Herbal Meds

Milk Thistle as a Herbal medicine

Where does Milk Thistle come from?

Milk Thistle has been used as Herbal Medicine since early Roman and Greek times. This herb is found mainly in Europe and Asia but is also found in Australia.

This herb medicine is a flowering herb, and the seeds contain the active ingeident called Silymari.

How can Milk Thistle help me?

Milk Thistle is can assist you in improving liver function and this herb is also believed to have protective effects on the liver.

his herb helps to lower enzyme levels and assists in detoxifying the liver. In recent years certain medical doctors have prescribed Milk Thistle for Hepatitis to keep down inflammation, Cirrhosis to soften the liver, Liver Cancer to aid in detoxification, and many dysfunctions of the Gall Bladder System.

Individuals taking prescription medication that eliminates liver enzymes might also benefit from Milk Thistle. This herbal Medicine is often used in the treatment of liver cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis (liver inflammation), and gallbladder disorders.

Milk Thistle is also a mild laxative, this due to its ability to increase bile secretion and flow in the intestinal tract.

This herbal remedy is also a demulcent, this means it moistens and soothes mucus membranes, kidney and bladder irritations and inflammations in general.

Here is a more technical description of the medicinal workings of Milk Thistle.

The active ingredient is Silymarin, this consists of a group of compounds called flavonolignands. These help the liver repair cells damaged by alcohol and other toxic substances.

Silymarin also helps keeps new liver cells from being destroyed by harmful substances such as alcohol. Inflammation is also reduced by this herbal remedy (important for people with liver inflammation or hepatitis).

Antioxidant effects are another benefit of milk thistle. Most milk thistle products are extracted from the seeds of the herb.

Most Milk Thistle Herbal Remedies contain 70% to 80% of flavonolignans (silibinin, silychristin, and silydianin) more easily known as silymarin.

What are the side effects of taking this herbal medicine? In trials conducted, Milk Thistle generally has minimal side effects. On occasion, using this herbal medicine has resulted in stomach aliments, such as upset stomach, diarrhea, and bloating.

Milk Thistle is known to produce allergic reactions in people who are allergic to plants in the same family such as ragweed, chrysanthemum, marigold, and daisy.

If I am already on medicine, what are the interactions or side effects I need to know about using Milk Thistle?

If you are on any medication, it is vitality important to discuss the use of herbal remedies with your doctor to avoid any interactions with your medication.

If you are taking the following medications, Milk Thistle may assist in protecting your liver, but please discuss this with your doctor.

Antipsychotics: This group of medications used for schizophrenia includes butyrophenones (such as haloperidol) and phenothiazines (such as chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, and promethazine)

Phenytoin : a medication used for seizures

Halothane : a medication used during general anesthesia

How do I take Milk Thistle?

If you have tablets or capsules, they can be swallowed with a large glass of water.

If your stomach is sensitive, try and take Milk Thistle as a tincture, infusion, or tea.

The most important ingridinet in Milk Thistle is Silymarin, and this is not water solulable and alcohol is recommended to extract the Silymarim.

For this reason, teas may not be very effective.

The dosage you take will be based on the Silymarin content. You may take Milk thistle with or without food.

The dosage you take varies on the severity of the problem and from person to person.

Germany's Commission E recommends daily dosages of 200 mg to 400 mg or about three capsules.

Doses ranging from 160 to 800 milligrams daily by mouth have been used for cirrhosis, hepatitis and toxic liver damage.

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