Nowadays, doctors frequently overprescribe medications, resulting in us having to take an excessive amount of pills to keep our health conditions under control. In fact, 42% of Americans over 65 take 5 or more medications daily.
If you've been looking for natural alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs, you may have been doing your own research. One natural remedy you might've come across is milk thistle. In this article, we'll discuss what milk thistle is and what the benefits of milk thistle tea are.
Milk thistle is a plant; it's Latin name is Silybum marianum. You may also know it as Mary thistle or holy thistle. This is because people from ancient times believed that the plant has purple flowers and white marks due to Virgin Mary's milk dripping onto it.
The active ingredient in milk thistle that benefits your health is silymarin. Silymarin is a flavonoid, which is a secondary metabolite in plants that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Since milk thistle extract is rich in silymarin, it's popularly used by people all over the world to treat a variety of health issues. We'll explore those uses below.
Previously, we've said that milk thistle extract is what people use. But people usually don't take it in its extract form. Instead, they make a tea.
All you have to do is fill a tea bag with the powdered extract and steep it for around 5 minutes. After you remove the teabag, you can either drink it straight or add honey or sugar to make it more palatable.
But why should you drink milk thistle tea? Here are a few benefits you can get from it.
Taking milk thistle tea may have some benefits for your liver. A study done in 2016 showed that this herb improved the livers of mice who had that organ damaged through diet.
While this same effect hasn't been scientifically proven for humans yet, many scientists believe that it could work in the same way for us. Since it decreases the production of free radicals, it could detox your liver. However, since there is no concrete evidence of this, you shouldn't use this as a primary way to treat any liver issues.
There's scientific evidence that by taking milk thistle tea, you can control your cholesterol levels better. Although this is tentative, it's still worth it to try out if you have high cholesterol and are struggling to lower it.
For women who have bone loss due to menopause, milk thistle tea can aid in the fight against it. By taking this herbal supplement in addition to any medications prescribed by your doctor for menopausal osteoporosis (with their approval, of course), then you can stand a better chance against this condition.
Since this study was done only on estrogen deficiency-related bone loss, milk thistle may or may not be beneficial for other types. However, it may be worth exploring this avenue if you're not having success with other treatment.
A decent amount of new mothers struggle with breastfeeding because of not enough milk production. In a small study involving 50 mothers, silymarin helped an overwhelming majority of them with lactation.
Since the sample size of the study is so minuscule, there needs to be larger-scale research done on this subject. But if you're struggling with lactation, bring up milk thistle with your doctor to see if they think it'd help for you.
Again, in a study involving mice, scientists found that feeding them silymarin in conjunction with a fattening diet caused the mice to lose weight instead. If you extrapolate this research to humans, then it's very possible milk thistle tea can have the same effects.
Studies on both lab mice and humans have been done to see the effects milk thistle has on the skin. In the study with mice, scientists found that the herb had anti-inflammatory effects.
In the research with humans, they found milk thistle had anti-aging and antioxidant benefits. However, as with the claims for liver health, there needs to be more research done before we can conclusively link skin health with this herbal remedy.
When you take any sort of medication, there's usually a laundry list of semi-serious side effects. The chances of you having any of those are pretty high, and it may decrease your quality of life.
With milk thistle, if you stick to the recommended doses, you should suffer little to no side effects. Some common ones include gas, nausea, diarrhea, headache, and itchiness.
Compare those side effects to the ones from pharmaceutical drugs, such as low blood pressure, irregular heart rate, edema, and vomiting. Even if you're unsure about adding milk thistle to your health regimen, the mild side effects should be a convincing reason to at least give it a trial period. If you're curious about using milk thistle, then shop now at PhiNaturals.
Now that you've seen all the benefits of milk thistle tea, perhaps it's something you can add to your health routine to stay healthy and strong.
But before you do so, you should consult with your doctor. Even though this is an herbal supplement, it still has the potential to interfere with any medications you're currently taking. And should you be considering stopping your prescribed drugs, you should definitely speak to your doctor, since doing so on your own can be dangerous.
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