Posted on December 26 2016
Traditionally milk thistle and milk thistle extract have been used to treat liver issues — including liver damage, jaundice, cirrhosis, hepatitis, and poisoning.
Milk thistle has also often been used, as many bitter greens are, as an appetite stimulant — this is probably owing to the fact that bitter foods/flavours stimulate the release of bile, which aids in digestion. Particularly in the digestion of fatty foods.
Milk thistle has also traditionally been used for gallbladder issues, heartburn, spleen issues, malaria, female problems, and allergies.
It’s also apparently been used as a galactagogue (milk production stimulant), and to bring on the onset of menses.
It’s worth stating outright right here that there is substantial anecdotal evidence for the effectiveness of treating death cap poisoning with milk thistle extract, going back quite some time — that’s not to say that it’s a miracle solution though, death caps are extremely toxic. But the extract clearly has a lot going for it in this regard.
Side Effects Of Milk Thistle
The side effects of milk thistle and milk thistle extract are pretty limited (as far as is known), with the only effects being the occasional report of nausea or diarrhea.
The compounds in milk thistle reportedly may mimic the effects of certain estrogens in the human body — as a result some physicians recommend that women with breast, ovarian, or uterine cancers, not use it. There’s some debate on this matter though — and as noted above, milk thistle extract does appear to show some efficacy against certain types of cancer. So…
Interactions with common prescription medications are known, so those currently taking prescription drugs should probably consult with their physician before beginning self-treatment with milk thistle.