Nature's Aide Vitamins
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April 30, 2018

Milk Thistle or Mary/Holy Thistle is a Mediterranean Herb that is used in traditional and home remedies for a variety of ailments. It belongs to the same family of plants as the daisy and ragweed. It is most commonly used to cure liver diseases; it is used to treat Jaundice, Hepatitis, and Cirrhosis. Many also claim that thistle is beneficial for high cholesterol and type-2 diabetes.

An overview of the plant
Milk thistles can grow up to a height of 30 to 200 cm with a predominantly conical shape. The average base diameters of the stems are around 160 cm. There are grooved markings made on the stem which are known to be hollow in the largest specimens. The leaves are serrated with an oblong shape. Either lobate or pinnate, the leaves show a shiny texture with milky white veins.

The flowers are 5-12 cm wide and are long in shape. They come in a shade of reddish purple and usually bloom from June to August in the northern areas. The plant flowers from December to February in the southern hemisphere.

The seeds of the plant are used to make the milk thistle extract. The major ingredient in the extract is Silymarin, which is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. The extract is composed of 65-80% Silymarin and 20-35% of fatty acids like linoleic acid.

Health benefits of consuming milk thistle
1. Benefits the liver: A recent study in 2016 has shown that milk thistle improves diet-induced liver damage in mice. Research suggests that it might have similar effects on the human liver. Silymarin acts as an antioxidant, which can have detoxifying effects on the liver.

2. Improves skin health: Milk thistle has potential benefits for skin health. In 2015, a study demonstrated the anti-inflammatory effects of milk thistle on the affected skin. It has also shown anti-oxidizing and anti-aging effects on human skin in experimental conditions.

3. Helps in reducing cholesterol: Milk thistle might prove to be an effective way of maintaining low cholesterol levels. It was found that cholesterol levels were lower in diabetes patients taking milk thistle than the ones on placebo.

4. It is good for the heart: As mentioned, by removing bad cholesterol in the body like LDL, milk thistle might help in decreasing the chances of heart disorders. Most studies conducted in this area have been done in patients with diabetes. Hence, further study is required to understand the benefits of milk thistle on heart conditions purely.

Milk thistle can be consumed orally in the form of supplements like our multi vitamin and multi herbal supplement AsUage or in the form of tea. It can be mixed with other herbs and consumed in a similar fashion. There are limited side effects of consuming excessive amounts of milk thistle, like diarrhea or upset stomach, but these are limited. Consult your doctor as necessary.

If you care to learn more about this ingredient please email us at info@naturesaide.com with the subject line: Milk Thistle. We look forward to hearing from you.

Hopefully this sets the table for you to learn more about this amazing ingredient. Follow our blogs to learn more.
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