Milk Thistle (Silymarin) for Liver and Gallbladder Diseases

Milk Thistle (Silymarin, Silybum marianum) is a herb that has excellent effects to treat hepatobiliary (liver and Gallbladder) diseases, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver cancer, fatty liver, jaundice, cholecystitis, gallstones, liver poisoning and inflammation, etc.

Milk thistle is a flowering plant of the daisy family, native to the Mediterranean regions. The herb has been used for 2000 years to treat chronic liver disease and protect the liver against toxins. Milk thistle is said to be the best one of herbs in treatment of liver diseases. It is recommended for the treatment of liver damage due to toxins, cirrhosis of the liver, and chronic inflammation of the liver. Milk thistle has bitter, sweet and cooling properties. The ancient Greeks and Romans used milk thistle to treat liver ailments. During the Middle Ages, milk thistle was used to treat liver toxins. Modern health practitioners have used compounds from the seeds to treat a range of disorders including jaundice, gallstones, and peritonitis.

Milk thistle is a member of the daisy family. According to traditional Chinese medicine, flowers of daisy family, have effects to cleanse liver heat and are beneficial to liver health.

Scientific studies have found that milk thistle contains the liver-protective compounds (called silymarin). Silymarin is the mixture of flavonolignans extracted from milk thistle. Its major active constituent is Silibinin (INN), also known as silybin, which has a hepatoprotective (antihepatotoxic) properties that protect liver cells against toxins.

Milk thistle seeds contain approximately 4–6% silymarin. Milk thistle extract consists of about 65–80% silymarin (a flavonolignan complex). Research suggests that the extracts both prevent and repair damage to the liver from toluene and/or xylene. According to a 2010 study published in the journal Cancer, in a randomized double-blind placebo controlled study of 50 children, milk thistle was associated with a trend towards reducing the liver damaging effects of chemotherapy.

Milk thistle is a strong antioxidant and is used to protect the liver from toxins and drugs. It enhances liver regeneration after exposure to heavy metals, radiation, or toxic chemicals. It stimulates the growth of new liver cells, and protects liver from harmful toxins.

You can find milk thistle extract (Silymarin) in health supplements stores.

By Johns in Herbal Remedies
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