Milk Thistle - Best Herb for Liver Problems
Silybum marianum (Carduus marianus) Asteraceae/Compositae Also called Our lady's thistle.
The seeds contain silymarin, a mixture of several compounds that are known to protect the liver. The leaves contain flavonoids antioxidants that are good for the circulation - and b-sitosterol, a substance that emulsifies fats and breaks down cholesterol deposits.
PREPARATION AND DOSAGE
For internal use
TO TREAT minor digestive problems, bile problems INFUSION Add 1 teaspoon of leaves to a cup of boiling water. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes. then strain. Drink 3 cups a day, before meals.
TINCTURE Put 30 drops into a glass of water. Take three times a day, before meals.
IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST CONSULT A DOCTOR
In a number of studies, the silymarin in milk thistle has been shown to have antioxidant properties which help to protect the liver and other parts of the body from damage by free radicals. This is why milk thistle is recommended as a supplementary treatment for chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis. Spanish studies have also noted silymarin's anti-inflammatory action, and its soothing powers are sometimes employed to treat piles.
In addition, milk thistle infusions and tinctures are known to calm muscular spasms and stimulate the flow of bile from the gall bladder. They are therefore recommended as a treatment for bile-flow and minor digestive problems. The plant is also reputed to stimulate menstruation.
Milk thistle grows readily from seed. Plant in a wild part of the garden in a sunny, well-drained spot.
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