Milk Thistle for Digestion
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Milk thistle is best known as an herbal liver tonic. It is one of the most researched medicinal herbs in the world for treating liver disorders and has been historically used as a therapeutic agent in various traditional and folk medicines for centuries.
Studies have not only substantiated its traditional uses but also suggested many other additional benefits for a lot of more other aspects of digestive functions.
In this article, we’ll learn exactly what milk thistle is and how it can help indigestion. So, let’s dive into deep.
Table of contents
- What is milk thistle?
- How milk thistle can help with digestion
- How to use milk thistle
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
What is milk thistle?
Milk thistle, botanically known as Silybum marianum, is a widely used medicinal plant of the daisy and ragweed family, endemic to Mediterranean countries, but available throughout the world. It has large prickly leaves, that release a white milky substance when crushed, making it named milk thistle.
Milk thistle has a long history of therapeutic use in the treatment of numerous liver and digestion-related conditions including jaundice and alcohol abuse. The medicinal parts of this herb are either the fruits or seeds.
Milk thistle is packed with several active phytonutrients such as silybin, flavonolignans, silychristin, and silydianin that are collectively known as silymarin. These phytonutrients have been described to have tremendous therapeutic effects including antioxidant, hepatoprotective, immunomodulation, and antiosteoporotic among others.
How milk thistle can help with digestion
Milk thistle has been found to be an effective therapeutic agent to improve the overall functionalities of the digestive processes. It helps clear digestive pathways by removing toxins from the whole digestive system.
Here’re some vital benefits of milk thistle in digestion:
Improves digestion and relieves digestive issues
Milk thistle has traditionally been used to support the metabolism of food substances in Western herbal medicine for centuries. It helps break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats and increases the absorption of nutrients.
Studies have found that milk thistle can help relieve symptoms of various digestive issues including indigestion, dyspepsia, abdominal discomfort, and heartburn.
Supports liver function and eases over-indulgence
Milk thistle is widely known as a tremendous herbal liver tonic. It supports liver function and helps increase metabolic processes. Therefore, milk thistle has been found to be effective in alleviating complaints of over-indulgence and the liver’s workload that can cause constipation, sluggishness, nausea, and fatigue.
Helps improve gall bladder issues
The gall bladder acts as a reservoir of bile juice produced by the liver. It releases bile into the digestive tract and helps break down fat molecules into fatty acids and glycerol so that the body can soak up the nutrients properly. As per Western traditional medicine, milk thistle may improve gall bladder function, enhance bile flow, and improve mild gall bladder issues.
Promotes bowel movements
Healthy bile production is a vital factor in keeping bowel regularity normal and healthy. Since milk thistle benefits liver function and supports bile production, it is highly respected in natural medicine to treat symptoms of flatulence, bloating, and abdominal discomfort.
The phytonutrients found in milk thistle have excellent antioxidant properties. Toxin overload might be caused by either external factors such as excessive exposure to chemicals and alcohol consumption, or internal factors like by-product waste materials resulting from different bodily functions.
Several pieces of research suggest that the antioxidant properties of milk thistle help neutralize and remove toxins from the body. Besides, it helps protect liver cells from oxidative damages and promotes regeneration of liver cells, thus, promotes the liver’s detoxification processes.
How to use milk thistle
The dosage of milk thistle widely varies as the number of active ingredients largely varies depending on the brand and the various preparation methods used. Milk thistle supplements are available in several forms including tablets, Softgels, and capsules and all of which suggest different doses.
Besides, the dosage of milk thistle also varies depending on the existing symptoms and associated health conditions of patients. In general, the dose of standardized milk thistle extract ranges from 50 mg to 300 mg per day.
To use as a natural liver detox, a dose of 150 mg of standardized milk thistle supplement can be taken one to three times a day. For ongoing use as a digestion support, the recommended daily amount of supplementary milk thistle is 150 mg to 200 mg.
To get the optimal benefits of milk thistle, always look for high-quality milk thistle supplements that contain 50 mg to 150 mg pure and natural (at least 80%) milk thistle extract per capsule so that you can adjust your dose as per your requirements.
Precautions and side effects
Milk thistle is generally well-tolerated and considered safe with very rare reported cases of side effects.
No serious side effects have been found. The most common side effects of milk thistle may include stomach upset like mild laxative action. It doesn’t show any allergic reactions when taken within the recommended ranges of dosage.
Milk thistle may interact with certain prescription drugs such as blood-thinning medications, anti-anxiety and anti-depressive drugs, and allergy medications among others. Consult with your healthcare practitioner if you’re taking any medication prior to using milk thistle supplement to prevent any unwanted interactions.
With its estrogenic effects, milk thistle can mimic the effects of estrogen inside the body. Always ask your doctor prior to starting milk thistle supplement if you have any hormone-sensitive health conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or ovarian cancer.
In addition, the strong antioxidant actions of milk thistle may reduce the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs by preventing cell death of cancer cells.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also consult any licensed healthcare practitioner before using milk thistle.
Milk thistle has been found to be effective in improving digestion and liver conditions. It has been traditionally used for centuries in many traditional and natural medicine systems throughout the world.
Recent studies have also supported the efficacy of milk thistle as an effective home remedy for liver and digestion associated conditions. But you should ask your doctor prior to starting the milk thistle to avoid any adverse effects especially if you’re taking any medication.
Check out Vorst’s Milk Thistle 150 mg Capsules here.
Also Check out Vorst’s Liver Care Vegan Capsules that contain pure and natural milk thistle.
Disclaimer: This article is intended only general awareness, thus, cannot be used as a medical advice.