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What is Milk Thistle?
Milk thistle seed extract is a beneficial herbal product for liver detoxification, regeneration and protection. Stress of toxins from chemical pollutants, pharmaceuticals, alcohol, tobacco smoke, drugs and different forms of radiation have cumulative side effects that need to be addressed.
More than 120 scientific studies have shown that milk thistle extract regenerates, regulates and strengthens liver functions. Because free radicals attack the liver, primarily the fat tissue in the liver, the antioxidant qualities of milk thistle are extremely beneficial. Milk thistle stimulates your body to produce superoxide dismutase, which is one of two primary antioxidants the body can manufacture. Milk thistle has been reported to have protective effects on the liver and to greatly improve its function. It is typically used to treat liver cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis (liver inflammation), toxin-induced liver damage (including the prevention of severe liver damage from Amanita phalloides ('death cap' mushroom poisoning), and gallbladder disorders.
For many centuries extracts of milk thistle have been recognized as "liver tonics". Research into the biological activity of silymarin and its possible medical uses has been conducted in many countries since the 1970s, but the quality of the research has been uneven.
So where do you find Milk Thistle?
You may have seen it growing in fields around your home and not even known it. Milk Thistle is actually part of the Sunflower family. In the US, Australia and New Zealand, it is considered a troublesome invasive weed.
In Europe, fields of the plants are cultivated specifically for use in supplements and botanical remedies. The seeds are harvested and the medicinally active constituents are extracted. After purification, it is possible to have extracts containing a 70-85% concentration of silymarins, the flavonoids with antioxidant activity that are found only in milk thistle’s seeds.
Is it possible to create these kinds of extracts at home? Anything is possible, but it seems a bit impractical.
In order to make a single pound of the extract, 70 pounds of seeds would need to be gathered. If you wanted to take the extracts on a regular basis to support liver health, you would need to gather a lot of seeds..
A good supplement is good for the skin, liver, immune system and all of the cells of the body, because the manufacturers know how to make milk thistle extract and how to enhance its bioavailability. Life Give HHI and Life Give Meltaway both contain milk thistle.
Around the 16th century the milk thistle became quite popular and almost all parts of it were eaten. The roots can be eaten raw or boiled and buttered or par-boiled and roasted. The young shoots in spring can be cut down to the root and boiled and buttered. The spiny bracts on the flower head were eaten in the past like globe artichoke, and the stems (after peeling) can be soaked overnight to remove bitterness and then stewed. The leaves can be trimmed of prickles and boiled and make a good spinach substitute, they can also be added raw to salads.
For Milk Thistle tea take two tablespoons of crushed milk thistle leaves and seeds in a muslin bag or tea ball. Steep in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes and sip slowly. Add honey and peppermint to sweeten, if desired. Milk thistle tea is fabulous to drink before or after a meal. It aids digestion and is also known to stabilize insulin levels and reduce cholesterol.
DO NOT take milk thistle if you are pregnant.
LifeGive HHI product information
LifeGive Meltaway product information
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