Strengthens immunity: The intake of milk thistle on a regular basis is known to improve your immunity and the body becomes better abled to fight off infections and diseases.
Immunostimulatory effect of Milk Thistle (Silybum Marianum)
Herbal products are increasingly used for their effects on the immune system. Milk Thistle, a commonly used herbal product is known to inhibit growth of certain tumors, although the mechanism of this effect remains unknown. Previously we have shown that Milk Thistle extracts stimulate neurons in culture. Since other drugs that affect the neuronal; system also affect the immune system, we investigated the effects of Milk Thistle on the immune system.
Standardized Milk Thistle extract was studied in murine lymphocyte proliferation tests using Concanavalin A (ConA) as mitogen for non-specific stimulation and mixed lymphocyte culture (MLC) as allospecific stimulation. Th1 and Th2 cytokine levels in MLC were assayed by two antibody capture ELISA technique. All tests were performed in triplicate and repeated twice.
We found that Milk Thistle is immunostimulatory in vitro. It increased lymphocyte proliferation in both mitogen and MLC assays. These effects of Milk Thistle were associated with an increase in interferon gamma, interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-10 cytokines in the MLC (table). This immunostimulatory effect increased in response to increasing doses of Milk Thistle.
Our study has uncovered a novel effect of milk thistle on the immune system. This immunostimulatory effect may be of benefit in increasing the immunity to infectious diseases.
National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Bethesda, Maryland, United States
Milk thistle is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant herb, it contains a significant amount of amino acids, protein and, most notably, a group of natural chemical compounds called silymarin.
The silymarin from milk thistle is known to have antioxidant, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties
Filled With Antioxidants And Vitamins
Milk thistle benefits are similar to other healing nutrients, like VITAMIN E & VITAMIN C. It specifically contains high levels of lipophilic extracts from the seeds of the plant, which act as bioflavanoid antioxidants that increase immunity and slow down oxidative stress.
The Liver-Immune Connection
Milk thistle – and its active constituents sylimarin and silibinin – is useful in the treatment of liver diseases like cirrhosis and viral hepatitis. The liver plays a huge role in detoxifying the body, and when liver function is compromised, so is immune function. The liver plays a direct role in the immune system by eliminating microorganisms and preventing tumor transformation, according to an article published in the journal “Hepatology." Milk thistle supports healthy liver function through its effect on the regeneration of liver cells and its antioxidant effect, which prevents free radicals from damaging liver cells called hepatocytes.
Milk thistle and its constituents also have a stimulatory effect on the immune system as a whole, according to research published in the “Medical Science Monitor.” In vitro testing found it to increase lymphocyte proliferation with a direct correlation to the dose of milk thistle given. Milk thistle's immunostimulatory effects make it an exciting candidate as a complementary treatment for any infectious disease.
Supports weight loss
Supports liver health
Promotes skin health
Has potent antiviral properties
Reduces insulin resistance
Improves allergic asthma symptoms
Limits the spread of cancer
Supports bone health
Latin/Botanical Name: Silybum Marianum
Milk Thistle Seeds are used as a liver tonic, to "support healthy liver function*" and overall well being. The hard, dark-colored seeds are ground and used to make a tea or tincture, encapsulated, or added to foods. The whole seeds are also sometimes added to foods.