8 Unexpected Health Benefits of Milk Thistle

The little purple flower that can do so much good.

Feb 27, 2020

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Any time of year is the best time to start a new health regime or you just want to detox your body. In either case, milk thistle offers a natural remedy to help strengthen the body and prevent disease. Invest in this potent herb to feel your best thanks to the surprising health benefits of milk thistle.

You can purchase milk thistle as a supplement pill, powder of liquid extract. Milk thistle is also available as a tea or you can make your own by boiling the seeds and leaves. 

Supports Liver Health
A 2008 study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that milk thistle may prevent liver damage and reduce symptoms of liver disease. Add to that, more recent research conducted in 2016 found that milk thistle improves liver health in mice. We can thank the active ingredient in milk thistle, silymarin, which acts as an antioxidant by reducing free radical production. 

Helps Treat Diabetes
When combined with traditional treatments, milk thistle can help treat diabetes.According to WebMD, milk thistle improves insulin resistance, a symptom of type 2 diabetes. In addition, the herb decreases sugar levels and improves cholesterol levels.

Can Prevent Heart Disease
Because milk thistle reduces cholesterol, that means taking a regular dose can prevent heart disease, too! WebMD said that using milk thistle along with regular heart medication, like statins, the herb can also prevent liver disease, a common side effect of diabetes medication.

Improves Asthma Symptoms
The active ingredient in milk thistle, silymarin, appears to reduce symptoms of asthma, according to a 2012 study. Researchers found that, when given to mice, the herb prevented inflammation in the airways of mice with asthma.

Promotes Healthy Skin
Add some radiance and shine to your skin while you’re at it! Milk thistle reduces skin inflammation according to Medical News Today. Plus, it has an anti-aging effect.

Can Limit the Spread of Cancer
In a comprehensive review in the Journal of Biomedical Research of silibyn, an active ingredient in milk thistle, researchers found that it prevented the spread of cancerous cells in colorectal cancer.

Strengthens Bones
They say, “milk does the body good”, and it turns out so does milk thistle! In a study, researchers found that silymarin-rich milk thistle extract reduces bone loss due to estrogen deficiency.

Improves Brain Cognition
Medical News Today said that milk thistle can help you live longer and improves brain cognition. Researchers discovered that the herb enhances resistance to oxidative stress, a potential cause of Alzheimer’s disease. 

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ALLISON MICHELLE DIENSTMAN, CONTRIBUTOR
Working from her laptop as a freelance writer, Allison lives as a digital nomad, exploring the world while sharing positivity and laughter. She is a lover of language, travel, music, and creativity with a degree in Chinese language and literature.