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Milk Thistle - Silybum Marianum:
(cool, bitter, sweet; enters the Liver and Spleen)

Milk Thistle FlowerMilk Thistle protects and regenerates the liver in most liver diseases such as Cirrhosis (hardening of the Liver), Jaundice and Hepatitis, (inflammation of the Liver), and Cholangitis (inflammation of bile ducts resulting in decreased bile flow). It is one of the best examples of preventative medicine that we have today as it not only protects each cell of the liver from incoming toxins, but simultaneously encourages the liver to cleanse itself of damaging substances, such as alcohol, drugs, medications, mercury and heavy metals, pesticides, anesthesia, and even the most poisonous of mushrooms, the Amanita or Death-cap mushroom.

This herb is wonderful and appropriate for anyone who is under stress, uses alcohol, recreational drugs, prescription medications, or lives in today's modern times of pesticides, environmental toxins, and pollution? Virtually every person in an industrial nation.

One of the special qualities of Milk Thistle is that it cleanses and detoxifies an overburdened and stagnant liver while also being able to strengthen and tonify a weak liver; thus, delivering potent medicine to clogged, excess conditions as well as to weakened, deficient conditionals. One of the tasks of the liver is to cleanse the blood. If the liver energy is stagnant it will be unable to effectively cleanse the blood; this can result in skin problems ranging from acne to psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis. Milk Thistle is a powerful herb for supporting the liver to purify the blood and is one of the best herbs for the skin disorders mentioned above. It is also effective for treating congestion of the kidneys, spleen, and pelvic region.

The Bowels:

Milk Thistle is a gentle and mild laxative due to its ability to increase bile secretion and flow in the intestinal tract. This herb can have actions ranging from lubrication and softening of the stools to a mild laxative effect, to actually balancing individuals that alternate between diarrhea and constipation. (In patients with stools that alternate between constipation and diarrhea, Oriental Medicine would most likely suspect liver involvement.) This formula has been seen to improve bowel regularity and stool consistency in individuals with this type of alternating presentation. This is due to the astringent nature of the Dandelion Root combined with the softening and moistening nature of the Milk Thistle).

Inflammation:

Milk Thistle is also a Demulcent, meaning that it soothes and moistens the mucus membranes, kidney and bladder irritations and inflammations in general. Being a demulcent, it also greatly softens and moistens the skin. Patients with skin problems ranging from acne to severe eczema have reported a clearing of skin impurities, healing of redness and inflammation, a dramatic softening and moistening of dry, cracking skin, and a noticeable glow and radiance to the skin quality.

Treatment of Liver Disease - Hepatitis and Beyond:

Milk Thistle has been found in recent years to be a major player in the treatment of Liver Disease. Because it helps lower enzyme levels and facilitates the liver in its process of detoxifying the body. Among all known herbal remedies, Milk Thistle finds its place as the leader in herbs to treat liver disease. Physicians have prescribed Milk Thistle for Hepatitis to keep down inflammation, Cirrhosis to soften the liver, Liver Cancer to aid in detoxification, and many dysfunctions of the Gall Bladder System. It also helps protect the liver for those individuals that are taking prescription medications known to elevate liver enzymes.

Gall Bladder Disease:

Because Milk Thistle is both a demulcent and it stimulates bile flow, it is a natural for treating a wide array of Gall Bladder diseases and Symptoms. Milk Thistle can calm down an inflamed Gall Bladder while at the same time clearing out any stagnation that might be present. When using Milk Thistle to combat Gall Bladder symptoms, it is important to verify that there are no Gall Stones present which would be too large for the gall bladder to pass. The only way that this can be known is to visit your local physician and get a clearance from them to proceed.

Milk Thistle's Active Ingredient - Silymarin:

Silymarin Chemical StructureSilymarin is the key constituent in Milk Thistle Seed. Silymarin is a flavonoid composed of 4 isomers: silybinin, silychristin, silydianin, isosilybinin. Silymarin is only soluble in Alcohol and not water, thus making an alcohol extract the preferred medium of extraction. Much research has been done on Silymarin and at this time the only known source is the Milk Thistle Seed. For more information about Silymarin Extraction, Please visit our Extraction Page.


How To Make Tea:

Milk Thistle is unique in that you can not make a medicinal cup of tea out of milk thistle seed and water alone. Silymarin, the active ingredient in Milk Thistle, is alcohol soluble. What this means is that Milk Thistle is not extracted in water effectively. In our research alcohol based extracts are the most effective means of ingesting Milk Thistle. This is why our company was born. It is not effective for anyone to buy milk thistle seed in bulk for the use of making traditional herbal tea. We wanted to create a solution. So, if you want to make milk thistle tea, your best bet is to find a high quality extract. From here, 1) Heat up a cup of water to near boiling. 3) Add the extract to the water and now you have an effective cup of milk thistle tea to enjoy. For more information on Dosage, visit our basic dosage page.

Side Effects:

There are no known contra-indications to Milk Thistle supplements. There is, however, a caution for HIV patients, because many medications taken by individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS (PHAs) - such as protease inhibitors and non-nukes are processed by the liver enzyme CYP3A4 which is decreased by Silymarin. If Milk Thistle is taken by someone using protease inhibitors or non-nukes, it has the potential to raise levels of these drugs. This should not be a concern as long as levels of these drugs are monitored closely and dosage is adjusted to reach the desired levels.

Properties:

Hepato-protective: Protects liver cells from incoming toxins, thereby also allowing it to more effectively process and release toxins that are already built up in the system.

Hepato-tonic: Strengthens the liver to function more effectively.

Anti-depressant: By helping to move stagnant liver energy.

Demulcent: Soothes and moistens. For both kidney and bladder irritations, as well as mucous membranes and inflammations of the skin and integumentary system.

Laxative: Mildly lubricates the bowels.

Physician's Grade Milk Thistle

More Information

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DISCLAIMER:
This information has not been reviewed by the FDA, and as such should not be taken as medical advice or medical fact. We request that all practitioners refer to their clinical training and experience when evaluating the true effectiveness and use of these herbs with their patients. (The organs listed in our literature, such as Liver, refer to the common Traditional Oriental Medical functional groups, and may not directly relate to the anatomical counterpart or commonly known functions at all times.) When in doubt, please refer to such texts as the Herbal PDR and peer reviewed journals for the most recent list of clinical studies as well as side affects and contra-indications. We ask that practitioners please read all the provided information in order to best acquaint themselves with all the uses and indications for this product.

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