Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) known as ‘doodh patra’ in Hindi is a flowering herb that provides you with a host of therapeutic properties. Ayurveda vouches by its medicinal values in treating liver disorders, galls stones, shielding the liver from the effects of alcohol and for promoting lactation, besides flushing out toxins.

The active ingredient in milk thistle is a group of plant compounds known as silymarin, known for its strong anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antioxidant properties.

5 Incredible Health Benefits Of Milk Thistle

Therapeutic Benefits of Milk Thistle

Protects Liver

Milk thistle is highly beneficial in shielding the liver from the damage caused due to alcoholic liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatitis and certain cancers. Evidence proves that milk thistle supplements are effective in lowering liver inflammation and prevent damage caused due to free radicals.

Promotes Brain Health

In traditional medicine, milk thistle holds a prominent place in treating neurological conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of milk thistle work well as effective neuroprotective agents that can prevent the degeneration of brain functions as you age.

Controls Diabetes

Milk thistle is a beneficial complementary therapy in managing diabetes. The host of plant compounds in milk thistle work well in improving insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. Silymarin compound in milk thistle remarkably reduces the fasting blood sugars and maintains the HbA1C at normal range. Furthermore, the strong antioxidant properties in milk thistle lower the risk of diabetic kidney disease.

Cancer Treatment

The storehouse of antioxidant silymarin in milk thistle is a potent anticancer agent. It is effective in destroying the formation of cancer cells and lowering the side effects of chemotherapy.

Stronger Bones

Osteoporosis is a common problem among women over 40 which makes the bone fragile and weak. Milk thistle is an effective natural remedy in preventing bone loss in menopausal women and supports bone health.

Enhances Lactation

Milk thistle is proven natural remedy in increasing breast milk production in lactating mothers.

Treats Acne

Acne is a common skin conditions that affects people of age groups, that cause scars. Potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions of milk thistle supplement is beneficial for treating acne and fading scars.

Milk thistle supplements are available in the form of capsules, tablets, tea bags, and oral tinctures. Doses range from 175 milligrams to 1,000 milligrams.

Side Effects

Milk thistle is considered safe when taken in prescribed amounts. However, milk thistle may trigger off several side effects such as headache, nausea, diarrhoea, bloating, gas, muscle aches, joint pain and sexual problems when taken in excess amounts.

People allergic to aster family vegetables like ragweed, kiwi, artichokes are more prone to have allergic reaction to milk thistle. In rare cases, milk thistle can be fatal and lead to anaphylaxis.

Pregnant women are advised to avoid this supplement as there is no research on its safety.

Diabetes patients on hypoglycaemic drugs should avoid milk thistle supplement, as there is a risk of low blood sugar.