of OCD

Did you know that milk thistle has recently been touted as a natural remedy to help manage the debilitating symptoms of OCD?

If you or anyone you know is living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), proclaiming the symptoms of this mood disorder as debilitating is a vast understatement. OCD symptoms usually revolve around irrational fears, repeated thoughts, and compulsions.

But even if you’ve figured out how to manage the symptoms and compulsions, the side effects of many FDA-approved OCD medications can introduce a wide swath of issues and side effects.

OCD Medications

While the cost of most OCD medications currently available on the market is actually quite reasonable, the common side effects that occur are definitely not. According to the International OCD Foundation about half of OCD patients stop taking their medications due to negative side effects. That’s an alarmingly high percentage, leaving roughly 1.1 million people of the 2.2 million OCD sufferers in the United States seeking alternative treatment options (2) and natural remedies.

Fluoxetine (Prozac), for instance, clocks in at roughly $16 for 21 capsules if you’re buying with the drugs.com discount card, but the side effects are often not as easy to swallow (3).

Fluoxetine is what’s known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) which aims to increase serotonin levels in the brain. Other SSRIs on the market include Fluvoxamine (Luvox), Paroxatine (Paxil), and Sertraline (Zoloft) (3).

Common side effects of SSRIs include:

  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • insomnia
  • nervousness
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • reduced sexual desire
  • erectile dysfunction
  • blurred vision

The irony of this list of side effects being associated with drugs intended to treat anxiety, depression, and OCD is not lost on us, and ultimately begs the question, “What naturally helps OCD?”

Luckily, more and more experts are turning to natural remedies to answer that question and circumvent the litany of side effects.

Also known as Silybum marianum, milk thistle is a perennial herb native to many continents and countries across the globe, including Southern Europe, Southern Russia, Asia Minor, Northern Africa, and the Americas.

Milk thistle has long been utilized as an anti-inflammatory agent offering numerous benefits to our liver, cholesterol, cardiovascular health, menopause symptom relief, and even gallbladder disorders.

And, most recently, milk thistle is gaining traction as a natural remedy to help manage the symptoms of OCD.

The benefits of milk thistle are believed to come from silymarin, an anti-inflammatory compound present throughout the entire plant, but highly concentrated in milk thistle seeds (4). While milk thistle is considered a noxious weed in various parts of the United States, it has little oral consumption value and is best absorbed in tablet or capsule supplement form, but can also be consumed as a tea or oral tincture.

The Proper Dosage

In trying to determine the proper milk thistle OCD dosage, herbalists and experts tend to recommend 200-400mg divided across two or three doses per day (5). UltraThistle, the highest potency milk thistle formula, has been scientifically proven to be up to 10x more absorbable and up to 20x more effective than other standardized milk thistle formulas.

Milk Thistle Beyond OCD

While more research into milk thistle, silymarin, and its effectiveness in treating OCD is definitely needed, there is a wealth of information supporting the other health benefits of milk thistle for a host of ailments:

Liver Health – It is believed that milk thistle and silymarin bolsters liver function by prohibiting toxic substances from binding to liver cells (6). Not only does this help prevent cirrhoris, but may also be advantageous for those living with hepatitis or other liver diseases.

Type 2 Diabetes – According to research published in Phytomedicine in 2015, silymarin improved antioxidant capacity in the body and decreased inflammation in adults with type 2 diabetes by beating the placebo in a triple blind trial. Researchers believe that silymarin reduced the oxidative stress traditionally attributed with diabetes (7). Also notable is the fact that, of the 40 subjects that completed this trial, none had any adverse events or side effects with milk thistle supplementation (7).

Neurological Disorders – Milk thistle has long been used to alleviate the inflammation commonly associated with a host of neurological disorders such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s Disease (8).

In reducing oxidative stress, milk thistle is believed to be neuroprotective by helping prevent decline in brain function. In a mini “Review on the Chemistry and Neuroprotective Effects of Silymarin,” published in 2017, researchers went so far as to say that silymarin promotes the “inhibition of the inflammatory response generated during neurodegeneration.”

4 More Natural Herbs for OCD

Milk thistle and its antioxidant properties are promising in managing OCD symptoms – but it may also be beneficial to explore other herbs for OCD treatment to bolster and round out a supplement regimen.

Below is a short list of 4 widely available and very affordable herbs with some serious natural health benefits for OCD sufferers:

  1. Valerian – Long utilized as a sleep aid, this root also offers tangible relief from anxiety, restlessness and other anxiety disorder symptoms. While its mechanisms are still largely a mystery, according to the Toxnet, numerous compounds found in valerian root demonstrated sedative properties in animal studies. It’s theorized that valerian extract stimulates nerve cells into releasing the chemical GABA, (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which slows down nerve cell activity to induce relaxation (9).
  2. Chamomile – In a 2009 study examining the effectiveness of chamomile supplement capsules, researchers found chamomile to be safe and effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety when they observed chamomile capsules to beat the placebo in their double blind trial (10). Researchers wrote that “chamomile was associated with a greater reduction in mean HAM-A scores (Hamilton Anxiety Ranking)—the study’s primary outcome measure.
  3. Lavender –Whether steeped in water and drank, or diffused as an oil using aromatherapy, lavender is no joke when it comes to the anxiety and stress management associated with OCD (11). Studies have already shown that lavender works wonders on the nervous system in dealing with neurological disorders.
  4. Lemon balm – Lemon balm can reduce some symptoms of anxiety, such as irritability and excitability (12). Lemon balm is non-toxic and considered safe for any length of use. Applying lemon balm to the face or hands of patients dealing with neurological diseases has shown a decrease in agitation and may help curb the compulsions associated with OCD (12).

Take Precautions

Before introducing milk thistle into your diet, new supplements – or any other herbs for OCD for that matter – you should consult your physician.

This is especially important if you are taking any other medications for menopause or any blood thinners, such as statins. Some medications have been known to interact with milk thistle negatively. Exercise caution and start slow.

References

1. https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/ocd-treatment/meds/, International OCD Foundation, “Medications for OCD,” By By Michael Jenike, MD, Retrieved May 5, 2019

2. https://theoakstreatment.com/blog/ocd-facts-and-statistics/, The Oaks Treatment, “OCD Facts and Statistics,” Published June 18, 2018, Retrieved May 5, 2019

3. https://www.psycom.net/ocd-medication-guide/, Psycom.net, “OCD Medication Guide,” By Kathleen Smith, PhD, Last Updated September 21, 2018

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20564545, Phtotherapy Research, “Milk thistle in liver diseases: past, present, future,” Published October 24, 2010, Retrieved May 5, 2019

5. https://www.drugs.com/npp/milk-thistle.html, Drugs.com, “Milk Thistle,” Last updated on Mar 1, 2019, Retrieved May 5, 2019

6. https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-benefits-of-milk-thistle-88325, VeryWellHealth. com, “The Benefits of Milk Thistle,” By Kathee Wong, Updated March 08, 2019, Retrieved May 5, 2019

7. https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0944711315000227, Phytomedicine, “Effects of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn.(silymarin) extract supplementation on antioxidant status and hs-CRP in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial,” By Soraiya Ebrahimpour Koujan, Bahram Pourghassem, Gargari Majid, Published February 15, 2015, Retrieved May 5, 2019

8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28025940, Current Drug Targets, “A Mini Review on the Chemistry and Neuroprotective Effects of Silymarin,” By Devi KP, Malar , Braidy , Nabavi , Nabavi, Published 2017, Retrieved May 5, 2019

9. https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@[email protected]+1964, Toxnet, “Valerian Root,” Reviewed by SRP on 9/9/2014, Retrieved May 5, 2019

10. https://nccih.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/040310.htm, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, “Study Shows Chamomile Capsules Ease Anxiety Symptoms,” Last Updated October 21, 2015, Retrieved May 5, 2019

11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/, Evidence Based Complementary Medicine, “Lavender and The Nervous System,” Published March 14, 2013, By Peir Hossein Koulivand, Maryam Khaleghi Ghadiri, and Ali Gorji, Retrieved May 5, 2019

12. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-437/lemon-balm, WebMD.com, “Lemon Balm,” Retrieved May 5, 2019

Milk thistle: all about the benefits and applications We breathe polluted air, drink poor quality water, eat foods full of chemicals. And if you add drugs, alcohol and cigarettes here, you get a killer cocktail. Everything that enters our body, sooner or later, along with metabolic products and blood, ends up in the liver.

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Milk thistle complex

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Milk thistle seed meal

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195 UAH

250 ml

Milk thistle oil

This organ neutralizes harmful compounds or at least converts them into less toxic substances. Every day, the liver cleanses hundreds of liters of blood, freeing us from toxins. For this body, the apocalypse, which we see only on the screen, has already arrived. And although nature has awarded the liver with high wear resistance, daily exhausting work slowly destroys it. It is milk thistle that is a natural remedy for cleansing and healing this long-suffering organ.

Sílybum marianum: interesting facts

Milk thistle originated in the Mediterranean countries, from where it spread to other regions. This plant from the Astrov family is known under the botanical name Sílybum mariánum, but it is often called marina thistle by the people. An unpretentious weed with spherical flowers can often be found in gardens and orchards. If timely measures are not taken to combat it, its height can reach human height. For the production of medicines that are used to improve health, milk thistle is grown in special fields in regions with impeccable ecology. In medicine, mainly the fruits and seeds of the plant are involved.

With round, light purple flowers and spiky stems, this plant grows in abundance in fields, roadsides and even summer cottages. Most of us consider it a useless weed, and only a few know about the amazing effectiveness of milk thistle. In Europe, milk thistle preparations are recommended by official medicine as part of the complex treatment of cirrhosis and other liver pathologies, as well as to strengthen the body's immune defenses.

The Latin name of the plant (Sílybum marianum) is not known to many, but everyone has met it. Milk thistle is a real storehouse of the valuable substance silymarin, which normalizes the functioning of the liver, removes toxins from it and promotes regeneration. It has a prickly healer and a number of other useful qualities. For example, he will become a true ally of those who seek to lose weight quickly and without negative consequences for the body.

Medicinal properties of milk thistle

The benefits of milk thistle have been known for thousands of years. Tea from it was successfully used to treat the liver in ancient Rome, as can be found in the treatises of Pliny the Elder. With the growing popularity of synthetic drugs, the use of the plant has gradually decreased. However, a serious deterioration in the environmental situation and, as a result, a sharp jump in liver diseases (which the 20th century brought) forced scientists to look for natural cures again. In recent years, milk thistle has been considered a real panacea ... which is also not true, because each medicinal plant has a limited list of indications. Of course, there is no “cure for all diseases” in the world, but in the field of treating liver diseases and a number of others, this inconspicuous plant is able to compete with expensive innovative drugs of the latest generation!

In the process of laboratory studies of the plant, unparalleled substances and more than a hundred micro- and macroelements necessary for a person were found in its seeds and fruits. In the late 60s, the example of German pharmacologists from science was followed by their colleagues from other countries. Thanks to an impressive number of laboratory and clinical experiments, it was possible to prove the effectiveness of milk thistle in the treatment and prevention of diseases of the liver and biliary tract, incl. cirrhosis and hepatitis. The sensational results of research on the properties of milk thistle and its individual active ingredients are reflected in the monographs of such international organizations as the American Botanical Council, WHO, and the European Scientific Association of Phytotherapy.

The flavonoid silymarin and its isomer sibilin are the main active constituents of the plant. Their highest concentration is observed in fruits. Leaves, rhizome and stem are also beneficial, although their effectiveness is not so high.

Other biologically active elements include saponins, alkaloids, omega-6, 9 and other fatty acids. The plant is rich in vitamins C, E, D, K and group B, micro and macro elements (mainly iodine, magnesium, zinc, manganese). Up to 28% of fatty oils, organic acids and other substances are found in various parts of the plant.

The main benefits of milk thistle

  • Serves as a powerful liver protector, restores the organ at the cellular level, and minimizes chronic inflammation. It is indispensable for group B hepatitis, because it does not allow the virus to spread. It is effective in the treatment of the initial stages of cirrhosis, and with the already existing one, it contributes to significant improvements.
  • Actively manifests itself as an antioxidant: it fights free radicals, prevents toxins from penetrating the liver, and successfully removes harmful substances already accumulated in the liver.
  • Used for poisoning of various nature: food, alcohol, drugs and heavy metal intoxication. Shown to people working in hazardous conditions and those who live in megacities.
  • Has a powerful anti-allergic effect. Cleansing the liver helps to improve the condition of the skin with acne and acne.
  • Recommended for diseases of the spleen, biliary and biliary tract. Helps with pancreatitis, ulcers, gastritis and colitis.
  • Relieves chronic cough.
  • Used to normalize blood sugar.
  • Used for weight loss by cleansing the body and activating the liver. Helps improve digestion and normalize metabolism.
  • It has an osteotropic effect: it increases the efficiency of calcium absorption in bone tissues.

If at the time of poisoning (regardless of its nature) there is silymarin in the body, it will not allow toxic compounds to penetrate into the liver cells and thus help to prevent negative consequences as much as possible.

Affordable milk thistle products

The main condition for effective treatment of Sílybum mariánum is diet and alcohol abstinence, as well as strict adherence to the preparation technology and storage conditions. The most effective forms for therapy and prevention include: flour, meal, oil and extract.

  1. Powder (meal, flour). When used correctly, it exhibits truly miraculous properties. It is made from dry and crushed seeds. The product has a high content of silymarin. This powder is usually taken before meals with a small amount of warm water. The meal of the plant (unlike whole grain flour) does not have a bitter taste, so even children eat it. It is a light-colored powder, which is made from the cake left after the oil has been pressed from the plant. A variety suitable for this product is currently cultivated by a limited number of companies. Due to its neutral taste, it can be used for cooking like regular flour. Such dishes will be incredibly useful, because in addition to the active component of silymarin, an impressive part of the fatty components and dietary fiber remains in the powder. The product is an additional source of fiber, protein and fatty acids.
  2. Oil. It is equally popular (in capsules or liquid), for which mature seeds also serve as raw materials. A cold-pressed product is rightly considered more valuable. It is it that can bring maximum benefit to the liver, stomach and gallbladder. In addition, cold-pressed milk thistle oil will make blood vessels more elastic, have a beneficial effect on reproductive function and effectively prevent premature aging of the body. Soups, salads, cereals and other not very hot dishes are enriched with miracle oil. It can be used not only inside, but also outside. The tool perfectly fights the signs of skin aging and cellulite, reduces the vascular network (rosacea), has excellent healing properties. Oil swabs are effective in treating vaginitis and hemorrhoids.
  3. Extract. In the treatment of the liver and pancreas, silymarin extract is also often used, on the basis of which tinctures are made; take it in capsules. This component can be seen in the compositions (rather expensive) of well-known drugs - Gepabene, Silimar, Karsil and others.
Precautions and contraindications

There are few contraindications for taking milk thistle, but they do exist. It is recommended to start the use of any dosage forms of Sílybum marianum in small doses. This rule applies to both internal use and external use. Using our table, you can quickly navigate the list of those who should not take milk thistle:

General contraindications

Special contraindications

The entire period of pregnancy. breastfeeding period.

Allergic reactions to the plant from the digestive system or skin. Other ailments.

Children under three years of age.

Diseases of the liver and biliary tract in the acute phase.

During the exacerbation of chronic ailments, milk thistle is taken only after prior consultation with the attending physician. Before use, you must carefully study the instructions to avoid overdose. Significant side effects of Sílybum mariánum were not found during the studies. However, people who decide to try, for example, the flour of this plant for the first time, should start with small quantities. Take a teaspoon of the product with a sufficient amount of liquid and observe your well-being for several days. A slight laxative effect in this case is considered the norm, since the body, under the influence of active ingredients, begins to cleanse itself of toxins. In case of cholelithiasis, it is worth refusing to take oil at all, because. it can cause stones to move. Flour and meal are a softer alternative that will suit a wide range of patients. In addition, they contain a lot of fiber, which helps to lose weight faster.

Will milk thistle help me lose weight?

In most cases, powder or oil of the plant is used for weight loss. The action of milk thistle is due to its hepatoprotective and choleretic properties, it normalizes protein and fat metabolism and accelerates metabolism. In addition, such a useful property of the plant as appetite suppression was noted. This is especially important for those who are on a diet and suffer from hunger. In pursuit of quick results, you should not abuse the product, which contains such active ingredients. Thus, the total daily intake of any Sílybum mariánum derivatives should not exceed 2-3 dessert spoons. If you decide to take milk thistle capsules for weight loss, you must strictly follow the instructions.

What is the secret of this popular natural remedy and why is this herb so effective in fighting extra pounds? The answer is in the balanced composition of biologically active substances and their complex effect on the body:

  1. Breaks down fat and removes toxins. Pronounced choleretic properties of the plant are indispensable in the process of losing weight. Thanks to them, excess fats are broken down and removed from the body much faster, the level of cholesterol, a faithful companion of excess weight, is significantly reduced. A corrosive substance called bile is synthesized in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. It is indispensable in the processes of gastric and intestinal digestion. In addition, bile successfully breaks down various types of fats that enter the body with food. When the liver malfunctions, vegetable and animal fats are not completely digested and broken down, turning into hated body fat. Milk thistle and its derivatives help the body, along with bile, to remove excess fat, as well as cholesterol, bilirubin and other harmful metabolic products. For such purposes, it is better to take the powder of the plant, since, unlike oil, it acts gently.
  2. Restores metabolism and improves immunity. Milk thistle is good in the fight against extra pounds and thanks to its composition rich in useful substances, vitamins, acids and other elements. To achieve the best result, experts recommend combining the use of oil and milk thistle meal, because these two products differ both in composition and in effect. During diets, this medicinal plant is indispensable due to its ability to neutralize inflammatory processes in tissues. But it is precisely chronic foci of inflammation that are not uncommon in those who are losing weight due to the meager menu.
What to choose for weight loss?

The use of this “prickly helper” in official medicine is primarily aimed at treating and preventing such liver diseases as cirrhosis, fatty liver, hepatitis, etc. The effect of weight loss is not mentioned in the instructions for such drugs, therefore, detailed instructions for such cases are not provided. Those who want to lose weight use the natural derivatives of Sílybum mariánum - powder and oil. That is why some experts are sure that it is not worth taking into account all the contraindications from the package inserts for chemical preparations.

  • Tea . Milk thistle infusions and teas are considered the most “weak” and sparing option in terms of therapeutic effect, therefore they are suitable for most patients. They can be brewed according to the "classic" scheme (like most medicinal plants) - 1 teaspoon of crushed fruits per 200-250 ml of boiling water. Some manufacturers offer standard dosage sachets to further simplify the process. In this case, the buyer only needs to correctly determine the amount of hot water and withstand the infusion time of the solution.
  • Oil. There are two types of milk thistle oil: extracted and cold pressed. Both are incredibly beneficial in moderation. However, for recovery and weight loss, experts advise giving preference to the second option. The first few days it is better to limit yourself to one teaspoon of oil per day. If within a few days there are no negative consequences, you can proceed to a full course. In the first week, milk thistle oil is taken 2-3 times a day for a teaspoon (the first dose is taken on an empty stomach). Further, if the body responds well, you can double the dose. The product should be taken no more than two months. Along the way, it will help solve problems with the liver and gallbladder. The only contraindication of the course is gallstone disease.
  • Powder. Milk thistle seeds are a source of dry milk thistle. Cake and meal are natural products of processing during the extraction of oil from plant seeds. The fat content in them is relatively small - from 3% to 8%. There is also whole grain flour, which is high in fat (about 30%). All three forms are rich in fiber, which is indispensable in the process of combating excess weight. They can either be taken alone or added to all sorts of dishes and drinks.

Milk Thistle for Immunity

Thanks to its valuable ingredients, the medicinal plant removes harmful toxins that often cause a number of diseases. As a powerful antioxidant, this "wonder of nature" may well compete not only with vitamins A and C, but also with fish oil. That is why it also helps to strengthen the immune system, fights free radicals and slows down the aging process. Increases Sílybum mariánum our defenses also due to the high content of lipophilic extracts in its composition. Their action is in many ways similar to bioflavonoids. However, silymarin is rightly considered the most powerful and effective assistant in strengthening the body's resistance to various diseases.

A huge advantage of natural herbal preparations is an extremely limited list of contraindications. Unlike industrial synthetic medications, milk thistle powders and oils gently and gently affect a weakened body. They are suitable for people of all ages, from young preschoolers to the elderly. With reduced immunity, the ancient commandment “Do no harm!” is of particular relevance, so most experienced doctors recommend natural products to patients.

Simple tips for use

Sílybum mariánum is taken in the morning by a teaspoon or a dessert spoon (depending on the type of medicinal form and the state of the body). It is recommended to drink the product with warm milk, which will become an additional source of calcium due to the osteotropic properties of the plant. No less effective is the remedy combined with green tea, which in itself is a powerful antioxidant. You can use milk thistle with ordinary warm water - as part of breakfast or separately.

At lunchtime, we recommend experimenting and adding milk thistle flour or butter to ready meals. The powder of the plant is not afraid of heating, but it is better to enrich slightly cooled soups, cereals, etc. with oil. These products have a neutral taste, so they will not affect the organoleptic characteristics of the dishes.

For a late dinner, you can enjoy a glass of kefir with a spoonful of milk thistle. A fermented milk product combined with fiber and silymarin will work on losing weight, even while you sleep.

Plant-based preparations aside, milk thistle is not a drug, but rather a dietary supplement. The number of active components in the composition is determined by many factors, in particular, the method of manufacture of a particular product. And although there is no single dosing system for milk thistle, most experts agree that the optimal amount of milk thistle powder is 20-150 g each day, depending on the problem you want to solve.

In the form of flour, the plant is advised to take:

  • as a detoxifier - 150 g daily.
  • Liver Support - 50g per day.

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1kg

Milk thistle flour

Milk thistle is often taken in the form of tea. Such a drink has a positive effect on digestion, liver function. In addition, it will invigorate and improve mood. Pour a teaspoon of crushed seeds with a glass of boiling water, let it brew for 10-15 minutes, then strain. To improve the taste, you can add a pinch of lemon balm or mint to the tea. The drink is taken in a moderately hot form in a glass three times a day, half an hour before a meal.

Useful properties of milk thistle, officially confirmed by science.

Milk thistle extract is an herbal remedy derived from milk thistle (milk thistle), also known as Silybum marianum.

This thorny plant has large, expressive purple flowers and white veins, which, according to legend, were formed on the leaves from a falling drop of the Virgin Mary's milk.

The active ingredients in milk thistle are a group of plant compounds scientifically known collectively as silymarin.

The amount of silymarin in milk thistle seed extract reaches high levels - 65-80%. Extracted from the plant, silymarin has antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory effects.

In traditional medicine, silymarin is used to treat diseases of the liver and gallbladder, increase lactation, prevent and treat cancer. It supports the liver in the elimination of venom from snake bites, food and industrial poisons.

Let's take a look at seven scientifically proven health benefits of milk thistle.

1. Protect and support the liver.

Milk thistle is most commonly known for its hepatoprotective properties. It is regularly used in complex therapy by people with liver diseases for various reasons, including alcohol dependence. These diseases include obesity and liver cancer, as well as hepatitis.

The extract is effective against the toxic effect of such harmful substances as amatoxins that enter the human body when poisoned by poisonous mushrooms.

Studies have shown a significant improvement in liver function in people who take milk thistle preparations. At the same time, inflammation foci are reduced and damage to this important organ is reduced.

It is not yet known exactly how the process of neutralizing free radicals occurs in the liver cells responsible for the metabolism and elimination of toxic substances.

One study showed an increase in life expectancy in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis.

However, experiments have shown that not all liver diseases can be cured with thistle plant extract. In addition, it is necessary to conduct additional experiments on the doses and duration of the drug in various hepatic pathologies.

Although milk thistle extract is widely used as a complex treatment for people with liver disease, there is no clear evidence of its benefits, especially if the patient leads an unhealthy lifestyle.

Thus, we can conclude that the drug has a therapeutic effect on the liver, but more research is needed, due to what and how quickly this happens.

2. Milk thistle lowers blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Plant extract may be useful for people with two types of diabetes.

One ingredient in milk thistle has been found to work in a similar way to some diabetes medications, improving insulin sensitivity and lowering blood sugar levels.

Indeed, recent analyzes have shown that people taking silymarin regularly had a significant decrease in fasting blood sugar and measures of HbA1c blood sugar control.

In addition, the plant's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may reduce the risk of complications in diabetic patients such as kidney failure.

More research on the effects of milk thistle on diabetics is needed for more detailed recommendations.

3. Thistle helps to get rid of acne and prevent pimples.

Acne is a chronic inflammatory disease of the upper layer of the epidermis. In itself, it is not dangerous, but it can lead to scars and scarring. This may look unaesthetic and cause inconvenience.

It is believed that one of the causes of acne is oxidative processes in cells, triggered by stress.

Thus, due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, milk thistle can help the body fight acne.

One study showed that people who took two hundred and ten milligrams of silymarin daily for two months tended to reduce acne by 53%. But this is the only study in this area of ​​the use of milk thistle in the treatment of dermatological diseases.

4. Thistle increases the effectiveness of anti-cancer therapy.

The antioxidant effect of silymarin has been suggested to have anti-cancer effects, which is especially beneficial for people undergoing complex cancer treatment.

Some animal experiments have shown milk thistle to help reduce the effects of radiation therapy. It also enhances its effectiveness against certain types of cancerous tumors and can destroy them.

However, sufficient studies in human groups have not yet been conducted to show a stable clinical effect.

Perhaps the absorption of silymarin in humans is lower than in animals in order to have a cumulative effect of the drug. More research is needed to determine how to use silymarin in anti-cancer therapy.

5. Milk thistle can protect the body's skeletal system.

A disease caused by progressive loss of bone mass is called osteoporosis. It usually develops slowly over many years and is manifested by increased brittleness and fragility of the skeleton, bones break even from minor bruises.

The benefits of milk thistle have been confirmed in experimental test-tube and animal studies. The sap of the plant has been successfully used to stimulate bone mineralization and potentially protect against bone loss.

Thistle was found to be beneficial in preventing or delaying bone loss in post-menopausal women.

However, there are no human studies to confirm these findings.

6. Milk thistle increases milk supply in breastfeeding mothers.

Milk thistle is considered a plant that stimulates lactation in lactating women. This is due to an increase in the hormone prolactin.

There are very few studies in this area, but one of them showed that women who took about four hundred milligrams of silymarin for two months produced 64% more breast milk than those who took placebo pills.

This is the only study that has been conducted under experimental conditions in humans. To have a more detailed understanding of the effect of silymarin on prolactin, more research is needed in this area.

7. Milk thistle helps prevent age-related decline in brain function.

Milk thistle has been used as a classic remedy for neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's for over 2,000 years.

Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties suggest neuroprotective effects and help prevent mental deterioration with advancing age.

In animal studies, silymarin has shown a reduction in oxidative reactions in cells, which may reduce the rate of senile dementia. These studies also found a decrease in amyloid plaques in the brains of animals with Alzheimer's disease.

Amyloid plaques are sticky clumps of amyloid proteins that can form between nerve cells with aging.

People with Alzheimer's disease have very high numbers of these plaques. It follows from this that milk thistle extract can be successfully used in this area of ​​therapy.

However, studies have only been conducted in animals and there are no reliable studies on the effects of milk thistle on people with similar neurological conditions.

In addition, it is not known whether the penetration of milk thistle into the bloodstream is sufficient to have a beneficial effect on plaque resorption, as well as the dose of the substance and the duration of administration.

This suggests that initial animal studies make milk thistle a promising remedy for protecting brain function. However, there is not enough clarity about the effect of this plant on the nervous system of people.

Are milk thistle preparations safe?

Milk thistle is generally considered safe to take by mouth. During various studies, only one percent of people had side effects even when taking large doses of the drug.

Side effects were observed in the form of diarrhea, nausea and flatulence.

It is recommended to use milk thistle with caution :

- pregnant women, because there is not enough data on the use of the plant by this category of people;

- for persons allergic to the plant family Asteraceae;

- for people with diabetes, as the plant can cause a severe drop in blood sugar levels;

- In people with certain medical conditions, milk thistle may increase estrogen levels, which affects hormone-sensitive conditions, including some types of breast cancer.


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