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Milk thistle, milk or milk thistle: properties and contraindications

What is milk thistle and what is it used for?

Originally from the Mediterranean, milk thistle (Silybum marianum) has been used for thousands of years throughout Europe for its powerful and varied medicinal virtues and, especially, for being liver protector and an excellent remedy for liver affections.

The adjective “Marian” comes from a legend according to which the Virgin Mary dyed the leaves white of this plant with the milk of her breast when she tried to hide Jesus from Herod’s persecution; that is why it is also called “milk thistle” or “milk thistle”.

Characteristics of milk thistle

this thorny plant grows wild on dry, sunny soilsalthough it is also cultivated as an ornamental plant.

With a maximum height of one and a half meters, it presents a stem very robust and branched.Their leaves are large and lobed and have a greyish-green color dotted with little white spots.Flowerswith a tonality purpleare arranged in a terminal head that reminds of a small artichoke.The milk thistle seeds they are black and shiny.

Properties of milk thistle: silymarin

Milk thistle contains a small proportion of a fatty oil, as well as proteins, tyramine, bitter principles and a substance called silymarin to which a high protective effect on the liver.

The silymarin, contained in the seeds, has the ability to strengthen the cell membranes of the liver, preventing the absorption of those toxic products that could damage it and, at the same time, stimulating the synthesis of proteins and the secretion of bile. With this extract they prepare capsules and drops.

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For all these reasons, it gives milk thistle its valuable medicinal properties:

It is used to treat various liver conditionssuch as, for example, the infections caused by ingesting poisonous mushrooms wave acute hepatitis.It is also indicated to combat migraines and neuralgia No less important is its virtue as antihemorrhagic, which makes it an especially useful remedy to treat abundant rules, hemorrhoids, nosebleeds and varicose veins.

Natural remedies with milk thistle

Infusion of milk thistle to reduce inflammation of the liver

It is prepared by mixing, in equal parts, milk thistle (the crushed “artichoke” with its seeds included), angelicaroot of gentianleaves of artichoke, centaur, calendula, mint, boldo leaves and cachurrera (Xanthium spinosum).

How to prepare it: Add a tablespoon of this combination for every half glass of water and soak overnight. The next day strain and drink on an empty stomach.

A simple alternative is to mix a teaspoon of seedsMilk thistle in a yogurt.

Infusion to treat alcoholic hepatitis

There is a formula that is made by mixing a tablespoon of milk thistle with two of cachurrera.

How to prepare it: Boil the mixture for 5 minutes dissolved in a liter of water and let it stand, covered, for 5 more minutes. To improve its flavor you can add a little mint in the last boil.

Infusion of milk thistle for menstruation

To normalize abundant periods, an infusion is prepared that is obtained by mixing, in equal parts, milk thistle with shepherd’s purse, nettle and horsetail in a proportion of three tablespoons per liter of water.

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To prevent menstrual discomfortyou can take a cup daily, on an empty stomach, during the nine days prior to the period.

To alleviate the dizziness and vomiting of a trip

In this case it is enough to take a milk thistle tea

Contraindications and precautions

The consumption of milk thistle can generate in some people gastrointestinal disorders. It is not recommended in case of hypertensionso you can have effects on blood pressure.Since it alters the ability to coagulationit is not recommended before or after a surgery.

Advisor: Trini Ferrán, herbalist at “El Manantial de Salud”)

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