What is Milk Thistle Extract
Based on the wiki encyclopedia, milk thistle is a thistle or weed of the genus Silybum Adans, a flowering plant of the daisy family. They are native to the Mediterranean regions of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. The other names for milk thistle are: Silymarin, Marian Thistle, Mediterranean Thistle, Mary Thistle, Holy Thistle, Silybum, and Marianum.
Milk thistle is a plant native of Europeans. The folks have been using it to cure liver and gallbladder disorders. The active constituent of milk thistle extract is thought to be silymarin, a flavonoid found in the seeds. Europeans were among the first to use milk thistle seeds as an herbal treatment for liver disorders.
What is milk thistle extract? Milk Thistle Extract is an herbal supplement that detoxifies and protects vital liver functions and more. Milk thistle gets its name from the milky white fluid that comes from the plant's leaves when they are crushed. It is native to southern Europe, southern Russia, Asia Minor, and North Africa, and has also been naturalized to North and South America. The upper ground parts and seeds are used to make medicine. The seeds are more commonly used.
Milk thistle seeds contain a bioflavonoid complex known as silymarin. Silymarin, is the active ingredient in milk thistle, is simply the purified extract of the fruits (seeds) of the milk thistle plant. It is responsible for the main medical benefits of the milk thistle plant, and it is made up of three main flavonoids called silibinin, silidianin, and silicristin. These components help repair liver cells damaged by alcohol and other toxic substances. Silymarin also keeps new liver cells from being destroyed by the similar toxins. It has soothing effect on liver inflammation and a strong antioxidant.
What is milk thistle extract significance to human’s health?
People use milk thistle extract for various ailment such as: Hepatitis, Cirrhosis and liver problems. Milk thistle supplements have been explored for chronic hepatitis; however, more well-designed studies are needed before it can be recommended for this condition. Some studies suggested that milk thistle supplements may be beneficial for people with cirrhosis. It may improve liver function. More research is needed, however, because many of the studies conducted so far on milk thistle and cirrhosis. Milk thistle extract may shield the liver against toxin from acetaminophen (Tylenol), alcohol and other drugs. It’s reported in Europe that milk thistle administered to patients when they are given medications known to cause liver problems.
However, the adverse effect of milk thistle may include indigestion, headache and itching. In some cases, milk thistle may result in heartburn, gas, diarrhea, joint pain and sexual dysfunction. There have been several reports of anaphylactic shock in people who have used milk thistle products. People with allergies to daisies, artichokes, kiwi, common thistle or plants in the flower family may also be allergic to milk thistle. Pregnant or nursing women are not advisable to take milk thistle extract for there was study conducted to prove it’s safe for them.
In the theory, milk thistle may lower blood sugar levels, those who have diabetes, hypoglycemia and those taking medications or supplements that affect blood sugar levels. So extra care and should ask their physicians advice before taking milk thistles. In addition, it could have an estrogen-like effect, therefore people with hormone-sensitive conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids or breast cancer, uterus and ovaries should avoid milk thistle, particularly the above ground parts of the plant. It may reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. One component of milk thistle can inhibit an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase, which is involved in the activity of oral contraceptives.