Milk Thistle is an herb which becomes popular in both ancient herbalism and modern clinical trials. This works for the protection and stimulation of liver. Medical researchers in 2010 acknowledge the connection of unwanted weight gain and maximal liver function. Taking this milk thistle can help restore the body’s ability in metabolizing fat effectively. However milk thistle can have the risk of causing allergic reaction or can upset digestion so it is better to talk with your doctor first prior to the use of milk thistle.
Theory about Milk Thistle
According to holistic nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman, an author of more than 30 books about natural health and weight loss which include “The Fat Flush Foods,” the symptoms that your liver is not functioning effectively are weight gain, bloated abdomen and cellulite. Milk thistle is said to help in healing the liver in many ways by promoting the growth of new cells, inhibits inflammation and repair oxidative stress at cellular level as being mentioned by the National center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
About Fatty Liver
There are some cases wherein fat accumulates in the liver cells of some individuals which can result to nonalcoholic liver disease known as fatty liver. This condition is related to obesity and inflammation of the liver. Moreover, this fatty liver can prevent the metabolism of fat leading to weight gain. It was recorded in the United States that 15%-20% of their population suffers from fatty liver. This record is according to Liver Doctor, the website of Dr. Sandra Cabot, MD, and a gynecologist in New South Wales Australia. For people who are suffering from fatigue, who are prone to colds and flu, who have high cholesterol, who have type 2 diabetes and who got hard time losing weight must go to their doctor and have your fatty liver tested. Milk thistle is recommended by Dr. Cabot for the recovery from fatty liver.
Precautions about Milk Thistle
Milk thistle belongs to the same family with chrysanthemums, daisies and ragweed. So if a person has allergies with them you may likely to experience the same with milk thistle. Stimulation of bile production can cause digestive side effects and overall, the NCCAM noted that many people tolerate thistle as well.
Research on Milk Thistle
Silibinin is the most bioactive component of milk thistle and it was proven effective in reducing inflammation of the liver and helps in restoring normal liver function in rats suffering from fatty liver. This was mentioned in the 2009 study and was published in the journal “Evidence-based Complementry and Alternative Medicine” by Yara Haddad and her colleagues of the University of Montreal and Laval University in Quebec, Canada. The authors of the said study also concluded that milk thistle is a good candidate for the therapeutic treatment of fatty liver.
To achieve best result for liver support, herbal healing experts suggested the use of milk thistle in combination with dandelion. It was found out in the list of FDA’s on foods that are generally safe that the dandelion root has no known drug interactions. However, it is not recommended for people with bile duct obstruction or gallstones as stated in the Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Dandelion root like milk thistle is one of the traditional Chinese medical treatments for cleansing the gallbladder and the liver says Jason Elias who is an acupuncturist and herbalist and at the same time founder of Integral Health Associates in New Paltz, New York and also co-author of “Chinese Medicine for Maximum Immunity.”
Milk thistle does not have a direct effect on cellulite. It only has an effect on the restoration of a well functioning liver. And it is known that a malfunctioning live may cause weight gain and cellulite. In this case, milk thistle improves liver function, thus reducing the appearance of cellulite.