You’d think that a herbal extract derived from a common weed wouldn’t set the world on fire, but the incredible antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in milk thistle have been used as a natural remedy for over 2,000 years! The Greek physician Dioscorides was the first to discover and promote the healing properties of milk thistle back in the year 40 A.D
Milk thistle has many uses, however its most widely celebrated for its detoxifying properties. Milk thistle works to promote healthy liver function- the part of the body that takes the most stress from toxins. Milk thistle helps to actively repair liver cells while drawing away toxins out of the liver and body and is especially effective in combating the harmful pesticides we ingest via. food as well as heavy metals and pollution. Such is the effectiveness of milk thistle on the liver that it’s been approved as an official therapeutic treatment for a number of common liver diseases such as alcoholism, jaundice and fatty liver syndrome.
Because milk thistle is a blood detoxifier, it can also help to support healthy cholesterol levels. As milk thistle cleans the blood, it helps to prevent oxidative stress damage within the artery network.
Rich in antioxidants, milk thistle can also help to protect skin from the effects of aging. Antioxidants search for and break the chains of free radicals in our body which are a direct result of exposure to pollution, heavy metals, chemicals or excess sun exposure. Antioxidants protect the protein nutrients in healthy cells from being attacked by free radicals, helping the skin to maintain hydration, colour and firmness.
While those within gardening circles see milk thistle as nothing more than a nuisance, we think it’s one of the most under-rated plants on the planet- this little weed packs a lot of punch!