Milk Thistle

Silybum marianum

The dark green Milk Thistle plant, with leaves that look like milk has been poured over them, produces lovely pink flowers early in the summer. All parts of the plant can be eaten but its the seeds that are used medicinally.

Milk Thistle has been used for many years as a liver, gallbladder and kidney tonic, and is useful for treating numerous liver and gallbladder conditions including hepatitis and cirrhosis. It is also known to strongly protect the liver, stomach and intestines. Milk Thistle seed is very useful when chemicals, alcohol, chemotherapy or medicines compromise the liver. It helps reverse toxic liver damage and it stimulates protein synthesis in the liver, helping with the formation and growth of healthy new liver cells.
When your liver works well, generally the rest of the body does too.  It is responsible for clearing excess hormones, getting rid of chemicals that could damage the immune system and cleansing the toxicity that builds up from too much alcohol, bad food and drugs / medicines. The liver cleans the body, helping to protect it from premature ageing and degeneration. We take in dangerous chemicals through chemically fertilised and highly processed foods, through the pollution in the air and through the water that we drink. When your liver becomes toxic you can experience many different symptoms from headaches, itchy eyes, pain, confusion and depression.

There are many plants which help cleanse and strengthen the liver including dandelion, chicory, liquorice and ginger, but the most important one of them is the wonderful Milk Thistle.
Milk thistle can be taken in capsule or tincture form and should be available from your nearest pharmacy or health shop.