The liver is one of the most significant organs in the body, performing equally massive tasks. It performs hundreds of functions, from bile production to the excretion of toxic waste from the body. It is indeed a super organ of the human body because of its dynamic nature.
A weak liver is not a good sign. Healthy bodies with a healthy liver can remove harmful substances without intervention. However, a weak liver will require assistance in the form of medical intervention, a change in diet, and overall lifestyle as well.
Milk thistle is well-known for its liver-protecting properties. If you have already checked the benefits, especially liver cleanse, and the herb’s side effects, you must be here because you want to know how much milk thistle you need to take every day for liver detox.
Well, you’re at the perfect place. This blog post extensively explains everything about milk thistle dosage for liver detox.
But before we jump into the main part, it is important to know few important aspects of a liver.
1. What Are The Functions Of The Liver?
Our bodies face vast detoxification provocation in modern society.
Auto exhaust emissions, secondary cigarette smoking, drugs, alcohol, industrial waste, solvents, pesticides, water, and the food we are eating are a constant load on the organs that clean up and detoxify our bodies (kidneys, lungs, liver, and colon).
Appreciative lifestyle options, like exercise and a healthy diet, surely offer to boost these systems. Although, there is a limit for any organ to perform their tasks and to support.
Hence, before delving further into the treatment of liver diseases, it is crucial to understand the functions of the liver:
- It breaks down fats with the help of bile to ease the digestion process.
- It also stores glucose in the form of glycogen to balance low blood sugar in the body when needed.
- It also converts waste and toxic substances like ammonia as part of metabolism and helps in liquid excretion in urine.
- It regulates the clotting of blood and, removes bacteria from the blood as a way of preventing any kind of infection.
2. What Can Weaken A Liver?
The liver plays a crucial role in the human body. Hence, if the organ is exhausted, it means the causal factors must have high-damaging properties. The occurrence of a liver disease compromises the function and the overall quality of life.
But the question is, what can damage a liver to such an extent? Well, the answers are aplenty. The following probable contributing factors can compromise liver function:
Genetics is the first condition for liver disease. The same family history of poor liver health can influence the disease to develop in successive generations. In some cases, the mutations may be worse.
- Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the significant factors that can put the liver in a life-threatening situation. The condition is also called alcoholic liver disease and is a significant problem in many countries.
Another toxic substance is the excessive usage of drugs. Drugs can lead to an array of liver problems and liver inflammation.
Certain medications, when taken in heavy doses over a prolonged period, can potentially strain the liver. In some cases, the condition can be life-threatening, after which the liver cannot revive itself from the damage caused. Diabetes medications are known to have effects on the liver.
The variants of Hepatitis infections like Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C can inflame the liver and increase the risk of damage.
- Obesity and diabetes are other risk factors that can potentially develop into liver disease.
A life-threatening situation can arise when liver issues take the form of liver cancer. In most cases, patients who have cancer have a lower survival rate than other forms.
3. Symptoms of Liver Problems
When the liver is under continuous pressure, its symptoms are many, with some occurring inside the body, while others can be noticeable outside.
Here are some of the symptoms:
- Yellow discolouration of the skin and eyes.
- Abdomen or stomach pain. In some cases, accompanied by swelling.
- Swelled-up ankles.
- The dark yellow colour of urine.
- General fatigue and nausea.
- Decrease of appetite.
- The pale colour of stool.
While liver diseases can sometimes occur with unnoticeable symptoms, there are certain things a healthy person can do to prevent the liver from becoming weak. The personal data of a person influences the course of doses of safe herbal supplements and medications as well.
- Balance alcohol consumption to increase the life of the organ.
- Use medications judiciously and always provide medical advice for safe doses.
- Get vaccinated against Hepatitis if you're at risk of contracting or are a carrier.
- Be aware of the environment and the toxic elements present around. Use a mask in areas where there are chemicals.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle, diet, and weight feasible for your body. Obesity does not fare well with the liver and can compromise its function.
4. Understanding the Benefits of Consuming Milk Thistle
Patients with liver issues have used milk thistle for years on end.
The herb plant has medical properties with anti-oxidative properties and is a natural medicine for jaundice and hepatitis c.
Milk thistle is also known as Mary thistle or holy thistle in some parts of the world.
The Mediterranean-origin herbal remedy plant comes with some benefits for the overall health and recovery of damaged liver cells.
Here are some of the medically proven benefits of milk thistle extract:
- The milk thistle plant helps in protecting the liver from harmful toxins caused by alcoholic liver disease, obesity, and even cancer.
- The herbal supplement also reduces inflammation in the liver and, at the same time, the damage. A tiny milk thistle dosage for liver cleanse works wonderfully from time to time.
- Milk thistle is also known to treat neuro-conditions like Alzheimer's disease. It improves brain function, especially as the body experiences age.
- Some allergic reaction has also been studied to decrease from the direct intake of milk thistle.
- Another type of thistle called variegated thistle also has medicinal properties for different types of liver issues. The blessed milk thistle can keep the liver from suffering any damage from the abuse of alcohol, drugs, and other unwanted toxic chemicals.
- A specific type of blood disorder called beta-thalassemia has also shown positive results when consuming milk thistle as a herbal supplement over a more extended period.
- Studies have also shown that some infertility patients have benefitted from milk thistle extract and hormone medications.
- A combination of the plant's supplements also reduces many effects during menopause.
Milk thistle may also promote breast milk production in mothers producing less milk.
Other areas that are still understudied for the extent of benefits from taking milk thistle are depression, gallbladder disorders, malaria, inconsistency of milk in lactating mothers, varied menstrual issues, among the few.
Studies have also shown that the peak of all the uses of milk thistle is yet to be explored in detail. However, mixed reactions come and go from the intake of the supplement.
5. How Safe is Milk Thistle Extract?
Milk thistle and its herbal supplements are generally known to be safe. However, like any natural drug having healing properties, there is a cap for its safe dose.
Certain groups of people should refrain from considering milk thistle to treat body illnesses.
Here are some precautions before taking milk thistle:
- Women who are pregnant are recommended to avoid milk thistle and its supplements because of the unclear evidence on its effects.
- Diabetic patients with blood sugar levels are recommended to take professional medical advice from more than one source to balance lower blood sugar levels.
- People with a general allergic reaction to plants should avoid any milk thistle or its herbal supplements as well.
- Breast cancer is susceptible to the effects projected by milk thistle. Sensitive hormones may worsen with the intake of the natural remedies' supplier.
6. Different Types of Milk Thistle
Variegated thistle or sometimes known as scotch thistle, falls under the family of the milk thistle plant. National institutes in various parts of the world have conducted studies on the plants' integrative health benefits.
While the uses for the plants are widespread in the native lands of the plant, it is still reserved in many countries because of lack of research.
However, personal data of many patients showed that the scotch thistle had helped those who have ovarian cancer, chronic Hepatitis, and other common illnesses like ulcers and fever.
It is to be noted that only superficial illnesses that are not major can use the thistle plant as an alternative medicine for support.
With the accompaniment of other drugs, the plant should only be consumed as per the medical prescriptions.
Blood Sugar Levels and Milk Thistle
The health benefits provided by milk thistle alongside medical intervention in patients who have diabetes are worth noting.
Research suggests that the plant can ease diabetic patients from oxidative stress from the diseases' effects.
Type two diabetes comes with cholesterol problems are well. The thistle plant can treat high cholesterol as well as insulin sensitivity associated with diabetes.
Patients looking for options to take the holy thistle should consult the doctor. This step is crucial for a balance between conventional medication and the natural remedies provided by the plant. In case of any allergic reaction, the patient should stop consuming the thistle to avoid any liver disorders.
Statin drugs, along with milk thistle, also make a good team in lowering cholesterol. Liver enzymes are balanced with the intake of safe doses of both. This further improves the overall function of the heart and prevents heart diseases.
7. Consuming Milk Thistle in Safe Quantity
Many types of liver disease can develop with varied causes. Some can be due to genetics, while others are imposed by abusing toxins like alcohol and drugs. Leading an unhealthy lifestyle and obesity can also cause liver function to decrease significantly. This not only hampers the organ and its function but compromises the overall quality of life.
What's scary about liver diseases is the fact that most developed with fewer symptoms. Hence, they go noticed until the disease advances.
Milk thistle becomes less effective with an increase in the intensity of the disease. Therefore, keeping track of one's data is critical.
8. What Are Some Amazing Effects Of Milk Thistle
Milk thistle is also considered a complementary therapy because of its herbal remedies.
As discussed earlier, the plant, along with its family of other plants, supports the body in many ways:
- The overall health of the liver is increased because of the antioxidant property present in the seeds of the plant. The detoxifying use of the plant makes it beneficial for a range of liver disorders. However, milk thistle cannot be solely used to treat the liver alone.
- Treating inflammations is one of milk thistle's specialties. The plant can be consumed directly from the mouth or even applied to the skin as per medical advice.
- Persons suffering from strokes are often linked with too much cholesterol. The thistle plant is known to bring down the levels in diabetic patients or those battling type two diabetes.
- Obesity is one factor contributing to many liver disorders—milk thistle aids in a healthier alternative to losing weight.
- Improving bone health is another aid milk thistle provides. With age, bone loss is inevitable. However, the natural remedy helps in strengthening bones at a young age.
- Milk thistle also promotes breast milk production in lactating mothers in a safer manner.
- Cognitive abilities are also enhanced with natural milk thistle extract and significantly decrease the probability of contracting Alzheimer's disease.
- Milk thistle also helps patients suffering from chronic hepatitis C recover and overall increase the immunity of the human body in the long run.
The benefits of milk thistle and its positive effects are many reasons to consider it a safe herbal supplement. However, like all supplements and consumables, too much and un-prescribed does of the milk thistle may also harm the body.
9. Side Effects of Milk Thistle
Milk thistle is a form of complementary and integrative health supplement that aids the body in numerous ways. Many non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or (NSAIDs) use milk thistle extract because of its anti-oxidative properties.
Besides medicines, milk thistle can be added to a wide range of patients' consumables and diets. Teabags with the plant's extract are one of the most common. Other plants are used in this case to balance the medicinal properties provided by the former.
Though milk thistle aids in human health, it differs from one person and one health situation to another. Therefore, in the next part, we talk about the ill effects milk thistle can have on the human body.
Here are some general effects milk thistle can have on the body:
- Indigestion or an upset stomach is one of the most complained after consuming milk thistle or its supplements.
- Apart from stomach pain, the natural drug also causes bloating and gastritis which may be uncomfortable for the patient
Patients with a history of allergic reactions must be wary of the plant
because it can likely cause a bad reaction. These reactions differ from one patient to another.
- Diarrhoea is another common problem with the plant. Although it can relieve the body from oxidative stress, it can cause another problem altogether.
- Itching has also been noted in the records of effects in many patients.
Usually, the itch can be managed and moderate.
A rash may also develop and can also be clubbed with an allergic reaction. In some cases, the reaction can be severe. In this case, the condition is called anaphylaxis. Immediate medical intervention is required since the reaction may be life-threatening.
- Feeling nausea and losing appetite is also possible. Milk thistle may function effectively in removing toxic substances from the body. However, it comes with minor side effects like this.
Most of the general and common side effects of the milk thistle can be managed in one way or another. However, apart from the common side effects, there are other effects patients must be aware of. These are more precautions to get the correct dose and safely consume the plant's medicine.
Mouth: Consumption of milk thistle is safest when consumed directly by the mouth.
Skin: Direct contact of milk thistle extract on the skin is not harmful, provided it is done only for a short period. A doctor's advice is needed for different skin conditions.
Pregnancy: While milk thistle is known for milk producing hormone prolactin, it should be monitored closely for any effects. Taking milk thistle under observation and only when necessary is recommended.
Children: Children ages nine months and older can consume the thistle's supplements directly by mouth. However, even this requires medical advice.
Cancer: There are many benefits of milk thistle for reducing radiation of chemotherapy. However, those who have ovarian cancer, breast cancer, or even uterine fibroids should stay away from any plant extracts. Even those with a history of the types mentioned above of cancer should prevent consumption.
10. How Much Milk Thistle Should I Take For Liver Detox?
Having a thorough understanding of milk thistle's benefits and side effects is crucial for all patients considering taking its supplements. One of the most crucial being - is taking the prescribed doses to balance the functioning of other medications and the functioning of the body.
Milk thistle is a traditional herbal medicine used to reduce the symptoms related to irregular, excess food intake such as heartburn, stomach upset, and bloating.
Consider buying standardised milk thistle extract that has 80 percent of silymarin and check the quality as well as bio-availability to your liver.
A clinically proven dose of milk thistle (silymarin) daily is 420 mg per day in three equal parts and balances 175 mg of thisilyn three times in a day. Few people may experience a light, laxative effect during the first few days; however, it stops after 2 to 3 days.
Some studies said to have 70-80 mg of silymarin three times per day. The use of 140 mg silymarin per day is said to have a strong therapeutic effect.
If you choose milk thistle tea instead of supplements, start with a cup of milk thistle tea on an empty stomach and gradually increase it to three cups a day.
At last, milk thistle extract is safe for any cleansing plan. By raising antioxidants in the body, milk thistle extract aids in encouraging the liver cleanse, prominently showing you signs of detox working on your liver.
It is essential to observe bodily changes with the intake of milk thistle. If the supplement does not seem to improve, consultation with your doctor is recommended to rule out all possible reasons.
One of the most common questions received is what to do if you miss a dose of the milk thistle or its supplement.
If you miss a dose and you're already nearing the second or the next dose, make sure you do not try to make up for the dose.
This may lead to an overdose of the supplement and may not fare well for the patient both in the short and long terms.
11. Should You Take Milk Thistle For Liver Detox?
Milk thistle is considered one of the best alternatives for the liver and its issues. The plant has worked wonders for many patients because of its anti-oxidative properties, fasting blood sugar levels for cholesterol problems, reducing the effects of chemotherapy, aiding as an anti-depression supplement, hepatitis variants, heartburns, different types of allergy cause inflammation, and much more.
However, milk thistle side effects are one to look out for because some of them can be life-threatening.
Due to the contents of the milk thistle seeds, they are usually added as a supplement alongside medications.
Even if it is a supplement, a doctor's prescription is needed to avoid severe effects.
Always consult healthcare providers for all milk thistle alternatives. While you're under the supplement, keep them under cool temperatures and away from children and others at home. Different doses are recommended for different ages and different health problems.
Patients who experienced adverse side effects from consuming milk thistle should consult their doctor for another alternative or stop consumption altogether. There have been cases where the supplement seems not to affect the body or instead worsens the condition. In other cases, other diseases may develop while another recovers. Therefore all kinds of interaction with the natural drug must be noted because milk thistle may cause other health issues.