Milk Thistle Uses and Relevant Studies on Its Healing Properties

milk thistleThere are more than 13,000 known diseases according to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), and many of these diseases have no known cures. One such disease whose cure is still not yet exactly determined is called Crohn’s Disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Since the exact cure for this disease is not yet fully pinpointed, it is right to say that most contemporary remedies for this disease are generally subjective and bordering on the level of opinion. Hence, it is, in some sense, true to say too that the treatments and remedies prescribed by medical practitioners for this disease are still assumption-based and unscientific.

Nature has the Cure for Most of These Diseases

There is a prevalent belief that the cure for almost all diseases can be found in nature. Although this belief may simply be an unwarranted and unscientific assumption, it is not correct to outrightly dismiss this belief. Moreover, there may be enough wisdom in such a belief, for nature has been always known to provide us with everything that we need. Hence, to perfunctorily dismiss such belief—like what most of the so-called medical scientists usually do—is also unwarranted.

Wide Variety of Plants in Existence

The number of plant species around the world is not yet fully determined. A rough estimate would yield us around 400,000 species. With this great varieties of plants found in nature, it is not unreasonable to think that somewhere out there exists an herb that could cure diseases like Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Milk Thistle (Silybum Marianum) as a Cure for IBD

Among the hundreds of thousands of plants out there, Silybum Marianum—commonly known as Milk thistle—seems to be one of those potent cures for some IBD diseases. Milk thistle had a European origin but is now planted all over the world. This plant has long been used for medicinal purpose; in fact, in ancient Rome, this herb had been used as tonic for liver problems of many emperors.

Milk thistle has an active flavanoid called “silymarin” which constitutes much of the Milk thistle’s extract. The major molecular constituent of silymarin is called silibinin which appears to exhibit various pharmacological effects. Silymarin is known to inhibit P-glycoprotein activity which is good for altered absorption. Moreover, it is also known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Studies on the Healing Property of Milk Thistle

There were many studies done to confirm the healing properties of Milk thistle such as the one conducted at Western University of Arad. This study was published in Jiurnal Medical Aradean Issue 2 in 2011, and according to this study, the most important property of silymarin is its “hepatoprotective activity” against various diseases of liver like cirrhosis, chronic and acute hepatitis, and toxin-induced hepatitis. Some other studies also show that Milk thistle extract stimulates protein synthesis and thus accelerates the regeneration of liver cells.

Other known Milk thistle uses include those of combatting IBD and diabetes, although further studies are still needed to figure out how silymarin could produce positive healing effects on IBD and diabetic patients. Milk thistle is also known to prevent the buildup of free radicals and the formation of leukotrienes. Moreover, it is known for reducing insulin resistance. Lastly, Milk thistle also serves as a potent antidote for Amanita Phalloides Mushroom poisoning, and most subjects who experienced this mushroom poisoning had shown 100% recovery.