Milk thistle is an often overlooked weed, but its benefits make it one of the most useful plants to have your medicine cabinet.
By Danielle, Contributing writer
Records of milk thistle’s benefits go back to the first century. The plant is native to the Mediterranean, but can now be found in most areas. Most consider this plant a weed, and you likely have seen it growing alongside the road or in your own backyard.
This herb is an antioxidant that has the ability to pull toxins out of the body. Its magical flavonoid known as silymarin is to thank for its many healing properties. Though milk thistle is famous for its ability to detoxify the liver, it also has many other uses.
7 Reasons Milk Thistle Should Be in Your Medicine Cabinet
It is best known for its liver benefits. It can aid in cleansing the liver, and even reversing liver damage. In addition, the plant can help the liver recover from harm due to antibiotics, pesticides, and alcohol use.
The liver is responsible for digesting food particles, cleansing the blood, supplying the body with hormones, discharges glucose, and many more important tasks. The liver is one of the largest organs, and arguably one of the most important for a well-functioning body. Milk thistle is key for keeping your liver up to snuff.
It has been shown to lower cholesterol when taken regularly.
The liver and gallbladder work in tandem, and the cleansing benefits of milk thistle on the liver also cleanse the gallbladder. These important digestive organs are essential in metabolism, digestion, and clean blood.
Numerous studies have shown that it can aid in blood sugar control.
The antioxidants in milk thistle boost skin health. If you are suffering from skin issues, consider adding this herb along with vitamin E for better vitamin absorption.
In addition to helping your liver detox harmful compounds, milk thistle has been used to treat serious infections (hepatitis) and detoxify the body from chronic conditions, treatments and medicines, and damage, including chemotherapy, antibiotics, mental health medications, and alcoholism.
The seeds’ powder has been used to boost lactation. Try the simple Milk Thistle Milk Cookies recipe below!
How to Supplement
This plant grows well in the wild, so consider purchasing the seeds and growing your own!
Recommended daily dosage is 420 mg per day. Take amount 175 mg three times per day with warm water, and adjust the dosage based off of its effect and how you feel.
Milk Thistle Tea Recipe
- 1 cup of filtered water
- 1/2 teaspoon lavender or chamomile (optional)
- 1 teaspoon milk thistle leaves
Boil the water, and pour over the combined herbs in a cloth tea bag or tea spoon, in a mug or glass. Allow to steep, and drink warm.
Milk Thistle Milk Cookies
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- Dash of salt
- 1/2 cup of butter, coconut oil, or applesauce
- 2 teaspoons of brewer’s yeast
- 2 teaspoons of milk thistle seed powder
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 cup of sugar of choice – honey, molasses, coconut sugar, maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1 cup of chocolate chips or nuts (optional)
- 2 cups of flour of choice (almond, coconut, whole wheat)
- 2 cups of whole oats
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients and set aside. Beat the sugar, butter, and eggs in a separate bowl. Combine the vanilla, then the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Add flour if needed. Add chocolate chips or nuts if desired.
Grease a baking sheet, and add tablespoonful’s of cookies. Bake 10-12 minutes, until the bottom of the cookies is golden brown. Let cool, and keep in airtight container for up to one week. (No sharing, moms!)
Those who are allergic to the ragweed family may also be allergic to milk thistle.Those who are nursing or pregnant may want to avoid milk thistle because of its amazing detoxification.
Milk thistle must be a staple in your natural medicine cabinet. It’s a perfect supplement to take daily for its liver benefits, but it is also essential to have on hand for health emergencies.