Benefits of milk thistle supplements are useful in treating conditions like hepatitis, liver disease, gall bladder problems, and cancer. Milk thistle supplements make for a useful herbal remedy, because of the high amounts of flavonoid antioxidants found in the herb. Also known as silybum marianum, milk thistle has been used as far back as 2,000 years ago for its benefits of numerous of health conditions.
Milk thistle benefits have been tested though numerous different animals, and has shown its effectiveness has a herbal remedy. Although test studies on humans have shown mix results of the benefits of milk thistle. A flavonoid known as silymarin, has shown the ability to protect cells in the body, including the liver. The best milk thistle supplements would contain mostly silymarin. Milk thistle extract should contain 80% silymarin, since it's the flavonoid that provides the health benefits.
Milk thistle supplements most active phytochemical found in silymarin, is known as silybin, which gives the full benefits of milk thistle. Milk thistle comes from the genus Silybum Adans, and is a plant native to the Europe, Mediterranean, North Africa, and Middle East regions. It has become popular in the European and North American culture for its health benefits of the preventing liver disease. Outside milk thistle supplements other products include milk thistle tea, milk thistle liquid extract, milk thistle powder and milk thistle tincture. The milk thistle is used from the seeds, which is where the silybin, and silymarin phytochemicals are located.
Benefits of milk thistle supplements
Warning: Milk thistle supplements can cause side effects, are used as a herbal medicine for specific health conditions. It's strongly advised that you consult with a doctor before taking milk thistle supplements.
Hepatitis - Benefits of milk thistle supplements can be treating hepatitis, specifically hepatitis C. The benefits is that milk thistle helps repair, and grow cells in the liver. A virus attacks the liver, which results into inflammation of liver that causes illness. The flavonoids provide anti-inflammatory properties, and fights off the virus. There's been mixed studies, but nothing conclusive about how effective milk thistle extract is at treating hepatitis.
Liver disease - Cirrhosis is a common condition from the result of alcohol abuse. According to some studies in Europe, milk thistle was found helpful in reducing the deaths of cirrhosis up to five years long. However, the tests weren't properly design, and further testing will be done to find more conclusive facts on the effects of the liver. The gluthathione found in thistle milk is known to be a substance used for detoxification of the liver.
Gallstones and menopausal - Milk thistle has been used for 2,000 years on its effects in treating gallstones, and gallbladder conditions. There's also indication that milk thistle supplements can help in decreasing the symptoms of menopause.
High cholesterol - There's been studies to show that animals cholesterol levels were lowered from the silybin, but there's been no indication yet whether it lowers cholesterol in humans. Flavonoids have been a known antioxidant to support proper cardiovascular health.
Cancer - Milk thistle might have anti-cancer effects from the silymarin which can reduce cancer cells from growing in the liver, breast, cervical and prostate. No clinical studies yet to suggest the effect on humans, but antioxidants are known to fight off free radical attacks. There's been reports that milk thistle have shrunk cell tumors in rats.
Where and what kind of milk thistle supplements to buy
Buy the milk thistle extract, that has at least 80% of silymarin. Without an adequate amount of silymarin, you're not getting the full effects of milk thistle. The entire benefits of milk thistle supplements comes from the silymarin. Check your local health stores, but don't buy any milk thistle supplements from a local drug store brand. Who knows what is in the capsules. Buy from herbal brands that you know and trust. You can find milk thistle supplements online at places like amazon, ebay or vitamins shoppe.
Milk thistle side effects and how to take milk thistle supplements
Only one milk thistle supplement is needed a day. They do come in different mg, though. However, check with your doctor specifically on how many is suited for you, or whether or not you should be taking milk thistle supplements. Milk thistle supplements might not be for everyone. There's known milk thistle side effects. Side effects can be caused from a reaction from allergies, and cause nausea, stomach ache, diarrhea, itching, and headaches. Women who are pregnant might be okay to take milk thistle, unless there's a history of health problems. Discuss with your doctor first, but milk thistle has been reported to help improve breast milk flow.
Milk thistle in dogs
Milk thistle has been used to treat dogs with liver disease. Canine's should not take the tincture, which is extracted with alcohol. Discuss with your vet about using milk thistle for dogs who have liver problems. It's safe to give milk thistle to dogs, but discuss with your vet, especially if he or she is on any prescribed medications. Watch for possible symptoms, like gas, loose stool, or diarrhea. If you notice these symptoms, then you're giving your dog too high of a dosage.