Out there many philosophies & ideologies exist, based on which people live their lives. One philosophy that I abide by is that nature has an answer to everything. To all the problems humans have created & to all that came along unknowingly, nature has hidden solutions. As humanity progresses and evolves nature reveals its mystery in due time. One such revelation among many is the milk thistle plant.
Milk thistle has been around for some 2000 years or more and is called by many names like Mary thistle, Blessed or Holy thistle, Cardus Marianus and the scientific name Silybum Marianum. This plant has been consumed as food, taken as a proven antidote against death cap mushroom poisoning and as a possible probable cure against many liver ailments.
Milk thistle seeds are used for extraction and making the dietary supplements. The main component of it is silymarin. Silymarin is widely considered a flavonoid with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidants property. Owing to which these have been said to have many benefits. Revealing them:
- The most common use is as treatment of liver conditions like cirrhosis (caused by alcohol damage), jaundice, and fatty liver disease. Some say liver cancer too.
- It is also believed to be beneficial for maintaining brain health and hence beneficial against dementia.
- It is also said to help lower down bad cholesterol levels.
- People with type 2 diabetes can benefit from it as it helps reducing blood sugar levels, and helps regulate insulin levels.
- Also inflammatory conditions like acne can reap some benefits from these supplements.
Silymarin is known to protect cells by not letting toxins attach to them. It also aids cell repair and controls free radicals in the body. These mechanisms are responsible for their numerous benefits. However the crucial factor here is these are all believed benefits. No research so far has proven all these beyond a measure of doubt. Some studies conducted on humans have provided mixed results. So essentially before the magic can be revealed, more clinical studies are needed. Only then will we be able to know how much dosage for what duration can bring about what benefits.
That being said, milk thistle supplements are mostly safe for people to add to their diets. Side effects are far and few like gas, bloating, diarrhoea. But still caution needs to be applied in some cases, like people with ragweed allergies, as this may lead to rashes. Pregnant females or the ones suffering from breast, ovarian or uterine cancer, or fibroid tumors or endometriosis, as these supplements can increase estrogen levels which is a danger is this situation. Also people on certain medication like diabetes, heart need to be careful and consult their doctors before adding these, as they can react with certain medications.
Beyond that let natural make way in life. “Look deep into the nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein.