Liver milk thistle is one of the most common of the liver cleansing herbs and consists of seeds made up of three different compounds – silicristin, silidianin and silibinin.
According to the Mayo Clinic, these compounds – silibinin in particular – has been used to treat liver disorders and general gallbladder problems for over two-thousand years (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/silymarin/NS_patient-milkthistle/DSECTION=dosing).
Although milk thistle has long been associated with aiding a number of different liver problems, it is believed to be most effective at improving liver function in individuals suffering from cirrhosis and hepatitis.
Fatty liver disease is common in people who are obese, who have high cholesterol or who suffer from insulin resistance.
While many people will never suffer any consequences of a fatty liver, in as many as 25-percent of cases the individual will go on to suffer further complications such as loss of liver function, scarring and even cirrhosis.
Other liver cleansing herbs include schisandra and dandelion are believed to increase transport of toxins to the bowel, as well as help the liver deal with trauma and stress.
Can Liver Thistle Really Cleanse?
In order for a successful liver detoxification to take place, the liver needs to be stimulated so the organ will produce a higher amount of bile, says the World Health Organisation
The WHO specifically refers to milk thistle when talking about cleansing the liver, as use of the herb is believed to, among other things, repair and protect the organ.
This herb encourages toxins to leave the body naturally, without being absorbed by the liver at all.
One of the compounds also promotes liver regeneration, which is when the liver repairs minor damage by itself.
The liver is the only organ in the human body capable of self-repair, although its success depends solely on the extent of the damage.
The Milk Thistle herb is commonly used in cases of poisoning, in particular those concerning the deadly death cap mushroom.
According to research provided by the WHO, chances of survival after ingesting this mushroom were once as little 20-percent. However, since liver milk thistle has been used as a treatment, the survival rate stands at an impressive 100-percent.
Liver Milk Thistle, The Good…
I have to admit reading about liver cleansing herbs, in particular milk thistle, sparked my interest.
I couldn’t quite understand how something so ordinary looking could have such a dramatic effect on an organ as important as the liver.
In its natural state, milk thistle is considered a pest – an invasive weed that many farmers and gardeners strive to rid their land of.
Milk thistle is available from most health food and natural remedy stores, usually in seed, capsules or extract form.
It is most commonly taken as a herbal tea, usually one teaspoon of milk thistle seeds to every cup of boiled water.
It is recommended however, that you don’t use milk thistle at all unless you have consulted with your doctor.
This is because liver cleansing herbs are most successful when taken under the direction of a doctor or herbal specialist.
According to the Puristat Wellness Center, individuals should not drink more than three cups of liver milk thistle tea in one day.
Liver Milk Thistle, The Bad …
You have to remember that most detoxification programs and regimes will have some kind of negative side effects for different people.
Like most things in life, there will be people who can take liver milk thistle and those who can’t.
Generally speaking, milk thistle and other liver cleansing herbs are safe – with even pregnant women being able to take them in certain circumstances.
However, it isn’t uncommon for some people taking the herb to experience nausea, dizziness and diarrhea.
These type of side effects can wear off as the body adjusts but, as a rule, you should stop taking it if you experience any negative side effects.
Liver Cleansing Herbs Should not Substitute a Healthy Diet
According to statistics, chronic liver disease is one of the most common causes of death in America today, with 31,000 people losing their life to cirrhosis in the last year alone.
Diseases such as cirrhosis can be elevated by making certain lifestyle choices, such as reducing alcohol intake and following a healthy diet.
Taking known liver cleansing herbs, such as liver milk thistle, can also help reduce liver damage caused by certain illnesses.
However, it is not a preventative measure and people should not take the herb instead of pursuing other ways to maintain liver health.
The Puristat Wellness Center says many people take liver cleansing herbs because they believe this will allow them to eat or drink whatever they want – with no consequences.
And while liver complications due to excess alcohol or fatty foods does not affect everyone the same, taking liver milk thistle will not stop a liver complication or disease developing.
Liver milk thistle, dandelion and other liver cleansing herbs are readily available in the wild. It is important you only take these natural remedies from a proper health supplement store following advice from a professional.
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