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   Aug 21

6 reasons why milk thistle is good for health

It is used in the treatment of liver disease

Milk thistle contains silymarin that reduces production of free radicals in the body by acting as a potent antioxidant. It is found to inhibit the binding of harmful toxins to the liver cell membrane and also alleviates liver injury caused by drugs, alcohol and radiation. It is one of the most widely used ayurvedic medicines in the treatment of viral hepatitis, as well as alcohol-induced and toxin-induced liver complications. Read about tips to prevent liver disease.

It protects against skin cancer

The exposure to harmful UV radiation is known to be one of the main reasons for premature aging and skin cancer. Milk thistle contains an active compound called silibinin that exerts protective action against skin cancer. This thistle also plays a key role in the treatment of cancer by eliminating the cancerous cells from the body and increasing the expression of immune cells responsible for repair of damaged cells. Read about 10 facts about skin cancer.

It supports treatment of mushroom poisoning

This medicinal plant is widely used as an effective natural aid in treatment of deathcap mushroom (amanita phalloides) poisoning. Studies have shown that extracts of this plant when given within 10 minutes helps in counteracting the toxic effects along with reducing the risk of death and liver damage.

It helps in relieving seasonal allergies (allergic rhinitis)

Several research studies have shown that milk thistle is effective in relieving symptoms of seasonal allergies in affected individuals, when consumed in combination with antihistamine medications. The anti-inflammatory action of the compound called silymarin, present in milk thistle, which is responsible for providing effective relief. Read about preventive measures for allergic rhinitis.

It reduces severity of heartburn (dyspepsia)

Milk thistle is one of the most widely used traditional ayurvedic medicines to relieve heartburn and its associated health complications. This herb is used in combination with other medicinal herbs to reduce the severity of stomach pain and cramps. It is found to provide significant results in relieving vomiting, nausea and acid reflux when consumed on a daily basis for a month. Read about tips to prevent acidity and heartburn.

It improves glycemic profile in diabetics

Oxidative stress is one of the key risk factor for inducing and aggravating diabetes and its associated health complications. The seed extract of milk thistle woks effectively in lowering blood levels of HbA1c, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides along with improving glycemic levels in type2 diabetic patients. Read about 7 fruits that are good for people with diabetes.


• Milić N, Milosević N, Suvajdzić L, Zarkov M, Abenavoli L. New therapeutic potentials of milk thistle (Silybum marianum). Nat Prod Commun. 2013 Dec;8(12):1801-10. Review. PubMed PMID: 24555302.

• Bakhshaee M, Jabbari F, Hoseini S, Farid R, Sadeghian MH, Rajati M, Mohamadpoor AH, Movahhed R, Zamani MA. Effect of silymarin in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011 Dec;145(6):904-9. doi:10.1177/0194599811423504. Epub 2011 Sep 27. PubMed PMID: 21952357.

• Abenavoli L, Capasso R, Milic N, Capasso F. Milk thistle in liver diseases: past, present, future. Phytother Res. 2010 Oct;24(10):1423-32. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3207. Review. PubMed PMID: 20564545.

• Huseini HF, Larijani B, Heshmat R, Fakhrzadeh H, Radjabipour B, Toliat T, Raza M. The efficacy of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. (silymarin) in the treatment of type II diabetes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial. Phytother Res. 2006 Dec;20(12):1036-9. PubMed PMID: 17072885.

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