Milk thistle is a native plant of Europe. It was earlier used as a folk remedy to cure liver and gallbladder illnesses. The active component of milk thistle is believed to be silymarin, a flavonoid constituent of the seeds.
Benefits of milk thistle are many! It is popu lar to be acknowledged as having medicinal benefit.
Milk thistle is often suggested as a treatment for alcoholic hepatitis and alcoholic cirrhosis. But scientific studies manifest mixed conclusions. Most studies indicate milk thistle catapults liver function and enhances survival in people suffering from cirrhosis or chronic hepatitis. But trouble in the design of the research makes it tough to come to any real conclusions.
Milk thistle is mostly administered in the treatment of viral hepatitis, specifically hepatitis C. But studies again show combined results. Some found improvements in liver condition others did not.
Milk thistle has been facilitated as an emergency antidote to poisoning by deathcap mushroom. Milk thistle reduces the toxic effects of the mushroom when administered within 10 minutes of consumption as per the research conducted on animals.
Early clinical studies also indicate that silymarin and other active components in milk thistle may also help in treating cancer. These substances inhibit cancer cells from reproducing, multiplying and dividing, shortening their life span, and reducing blood supply to tumors.
You must consult your pediatrician before administering it on your child as no studies indicate whether it is safe for children. Otherwise recommended doses are 280 - 450 mg everyday in divided doses or silymarin-phosphatidylcholine complex 100 - 200 mg twice a day.
Some of the clinical studies have indicated some side effects of milk thistle. These side effects included:
Indigestion or heartburn
Loss of appetite
Stuffy or runny nose
Rash or hives
Swelling of the throat and mouth
Trouble in breathing
Unforeseen side effects can also be witnessed due to contaminants in milk thistle products. Just to avoid such troubles, it is necessary to choose a high-quality milk thistle supplement from a reliable manufacturer.