Nature is a great giver of wonderful cures that improve our health and maintain it – some of them not fully discovered yet, and some used for millennia, up to this date. Milk thistle is one of the herbs that have been used to fight illness for many centuries and has become a traditional remedy to a certain series of ailments that trouble a great part of the population. Nowadays, its most popular and potent form is the milk thistle extract, which contains the active substance concentrated for full benefit.
The active ingredient contained by milk thistle is known as silymarin, found mostly in the seeds. It is made of a group of flavonoids and is protective to the liver, helping repair the cells damaged by alcohol consumption or other toxic chemicals. Should these toxins keep coming, the silymarin in the milk thistle extract makes for a better shield that protects the new cells from the future damage. Apart from inducing a better resistance, it also constitutes a powerful antioxidant and a good helper in inflammations that affect the liver. Silymarin is made up of three parts: silybin, silidianin and silicristin. Silybin is the most active and is largely responsible for the medical benefits observed.
The standardized preparations of milk thistle extract are made of the seeds of the plant and contain 70 – 80 % of silymarin. Therefore, the benefits of today’s techniques and technology have rendered the usage of this herb even more efficient, as we can treat ourselves with this high concentration milk thistle extract. Our ancestors were aware of its properties even though they were only consuming it as it was, and such properties were noted in antiquity by Theophrastus (4th century B.C.) and Pliny the Elder. Along the centuries, there has been much documentation concerning the specific use of the plant for liver disorders. The therapeutical value of silymarin has been proven by the clinical and pharmacological research of the past decades. It was shown to be efficient as supportive treatment in cirrhosis and hepatitis.
Milk thistle extract constitutes an excellent preventive potion because it has not only a restorative action, but a protective one as well, improving the endurance of vital tissue like that of the liver. Moreover, scientific studies have shown how it works: the silymarin takes out the toxins within the cells and blocks the entrance of more of such harmful elements. Additionally, it increases the rate of protein synthesis. With a historical efficacy and also with its modern applications validated by the hundreds of conducted studies, the herb itself as well as the milk thistle extract is now a trusted supplement recommended in so many cases or liver and gallbladder disease that it stays among the most popular alternative cures.