Funnily enough, milk thistles are not part of the dairy category within the food pyramid. There is really no shame in admitting if you haven’t even heard or seen milk thistles since they are native to Europe and more common in America. Scratching your head over how this two-meter tall plant gets its name? It actually comes from how the leaves secrete a milky sap when it gets broken. It even gets a little bit more mystical since the white markings on the leaves of the milk thistles were believed to be the milk from the Virgin Mary. Now that’s a little fun fact before the Christmas season! That aside, milk thistles have recently been used in a more medicinal capacity after it has been discovered that parts of the milk thistles actually help control liver damage, deal with heartburn and control acne. Let us explore more about the possibilities of milk thistles in detail.
Milk Thistles Help With Liver Disorders
Run your search on liver disorders and you will discover there are many different ones like cirrhosis, jaundice, hepatitis and those that affect the gallbladder. Thankfully, they all work well with milk thistle as a natural treatment method. The seeds of the milk thistle actually shield the liver cells from harm inflicted by toxins and drugs, while those who have taken milk thistle as a supplement found that it reduces liver inflammation and thus, brings down the extent of liver damage.
Most trekkers who explore the wilderness and feed off what they can get their hands on would know how important milk thistles can be especially when they accidentally consume the Amanita phalloides (death cap) mushroom by accident in the wild. Milk thistles actually help negate the amatoxin caused by the poisonous mushroom and can be thought of as an antidote to the deadly effect of the inconspicuous-looking toadstool.
Milk Thistles Help Strengthen Your Bones
Realistically, all of us suffer from progressive bone loss as we age over the years. But for some, the rate of bone loss increases exponentially as they struggle with osteoporosis. This means that their bones are much more fragile and frail and a minor fall could even end up in a broken bone or two. What milk thistle does is to stimulate bone mineralisation and this ensures that bone loss happens at a slower rate and fractures and broken bones heal faster.
Milk Thistles Benefit Your Skin
Our skin gets affected by the food we consume and that is why we as health enthusiasts pay more attention to these natural superfoods. In particular, milk thistles are known to do wonders for our skin since research has discovered that the antioxidants in milk thistles work to our advantage by fighting against the free radicals. That means that inflammatory skin disorders like acne are less likely to come up. For those who are currently dealing with acne, a research was done showing an almost 50% drop in acne lesions by taking milk thistles over a two month period. If you are looking towards achieving better skin and keeping your body free of oxidative stress, milk thistles are the way to go.
Milk Thistles Help Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Those with type 2 diabetes would surely welcome this point since the compounds in milk thistle actually function the same with certain diabetic medications. It has been found that taking milk thistle supplements could actually improve one’s insulin sensitivity and drop their blood sugar level. In addition, the anti-inflammatory properties are known to reduce the risk of complications that could lead to kidney disease.
How Are Milk Thistles Taken?
Are milk thistles ingested or are they applied directly to the skin? The simple answer to that is both since milk thistles can actually be eaten and even applied to the skin to help with skin toxicity. How most people consume milk thistles is by concentrating on the leaves and flowers. Since they can be eaten straight from the fields, they can be brought to your salad bowl and are known to be a great substitute to spinach when cooked. The stem can be a little tricky since they might have sharp leaf spines that have to be removed, but would work great as an asparagus-like vegetable when grilled. Lastly, for the caffeine addict looking to depart from coffee beans, when the seeds of milk thistles are roasted, they function as a great alternative to a cuppa. Of course, the easiest manner in which you can start introducing milk thistles into your diet is simply to start with supplements that can easily be bought over the counter if you are not willing to get your hands dirty. Due to the many positives that it brings, this herb truly has the potential to change your life, one milk thistle at a time.