Milk thistle: benefits, properties and contraindications

The Marian thistle or silybum marianum is a herbaceous plant of the family of asteraceae that grows mainly in the shore of the Mediterranean, India and even some remote areas of Siberia. The center of Europe has also been cultivated in some countries along with Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador and China.

It is characterized by having a stem branched towards the apex that can reach 3.5 meters in height. On the other hand, the leaves measure from 12 to 40 centimeters. Likewise, the milk thistle has been used for several centuries as a recurrent medicinal plant that contains many benefits for our health, especially for its content in Silymarin.

Photo: Datmore / Istockphoto

It should be noted that this name was attributed to the Virgin Mary. Legend has it that he used the leaves of this plant to hide Jesus from the hosts of Herod, who had the goal of killing any newborn.

Since then, the milk thistle has had a great religious influence. And in fact, its use in the Middle Ages was already recommended to those women who had given birth, since it was thought that it increased the production of breast milk.

Main benefits of milk thistle

Have you found the story that surrounds this medicinal plant curious? Surely yes. Once all this is known, then we will delve into what really matters, which is none other than the amount of benefits that Milk Thistle contains:

Protect our liver

It has been shown that this medicinal plant avoids some liver diseases that are related to the gallbladder such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or fatty liver, conditions that are the order of the day and that are mainly related to excessive consumption of alcohol or carry or when carrying out a diet rich in saturated fats and sugars.

Reduces cholesterol levels

It should also be noted that the consumption of milk thistle reduces considerably the levels of high cholesterol in blood. For this reason, it is advised to take it to all those people who suffer from overweight, a disease that can later translate into more serious cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension.

It has antioxidant properties

Milk thistle is one of those plants that contains in its interior a multitude of antioxidant agents that help us to promote a correct functioning of the organism, while at the same time avoiding the segregation of free radicals. These components are very harmful to our health, and are released especially when we drink alcohol or smoke a cigarette.

Photo: Stockpro / Istockphoto

Beneficial against dyspepsia and heartburn

It is very normal that after a too spicy or copious meal we suffer a period of acidity or heavy stomach. If it is a condition that you often suffer quite frequently throughout the week, try to take a little milk thistle after your meals, and you will see how you will have results sooner than you imagine. It also serves to treat diarrhea and constipation.

  • Why do I have heartburn?

What contraindications does the milk thistle have?

However, as with any medicinal plant, the milk thistle also has a series of contraindications what must be taken into account:

  • It is discouraged to take it after surgery. This is because milk thistle can have negative effects on blood clotting. Hence, it should not be taken after an operation.
  • Beware of diabetics. All those who suffer from diabetes should be careful when consuming this plant, as it affects blood glucose levels.
  • It should not be mixed with certain medications. The consumption of milk thistle together with certain medicines to treat depression can have a toxic effect on our body. Therefore, it is recommended to consult our trusted doctor if we are using any of these drugs.
This article is published for informational purposes only. You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist. ThemesLiver Medicinal plants

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