18 Dec Festive Overindulgence? Reach for the Milk Thistle Tablets
Medical Herbalist Hannah Charman explains how Milk Thistle tablets are a handy way to deal with the symptoms of occasional overindulgence over the festive season.
Hannah graduated from Middlesex University with an Honours Degree in Western Herbal Medicine, following four years of full-time study.
She is a Member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH)
I’m writing this a couple of weeks before Christmas, and one of the questions I’m often asked by people at the moment is “Can I take herbal medicine and still drink?”
Herbal medicines such as Milk Thistle are not like mainstream medicines: herbs – in whichever form you use them – can be taken with alcohol.
Milk Thistle tablets to help with overindulgence
Many of us overindulge a little over the festive season.
Whilst there’s nothing wrong with this in moderation, if we take it too far, our bodies start to suffer. High alcohol intake has been identified as a major contributory cause in more than 60 medical conditions, including certain cancers, cirrhosis of the liver, high blood pressure, and mental health problems,
How can you help yourself?
The best way to avoid the after-effects of overindulgence in alcohol is to keep an eye on how many units you consume.
Government health guidelines are that we should limit our intake to a maximum of 14 units of alcohol a week for most weeks of the year.
To put this into context, a small glass of wine (125ml) is about 1.5 units and a pint of high strength beer or a large, 250ml glass of wine are each about 3 units. A single measure of spirits (25ml) is one unit, but in pubs, a measure of spirits is usually larger than this and most of us don’t measure out spirits at home, so it’s easy to consume more than we realise.
You can find out more about the number of units in your favourite tipple on the NHS website.
As well as understanding about the number of units of alcohol you consume, here are some other ways that you can ensure that you keep your intake within safe limits:
- Plan your drinking ahead of time by knowing how many units and which drinks you can have and stick to it
- Have a soft drink in between each alcoholic one
- If you drink at home, spread your intake out over several nights rather than binge drinking
If you’re worried about your alcohol intake, or someone else has expressed concern about your drinking, you can get advice from the Drinkaware website.
Which herbal medicines can help?
We’re all human, and this Christmas in particular, many of us probably feel that we’ve earned the right to let our hair down a bit.
If you think you might have a little more to drink than usual over the Christmas break, Milk Thistle tablets are useful to keep to hand. They are used to help relieve the symptoms associated with occasional overindulgence of food and drink, such as indigestion and upset stomach
Milk Thistle tablets for detoxifying alcohol
Milk thistle herb has been associated as a traditional medicine to help reduce liver damage for hundreds of years. In medieval times it was considered as a good treatment for depression.
In naturopathic medicine today, we associate liver problems with general poor health, depression and irritability, especially when no other explanation for these symptoms can be found. It’s worth remembering that liver damage has to be fairly advanced before it will show up on blood tests.
Milk Thistle contains high levels of silymarin, used in herbal medicine as an antioxidant for the liver.
The liver does around 500 tasks at the same time, and many of them are involved in filtering metabolic waste and external toxins. As the liver detoxifies alcohol, it can suffer free radical damage which requires high amounts of antioxidants to reverse, and Silymarin is something that can help with this.
HRI Milk Thistle tablets contain a high dose of the active extract, Silybum marianum to help relieve symptoms of overindulgence in food or drink.
So whilst the best advice is of course not to drink too much this Christmas, it could be worth getting a pack of Milk Thistle tablets in stock just in case you want to push the boat out a bit.
HRI Milk Thistle tablets carry the THR (Traditional Herbal Registration) symbol, guaranteeing the highest quality and safety in Europe, as approved by the government regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.
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