Despite what you might think, milk thistle does not contain any actual milk. Or dairy for that matter. In fact, milk thistle comes from the plant, Silybum marianum. According to legend, the markings on the plant are believed to be from the Virgin Mary’s milk. Typically, you will find milk thistle in a supplement, seed, or powder form.
This plant has been discussed frequently in the health community for its benefits on the liver. There are countless studies on liver function and milk thistle. Studies suggest that taking a milk thistle supplement may reduce liver inflammation and assist individuals who suffer from liver damage. There are many other health benefits of milk thistle that can be found here:
Brain Function: For years milk thistle has been used with patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The silymarin compound in the plant contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may prevent declining brain function as the body ages. There are many other facets that need to be researched in order to definitively say that milk thistle is well absorbed to pass through the blood-brain barrier as well as how much to prescribe an individual.
Lower Blood Sugar: Milk thistle has been found to help manage type 2 diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity and decreasing blood sugar. The properties in milk thistle relating to anti-inflammation may help reduce the risk of developing complications as a result of diabetes, such as kidney disease.
Manage Acne: Since acne is caused by inflammation of the skin, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in milk thistle may help relieve the body of oxidative stress. Milk thistle may be a beneficial supplement for someone who is living with acne.
Increase Breast Milk Production: Consuming milk thistle may increase a mother’s breast milk production by making more of the hormone prolactin. This hormone allows the mother to produce milk. A study showed that women taking silymarin produced more milk than those who were taking a placebo. More research on this topic is necessary in order to definitively confirm these findings.
Milk thistle has been widely talked about in the medical community and studied primarily for its potential health benefits on the liver. Individuals can obtain many health benefits from consuming milk thistle. At Fresh Vibes you will find it in our Blueberry Bliss smoothie but can choose to add it into any other smoothie or parfait you would like!
Here’s another way to incorporate it into your lifestyle:
Milk Thistle Tea: