Milk Thistle

 "Milk thistle for liver detox... when you get a little carried away."

Overdoing it?

We all like to have fun… but sometimes you may find you get a little too carried away. Whether it’s mixed drinks for a special occasion, multiple beers on a night out, or wine at a dinner party, hey, it’s easy to overdo it at times.

When that happens, milk thistle is an excellent choice to help support the liver and block damage from occurring. It’s an antioxidant that protects you from cell damage. A longstanding remedy for liver and gallbladder issues, milk thistle shares many overall health benefits.

Beyond alcohol, other parts of our stress-inducing modern lives can affect the liver. Your food choices, your lifestyle, and factors such as taking multiple medications, can also lead to liver damage. You may wonder whether or not you are damaging your body’s organs, especially your liver, and what you can do to help protect it. 

By eating the healthiest, whole foods diet you can combine with purposeful supplements, like milk thistle, you can make an impact on how you feel both today and tomorrow. Let’s take a look at why milk thistle is SO amazing.


About Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle is prickly purple flower, a flowering herb, that has been used since the 1st century A.D. to support and improve the function of the liver. Milk thistle is native to the Mediterranean and has been grown in parts of Europe, Australia, and the Americas. One of the first known claims about it’s liver-enhancing properties was by Nicholas Culpeper in 1650. He claimed milk thistle was an excellent supplement to helping the liver function better and it turns out he was right!

Milk Thistle’s main antioxidants are known as silymarins. Milk thistle and silymarins are terms often used interchangeably as silymarins are the dominant component of milk thistle seeds. These compounds have anti-inflammatory effects as well as many hepatoprotective properties. Hepatoprotective is a way of saying that a substance, like milk thistle, can prevent damage to the liver before it happens. Milk thistle may help with protecting your liver before damage is done when you’re drinking or getting a bit carried away, which is one of it’s best features.

Silymarins are used to treat liver diseases, damage to the liver from alcohol or drugs, and acute and chronic liver hepatitis. Silymarins may also improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar in Type II Diabetes. In 2008, the Hepatitis C Antiviral Long-Term Treatment Against Cirrhosis study, by the National Institutes of Health, found that Hepatitis C patients taking silymarins had milder side effects from liver disease than those who did not take silymarins. Other promising qualities of milk thistle include neuroprotective aspects, prevention of bone loss, and possible anti-cancer effects.

Benefits of Milk Thistle

Liver Detox

Your liver serves as the primary organ that processes toxins. It handles alcohol before any other food. So it can use support and repair. Natural substance of milk thistle has  been shown to help. Liver problems like jaundice, hepatitis, cirrhosis, and gallbladder disorders have all been linked to improvements after milk thistle was taken consistently. This may be largely due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

People with alcohol-related liver problems seem to particularly benefit, so if you do get carried away with alcohol at times, milk thistle may be helpful to try and prevent further damage to your liver when you’re drinking. (Of course, if you have concerns about drinking habits, binge drinking, or heavy drinking you may want to talk about it with a professional.)   


Insulin & blood sugar management
Studies have shown milk thistle to have a positive effect on the body in relation to insulin resistance and on total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Milk thistle tends to lower blood sugar levels due to its hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic properties.

Some research has found milk thistle to protect neurons in the hippocampus from oxidative stress-induced cell death. We believe it promotes health in the brain and body, working at the cellular level.  

Bone health

Studies have found milk thistle to help prevent bone loss and heal fractures. It is hoped that silymarin can help treat osteoporosis in the future. 

Anti-cancer effects

While milk thistle is not a treatment for cancer, it has been studied in relation to various kinds of cancers, such as breast cancer and leukemia. Silymarin is known to strengthen cell walls, stimulate detoxifying enzymes, and block free radicals. Researchers are finding it may inhibit the growth of some cancer cells, so in the future, it’s hoped to be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and other treatments. 


How Safe Is Milk Thistle?

After going through clinical trials, milk thistle has been deemed to be generally safe for most people in the appropriate doses. Some people reported gastrointestinal side effects, but this was uncommon. If you have type 2 diabetes, keep in mind that milk thistle tends to lower blood sugar levels. Consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about milk thistle and how it may affect you or interact with any medications you may be taking.

If you’re allergic to plants like daisies, marigolds, ragweed, and chrysanthemum, watch out for allergic reactions to milk thistle. Milk thistle is in the same plant family and you’re more likely to have an allergic reaction to milk thistle if you’ve experienced a reaction to one of those plants.


Final Thoughts

Milk Thistle is an amazing natural treatment for liver problems and the prevention of liver problems, especially when drinking alcohol. Milk thistle may also be great for those of us with high cholesterol and all us needing more antioxidants. 

At Almeda, we believe that prevention is always easier than treatment. Milk thistle is a great supplement to help protect your liver, especially when combined with a natural, whole foods diet filled with leafy greens and fruits. Consult with a doctor before starting any new products to see if milk thistle will have any interactions with your particular health and any medications you’re on. We hope that milk thistle is greatly beneficial for you! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any further questions about our high quality, ethically sourced supplements. 

Almeda products designed for liver support

We currently offer our amazing product, Thrine, an all-natural liver detox. This is a completely botanical formula that helps break down unwanted fat and detox your liver. The blend contains herbs, antioxidants to fight free radicals, phytonutrients, and helps you to naturally achieve your weight loss goals by helping you to naturally burn calories. We recommend Thrine to help you jumpstart your liver detoxing goals.