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What Are the Benefits of Milk Thistle?

Thursday, 13 Jan 2011 03:47 PM

The biologically active ingredient found in the Milk Thistle seed called Silymarin is an herbal remedy that dates back to the Greco-Roman era and has several health benefits because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Milk thistle is a native plant of the Mediterranean region and can be found growing in diverse areas throughout the globe.
Numerous studies and research conducted have shown the ability of Milk Thistle to normalize elevated blood tests in patients with liver disease, particularly those suffering damage sustained from regular alcohol abuse.
Milk Thistle lowers cholesterol levels, reduces insulin resistance in people who have diabetes along with cirrhosis, reduces the growth of cancer cells, and even reduces the effects of a hangover. Herbalists and physicians across the globe use Milk Thistle to treat early liver damage, and to protect against the formation of cirrhosis. Most recently, Milk Thistle benefits have proven to boost the immune system and fight off illness, gallstones, and skin cancer. It also acts as an anti-aging remedy since it is full of antioxidants. People who are readily exposed to toxins found in the workplace and residential pollutants may also benefit from Milk Thistle.
The extract of the Milk Thistle seed, Silymarin, has been used conventionally for several years now to treat chronic liver disease, type II diabetes, and hepatitis C. Silymarin is a group of flavonoids which help repair damaged liver cells while protecting new liver cells from being destroyed. Typically, Milk Thistle extract contains 65 to 80% Silymarin.

Milk Thistle is available as an herbal supplement in capsule form, liquid extract, tincture, and complex forms. The complex form is easier to absorb than the other forms because it attaches itself to the cell membranes easily and offers quicker protection. Milk Thistle is now widely used and sold as a liver “cleanser” and any form of Milk Thistle can be considered therapeutic.

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