December 5 2008
Milk Thistle for Liver Repair
by Jo Hartley, citizen journalist
(NaturalNews) There may be disagreement from gardeners and landscapers about the positive aspects of milk thistle, but as far as its herbal benefits, milk thistle is a very beneficial plant. When mature, it can be several feet tall and it boasts a pretty purplish full bloom on top. It is best admired carefully, however, because its stem and leaves have sharp thorns. You will discover that navigating these thorns is worth it when you learn all of the benefits that can be derived from this powerful plant.
•The stem can be peeled to remove the thorns and then can be consumed like celery.
•The leaves can be steamed similar to spinach.
•The roots can either be boiled or even eaten raw.
•The seeds are edible as well (however these are potent and this should only be done under the supervision and guidance of an expert).
The interesting thing about this herb (and many others) is that the way most of us consume our herbs is to automatically purchase the prepared (and often) synthetic version of the herb. Milk thistle is a great example of an edible herb that when eaten in its natural state can be not only delicious, but beneficial for our bodies. Milk thistle has long been a recognized beneficial herb by herbalists and is also very popular in Europe.
Milk thistle contains flavonoids that have direct beneficial effects on the liver. There are even recent studies that have concluded that the flavonoids contained in milk thistle can help treat acute and chronic hepatitis, jaundice, and may even counter the ill effects of alcohol consumption and some drug consumption. In short, milk thistle can repair the liver and even promote the development of new liver cells.
The liver is the second largest organ and the proper function of the liver is paramount to humans’ overall good health. The liver produces bile, which is needed for fat breakdown. The liver also detoxifies the pollutants that enter the bloodstream. These detoxification abilities include alcohol, nicotine, and toxins from the air around us (including carbon monoxide). As our environment becomes more and more toxic our livers must work ever harder to keep up. People who work with chemicals, who are exposed to second-hand smoke, or who regularly drive in rush-hour traffic should seriously consider helping their liver out by supplementing with milk thistle.
Milk thistle is not one of the new miracle supplements that are being promoted among the supplement manufacturers. It is a powerful herb with a specific purpose and function that can benefit a large segment of our population. Almost everyone comes into contact with chemicals on a regular basis. Unfortunately, many of us are exposed to second-hand smoke all too often. Additionally, a large percentage of us spend time every day in rush-hour traffic. For these reasons, everyone could benefit from supplementing their diets with natural milk thistle.