Thistle extracts, which are obtained from the seeds and other parts of the milk thistle plant, are used to make medicines for various liver problems and certain other health issues. Though it is believed that it can effectively help in treating various liver conditions such as jaundice, chronic inflammatory liver disease, liver damage resulting from chemicals, cirrhosis of the liver, chronic hepatitis and more, there have not been sufficient medical evidences to prove the contribution in treating these health issues. Milk thistle is also known to treat some other health conditions such as loss of appetite, gallbladder disorders and heartburn.
Silymarin, which is an active ingredient in herble extracts, acts as an excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It is mainly because of the presence of Silymarin in it that they are believed to be natural protector and supporter of the liver. Apart from being a natural treating agent for conditions such as chronic hepatitis and liver diseases related to alcohol, it is also known to improve the liver’s ability to function properly as well as detoxify and cleanse itself.
The seeds of the thistle milk plant are used to obtain highly concentrated extracts used in herbal supplements. While these seeds have been used since ancient times to cure liver conditions, in the present times medical researchers have discovered that the health benefits of milk thistle exists in the bioflavonoid complex silymarin, leading them to produce highly concentrated extracts that are standardized to 80% silymarin.
Let us discuss some of the ways it helps in maintaining and improving liver health:
Protection of Cells: it can efficiently help in preventing harmful toxins from entering into the liver by binding to the outer cell membranes. Moreover, if there are toxins already present in the liver, it can help neutralize them, thereby protecting the liver against their harmful effects. This protective feature helps in shielding the liver against harmful chemicals such as alcohol, acetaminophen, carbon tetrachloride and certain prescription medications.
Regeneration of Cells: The liver cells can get damaged due to a number of factors such as excessive alcohol consumption, chronic hepatitis, some of the common prescription drugs and more. It can naturally heal and regenerate injured liver cells.
Improves Antioxidant Activity: It helps boost a significant and powerful antioxidant produced by the body known as glutathione. It also contributes in enhancing the levels of other antioxidants in the body such as superoxide dismutase.
Help Against Fibrosis: Various factors such as alcohol abuse and chronic hepatitis (both B and C) can cause inflammation in the liver cells resulting in a condition called fibrosis. owing to its ability to block any harmful toxins from entering in the liver helps the liver cells to fight against damages and also recover from them.
Herble extracts are not only helpful in treating liver diseases, they are also beneficial in preventing the harmful effects of certain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, acetaminophen, antidepressants and cholesterol-lowering medicines, and protecting the liver against their damaging effects. In simple words, it serves the purpose of an excellent protector and cleanser of the liver.