The benefits of milk thistle
Have you ever heard of milk thistle? I’m in love with this powerful herb. A couple of years ago, I suffered from very high levels of stress from a few unfortunate emotional experiences. I lost my dog, who died unexpectedly, just got out of a toxic relationship, and was working way too many hours. I ate an all-organic clean diet, exercised my whole life, and thought of myself as the bionic woman of health who never got tired, or ever got sick. How that changed! I was so wrong. My body and God were about to show me that wasn’t true.
None of us are above, or exempt, from bad circumstances in life. My liver, digestion and gallbladder all took on the brunt of any emotional stress I was feeling. Whatever sadness, anger or stress I had manifested deep into my organs, especially my liver. Anything I ate caused tremendous amounts of discomfort and left me baffled because I ate so clean for all these years. I was in denial about my emotions. Finally, after much pain and agony, I had to be honest with myself and my feelings. I had to find ways to regenerate emotionally, physically and spiritually. One of the regimens that I used in detoxing my body was organic non-GMO milk thistle. Every morning, I would get up and drink a whole glass of water with lemon. After my water, I would take milk thistle on an empty stomach, and let that sit for a bit while I got ready for work and before I ate breakfast. Before long, the inflammation in my liver dissipated over time.
It truly was amazing and a blessing to know that we have these healing herbs all around us. We just have to learn about them and study what their purposes are for us. After you read some of these amazing benefits, you will more than likely stock up and have this available in your home and make it part of your regimen as well.
Our poor livers
Having liver inflammation today is so common. A lot of people I talk to have been or are on some form of prescription drugs. If they’re not on prescription drugs, they’re using night aids to go to sleep like Advil PM, or use Tylenol for simple back pain that is loaded with acetaminophen, which is really toxic and damaging to the liver. Some people have lowered immune systems from certain viruses and have had long-term damage to their livers. There are some women that have taken oral contraceptives for many years, which has caused liver stress, as well as exposing themselves to our estrogen-dominant environment through non-organic GMO foods, plastics, cosmetics and household chemicals.
Not only does the liver take on stress from all these unhealthy practices, but it also takes on any emotional feelings of anger and distress. I just want to give the little guy a hug. Our livers are so important and put up with so much! I think it deserves a break, don’t you think?
Important liver functions
Below are just a few of the important jobs of your liver, and they’re pretty important. If you have a sluggish liver, you may show signs of fatigue, bloating, intolerance to high protein, have nightmares, insomnia, acne, hormonal imbalances (especially higher estrogen), anxiety, vertigo, excessive thirst, slower digestion, pain, constipation, memory problems and resistance to disease.
- Filter’s blood from your digestive tract
- Detoxes any chemicals
- Metabolizes drugs
- Secretes bile
- Makes proteins for blood clotting
There are a lot of things you can do to slowly detox the liver as far as “lifting the load” from this three-pound organ. One of the regimens to regenerate the liver is by using milk thistle. This herb has been well documented and used for more than 2,000 years. The Romans and the Germans both used it for liver problems as well as bile regulation. During the 1960’s, researchers isolated some complex chemicals from the herb’s seeds that had pronounced liver-protecting properties. Today, many holistic doctors and wellness advocates recommend the use of milk thistle to protect the liver from many different toxins and from the use of drugs and chemicals. It is certainly recommended for chronic liver disease, polycystic liver disease, estrogen dominance, viral hepatitis, liver cysts and different types of liver cirrhosis.
According to the National Cancer Institute, silymarin (a compound found in milk thistle) protects liver cells from damage caused by alcohol and acetaminophen (the ingredient in Tylenol), and protects the liver by preventing toxins from entering cells by revving up enzymes that detoxify those toxins in the liver. Silymarin can also protect liver cells during chemotherapy and it appears to boost the effect of certain chemo drugs. I’m amazed by how powerful this herb is. So far, in all my research, there are no contraindications associated with taking this herb.
So where can you buy good quality milk thistle if you’re unable to grow it? You’ll find it in health food stores, vitamin shops or online. I buy from Wild Harvest, who offers certified organic and non-GMO milk thistle. Make sure to purchase a product that contains a minimum of 70 percent silymarin. The general dose is typically 210 to 420 mg per day.
I believe the liver should be detoxed slowly. Most of us have accumulated over time many toxins so we should approach the detox with much discipline and should take the time to do this little by little through sleep, organic food and herbs. Look for future posts on healing foods for the liver and remember, the liver is the one organ that can regenerate itself. So what are you waiting for? Get started and God Bless!
With more than 24 years of diverse experience in the health and wellness industry, Jaime has
dedicated her life to caring for and enabling people to increase their overall wellness.