milk thistle

Health Tips

Milk thistle (milk thistle) is a medicinal plant with pronounced hepatoprotective properties from the Asteraceae family.

Milk thistle comes from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. In our country, this medicinal plant is widely distributed in the southern regions of the European part, in the Caucasus and in the south of Western Siberia. In culture, it is also grown in central Russia, but as an annual plant.

The healing properties of milk thistle have been known since ancient times. According to legend, people guessed about the beneficial functions of this plant not without God’s help. The Virgin Mary pointed people to milk thistle, and the white spots on the leaves are drops of her milk.

Currently, milk thistle is grown as a medicinal plant in many countries, including Russia. Scientific interest in milk thistle arose in the 60-70s of the last century, when its chemical composition was studied and clinical trials of its healing properties were carried out.

What is the secret of milk thistle?

The beneficial properties of milk thistle are mainly due to the flavonoids contained in it, mainly – silymarin (silibinin).

In addition, milk thistle rich in oils, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, F, K, selenium, copper and other micro and macro elements.

Milk thistle is widely used in medicine. Based on it, such preparations as Legalon, Karsil, Silimar, Gepabene, Hepatofalk Planta and others are made. With the same success, milk thistle is used in folk medicine, homeopathy, herbal medicine.

Despite the fact that milk thistle is even used in the form of salads for food, the dosage must be strictly observed, since milk thistle, like many medicinal plants poisonous in large quantities.

Read more: Medicinal properties of milk thistle

properties of milk thistle

Milk thistle is mainly used for the treatment of diseases of the liver and gallbladder. This use is due to the flavonoid contained in the plant – silymarin. Silymarin is able to restore damaged membranes of liver cells, improve metabolic processes in them, promote protein synthesis, hepatocyte division (renewal of liver tissue).

Silymarin protects the liver from many toxins, side effects of drugs, alcohol. In an animal experiment, milk thistle helped to recover after poisoning with the poison of a pale grebe.

milk thistle has a choleretic effect, improving the biochemical properties of bile. Due to this, milk thistle effectively normalizes digestion and stool, restores normal intestinal microflora, relieves heaviness in the hypochondrium, prevents hepatic colic and the formation of gallstones.

Milk thistle oil has a wonderful wound-healing effect., which allows it to be used for the treatment of burns, long-term non-healing ulcers, wounds. It is believed that milk thistle oil is not inferior to sea buckthorn oil in its regenerative (healing) properties.

Milk thistle: indications for use

Milk thistle and preparations from it are used:

  • in the treatment of liver diseases (hepatitis, hepatosis, cirrhosis)
  • diseases of the gallbladder (cholecystitis, cholelithiasis, dysfunction of the biliary tract, after removal of the gallbladder)
  • for the treatment of dysbacteriosis, pancreatitis, irritable bowel syndrome as part of complex therapy
  • for the treatment of psoriasis and other skin diseases, the cause of which may be a violation of the liver and gallbladder
  • with alcohol abuse
  • as a prophylactic liver protection during long-term use of any medications, including oral contraceptives
  • during chemotherapy
  • when working in hazardous industries, to protect against toxic liver damage
  • oil is used in the treatment of varicose veins of the lower extremities, for the healing of wounds and burns

In folk medicine, milk thistle is used in the form of decoctions of seeds, roots, oil, dry powder, juice.

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