Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a huge thistle with indented jagged white-spotted leaves and branched stem with bright purple coloured flower. It is an annual or biennial herb that belongs to the Asteraceae family. It blooms from July to September, medicinal seeds ripen in early autumn. For his appearance is milk thistle planted as an ornamental plant.
The healing effects of milk thistle were already known in ancient times
Milk thistle is an ancient medicinal herb, formerly it was called thanks to its thorns "Christ's crown". It originates from the Mediterranean, but it can grow well in our climate. It was used since ancient times as a traditional medicine administered after a snake bite. In the 17th century, people were already familiar with its positive effects on the liver, blood pressure, problems associated with the abdominal cavity, and were administered as a cure for melancholy and depression.
Milk Thistle - medicinal effects
Healing effects with which is milk thistle associated today are mainly related with liver disease. Milk thistle protects this important organ against unwanted materials commonly occurred in the diet, e.g. saturated fat, additives, nitrates, alcohol and synthetic materials in many medicines. It helps in treating inflammation and cirrhosis, but it is also very good as prevention of gallstones. It also mitigates the effects of liver damage long-term excessive alcohol intake. Milk thistle is also used for the regeneration of liver cells and blood vessels, varicose veins, gall bladder disease, spleen and duodenum, colic, jaundice and it is used as a decoction for the treatment of haemorrhoids. It is also recommended as a dietary supplement for weight reduction for its detoxifying effects.
Milk thistle also helps against:
- Infectious mononucleosis
- Medicines or food poisoning
- The effects of chemotherapy
- Circulatory disturbances
- Low blood pressure
- Migraines and dizziness
- Travel sickness
Active substances - milk thistle
In earlier times was milk thistle used to treat ailments in the form of leaves and roots. Today are mostly used seeds that are processed into teas, oils, capsules, tinctures, tablets or herbal mixtures.
The main active substance contained in this miraculous herb is silymarin which regenerates liver tissue. Silymarin has such strong effect, that it is also used for regeneration of damaged liver by drug addicts, alcoholics, persons after poisoning (e.g. fungi or medicine) after chemotherapy, for severely obese or suffering from liver cirrhosis. Milk thistle has in seed 4-6 percent this miraculous substance.
The liver is the most important organ for metabolism
The liver has an essential function in the body. It process nutrients and it is also key organ providing metabolism. They also help to detoxify the body and biotransformation, protein synthesis of blood plasma, serves as storage of vitamins, iron, glycogen and other substances, and has many other important functions. In the case of liver failure it gets to metabolic disorders and blood clotting in cases. Acute liver failure is fatal.
Milk thistle is not recommended at all for:
- Pregnant and lactating women
- People with high blood pressure
- Without consulting with a doctor for people suffering from serious diseases
Side effects of long-term use are described only in rare cases in the first few days may appear slightly laxative effects.
Milk thistle for detoxification and regeneration
Miraculous milk thistle contains components that reliably drive off toxic substances laid down in the liver. Along with this effective detoxification our liver regenerates and enables them to fulfil their function without any stress.
For the best appearance of milk thistle miraculous healing powers, it should be taken regularly for a few weeks to months, and preferably 2 - 3 times a year. It is important at this cure avoid alcohol, synthetic drugs and foods rich in fats. In more serious diseases of the liver it is more suitable to use milk thistle in tablets, oils, tinctures or capsules containing higher levels of silymarin, in case you want to regenerate and detoxify the body the tea from crushed seeds is sufficient.
Milk thistle - preparation of medicinal teas
In order to proper infuse of milk thistle seeds it is recommended to crush them, blanching or decoction of the whole seeds is not enough. To prepare medicinal teas you need 1 teaspoon of crushed seeds, poured with about ¼ l of boiling water and allow 10-20 minutes to stand, and then strain the seeds. The tea of milk thistle is drunk in small sips hot in the morning on an empty stomach, about ½ hour before dinner and bedtime. This healing cure, we should adhere to proper effect regularly for several weeks.