07 Oct Milk Thistle, the multipurpose herbal remedy
Milk thistle is best known as a herbal remedy for over-indulgence – whether you’ve eaten more rich food than you should, or have slightly overdone it in terms of your alcohol consumption.
However, studies have shown that this purple-flowered herb has a plethora of additional health benefits too.
Milk Thistle for hangovers and upset stomachs
Native to the Mediterranean, milk thistle is probably most famous for its ability to soothe an upset stomach or take the edge off a hangover. In fact, people have been using it as a herbal remedy for upset stomachs and indigestion for thousands of years.
We’re all only human, and most of us overindulge from time-to-time. If you have overdone it, a few doses of HRI Milk Thistle should help relieve the uncomfortable symptoms that a little too much good food or alcohol can cause.
A multipurpose herbal remedy
But hangovers and upset stomachs aren’t the only health complaints that milk thistle can alleviate.
Thanks to a group of plant compounds known as silymarin, known for their strong anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antioxidant properties, it’s a popular choice to help alleviate the symptoms of a multitude of other health and beauty concerns too, ranging from diabetes to acne.
Here’s a roundup of the health benefits generally associated with this versatile herb, in addition to its starring role as a traditional remedy for hangovers and over-eating.
1. Milk Thistle for acne
Acne is one of the most common skin complaints – a staggering 85% of young people suffer from the condition at some point. For years, people of all ages who are battling breakouts have been turning to milk thistle as a natural, cost-effective herbal remedy.
Many acne treatments address either the visible symptoms of acne or the underlying cause. Milk thistle can help with both. Thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, it can help to reduce the appearance of acne. Plus, it is thought to help with hormonal imbalance (one of the most common causes of teenage acne) to help prevent symptoms coming back.
For best results, you should take milk thistle tablets in conjunction with a herbal remedy specifically designed to help with acne such as HRI Teen Skin or HRI Clear Complexion.
2. Milk Thistle for stronger bones
Milk thistle is popular as a herbal remedy to help prevent age-related bone disorders like osteoporosis, a condition which is particularly prevalent in post-menopausal women. Silymarin, the active ingredient in the plant’s seeds, has been shown to limit the progression of osteoporosis and loss of bone density.
While studies suggest that milk thistle does stimulate bone mineralisation, it’s important to stress that the majority of studies thus far have been conducted in the lab or on animals.
3. Milk thistle and your liver
Some studies have shown milk thistle can also be used as a complementary treatment to improve liver function and may be effective in relieving the symptoms of liver-related diseases such as cirrhosis and jaundice.
Early studies into the effect of milk thistle on the liver are highly encouraging. However, they are in their early stages. More scientific research is required but early indications look promising!
4. Milk Thistle for brain function
Traditionally, milk thistle has been used to prevent age-related decline in brain function and prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinsons. But the question is, does the science back up these claims?
Studies have shown that silymarin can be effective in increasing brain function and preventing the brain plaques which collect between neurons in the brain and disrupt cell function. Added to this, we know that milk thistle has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which may be neuroprotective.
5. Milk Thistle for type 2 diabetes
Various studies have found that milk thistle may also be a useful herbal remedy for patients with type 2 diabetes. This is thanks to plant compounds in milk thistle which can successfully improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar.
Besides this, a 2006 study found that as well as lowering blood sugar levels, milk thistle was successful in reducing levels of blood cholesterol. This is a huge bonus as controlling cholesterol is especially important in diabetics whose blood flow is already impacted by high blood sugar levels.
Multipurpose Milk Thistle
So why not give milk thistle a go to help with your everyday health or beauty problems (or just keep a box in your bathroom cabinet for the next time you suspect a hangover is on the cards)?
Each tablet of HRI Milk Thistle contains the same amount of active ingredient found in almost 10g of natural milk thistle and the tablets are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
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