Not Just a Weed!

Milk thistle is often recognized as an unwanted weed. However, the milk thistle plant has been used for many alternative remedies throughout the years. This plant is native to Europe & was since introduced to North America by early settlers. Milk thistle is now found throughout eastern United States, South America, Africa, Australia & Asia. 

Historically, milk thistle was used for liver disorders & gallbladder issues. It is now found in supplements that help with hepatitis, cirrhosis, jaundice, diabetes, & other conditions. Milk thistle contains a flavonoid called silymarin that acts as an antioxidant & has anti-inflammatory properties. Silymarin may also help the liver repair itself by growing new cells. 

Milk thistle is a common remedy suggested for alcoholic hepatitis & alcoholic cirrhosis. Many studies show that milk thistle improves liver function & increases survival in people with cirrhosis or chronic hepatitis. 

Milk Thistle & Mushrooms? 

Traditionally, milk thistle was actually used as an emergency antidote for poisoning by death cap mushroom. Animal studies have concluded that milk thistle completely counteracts the toxic effects of the mushroom when given within 10 minutes of ingestion. 

Milk Thistle & Cancer

The benefits of silymarin are significant & include anti-cancer properties, such as stopping cancer cells from dividing & reproducing, shortening the lifespan of cancer cells, & reducing blood supply to tumors. Other studies have shown that milk thistle can act synergistically with chemotherapy.

Milk thistle has also been shown to have growth inhibitory effects on a wide range of human cancer cell lines including cancers arising from the prostate, breast, colon, lung, liver, bladder, and cervix. It can suppress the proliferation of these cells, while at the same time increasing the rate at which the die. In addition, it can sensitize cancer cell lines to the killing effects of certain cytotoxic chemotherapeutic drugs. Thus, Milk thistle may have potential both for retarding the growth and spread of cancer and for boosting the response of cancers to chemotherapy.

Dr. Conners’ favorite Milk Thistle product: Liver-ND

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