Silymarin milk thistle is a flowering herb that is touted for having medicinal properties. In this article, we look at this flowering plant and the potential benefits of taking silymarin milk thistle as an oral supplement.
What Is Silymarin Milk Thistle?
The plant known as silymarin milk thistle, or just milk thistle, is native to Mediterranean countries. It is a relative of daisies and ragweed. Silymarin specifically refers to the active compound that is present in the seeds of milk thistle.
The substance and compounds within milk thistle are harvested and made into the oral supplement called silymarin milk thistle extract. Silymarin refers to the compound in milk thistle that possesses antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.
The Benefits of Silymarin Milk Thistle
Silymarin milk thistle has a history of traditional use. It has also been studied in modern medicine. There is scientific evidence to support most of the touted benefits of milk thistle. However, research is conflicting. We recommend that you talk to your doctor about silymarin milk thistle before supplementing with it.
Supporting liver health is one of the leading potential benefits of silymarin milk thistle. Studies have shown milk thistle to be helpful for those who have experienced liver disease and/or damage. It has been shown to be therapeutic for persons with liver disease (including alcoholic liver disease). It has also been shown to support liver function in those with liver damage due to other causes, including damage from free radicals.
Reducing insulin resistance: Milk thistle has been studied in regard to reducing insulin resistance. It is considered a “promising substance” for this purpose in individuals with Type-II diabetes.
Reducing cholesterol is one of the lesser-known but still worthwhile potential benefits of milk thistle. One study showed that diabetics supplementing with milk thistle had lower cholesterol levels than diabetics who took a placebo.
Protecting against asthma inflammation can also be possible with silymarin milk thistle. This effect has been studied in mice. It is believed that silymarin can help reduce inflammation of the airways in asthmatic individuals; Inflammation occurs in asthmatic individuals as an over-reactive immune response.
Preventing oxidative damage to the brain might also be achieved with milk thistle. This effect has been proven in animal studies; it is believed to carry over to humans as well. This, in turn, can help prevent age-related cognitive decline.
Silymarin milk thistle is an herbal remedy with enough scientific backing to it that is worth considering. If any of the above benefits sound like they apply to you or a family member, consider taking silymarin milk thistle.