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The Health Benefits of Milk Thistle

milk thistle benefits weight loss

This plant provides your body with many antioxidants, antivirals and anti-inflammatories but, milk thistle also benefits weight loss. 

What Is Milk Thistle?

If you haven't heard of milk thistle before, it is a spikey plant that has a very specific purple flower with white veins, belonging to the same plant family as the daisy. 

It is a herbal remedy that consists of a group of natural compounds called silymarin. The aforementioned antioxidants, antivirals and anti-inflammatories come from the silymarin. 

What Can It Be Used For?

But, what is milk thistle used for? Well, each part of the plant can be used for different things so you can reap a lot of benefits from this one flower.

Treating Liver Problems

Commonly, this prickly plant is used for liver problems. A lot of people say that it can help to treat illnesses like jaundice, hepatitis, cirrhosis and gallbladder disorders.

But, you might be wondering...

Why is Milk Thistle Good for the Liver?

It is important to note that currently, there is not much research relating to milk thistle and its exact effectiveness for treating liver issues. 

With that being said, many researchers claim that the silymarin acts as an antioxidant and so, reduces free radical production. Because of this, biological scientists believe this detoxifies your system and thus, benefits liver problems. 

If you are not familiar with what free radicals are then let us explain. Put simply, they are unstable atoms which are likely to cause damage to cells. In turn, this can mean that premature ageing occurs and diseases develop within your body.

Like we mentioned beforehand, there hasn't been much research put into this so do not attempt to utilise milk thistle as your one and only treatment method.  

Treating Skin Conditions

You can buy milk thistle extract to be used as a topical skin treatment to help with inflammatory skin conditions. Additionally, it will provide some people with anti-ageing effects.

what is milk thistle

Reducing Cholesterol

This herbal remedy has been proven to lower cholesterol levels! Why is this a benefit? Well, being within healthy cholesterol guidelines is absolutely necessary to decrease your chances of having a stroke or various heart problems. 

Reducing Insulin Resistance

If you have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes then reducing your resistance to insulin might be the most important benefit in this list. 

However, similar to using milk thistle to treat liver conditions, there hasn't been much research into this area either so do not use it as your primary remedial method. 

Preventing Cancer from Spreading

A common theme here seems to be the lack of scientific research that has been done to back up all milk thistle's claims, however, in 2016, results from a study showed that this plant's extract prevented the growth of cancerous cells in some specific cancer types.

Losing Weight

2016 was the year of milk thistle studies it seems — silymarin (found in the plant, as we've said before) caused mice to lose weight, even though they were being given a diet meant for weight gain in this experiment. 

However, as you may have gathered, there does need to be more evidence to say for certain that it will do the same for humans.

How It Helps Weight Management

Just how milk thistle helps with weight loss may be unsurprising to you now but, it stems from the high amounts of silymarin (of course). 

The detoxifying elements of this component work to improve the effectiveness of fat processing within the body, meaning you will use up the excess fat more efficiently. This eventually leads to you losing weight — how perfect! 

Hopefully, now you will see how milk thistle benefits weight loss, as well as your overall health. We have no doubt that you'll be searching for it on your supermarket's shelves this week!