Here we are, another month, another plant of the month. And I dedicate this one to a natural liver elixir since it’s all about a spring body cleanse! Milk thistle is one of the most famous natural and organic ingredients with liver healing properties, but milk thistle health and skin benefits stretch beyond than that. A natural aid also in skin conditions, have a look at what this purple blossom can do for you!
Milk thistle love story
Milk thistle also goes by other names, such as Mary thistle, blessed milk thistle, cardus marianus, and Scotch thistle. It blooms with red and purple flowers. Its leaves are green with visible tiny white veins. Milk thistle’s beneficial parts are the seeds and leaves and liver detox is probably one of the most well-known milk thistle’s benefits.
Milk Thistle or Silybum marianum in Latin is quite a sturdy little plant. It’s been recognized as a healing plan among various communities for centuries, but it’s been getting more attention from the Western science lately as well.
Its use dates all the way to Ancient Greece and Rome for any thyroid disorders, malaria, migraines, seasickness, varicose veins, digestive problems, and a bunch more. You can find its spiky purple blossoms anywhere between Europe to Asia.
Milk thistle as a source of nutrition
There are a few very important components in milk thistle, which are majorly responsible for milk thistle health and skin benefits. As a source of nutrition, milk thistle contains:
An active ingredient which is actually an antioxidant, silymarin is the most important component of milk thistle. It is responsible for many positive effects that result in a natural protection of the liver. Apart from that, silymarin also boosts the immune system, improves the overall health of our cells and prevents the toxins from entering then.
- Vitamin E
- Fatty acids, including linoleic acid
There hasn’t been enough research to support all the milk thistle health and skin benefits. Even though it has been in use for more than 2000 years to treat various problems, we should use it with care nonetheless.
Milk thistle health benefits
When it comes to milk thistle health and skin benefits, this sturdy plant has a lot to offer. A natural aid in soothing seasonal allergies, milk thistle promotes healthy cells and their regeneration. It naturally protects the skin cells from further damage and oxidative stress, caused by the free radicals due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It can be taken internally or applied topically.
A natural boost for the immune system
Milk thistle boosts the immune system. It protects the skin from the free radicals with its antioxidant properties.
Milk thistle liver detox
The active component silymarin protects the liver. It boosts the repair of the damaged liver cells and it helps to flush the toxins out of our bodies. After all, milk thistle has a long history as a natural remedy for liver diseases.
Blood sugar balance
Milk thistle is able to regulate and lower the blood sugar levels due to antioxidants, fatty acids, and silymarin (I know, it’s the most powerful component!).
A natural aid in digestion
For a natural digestion boost, milk thistle with its anti-inflammatory properties is a natural aid in digestive issues; it nourished the intestinal walls and calms the symptoms. It’s been used to help with constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
Improves asthma symptoms
Due to silymarin, milk thistle can reduce inflammation and provide a natural relief when it comes to asthma.
Again, the silymarin not only protects the liver, but it is beneficial for the overall health of our bones as well. It helps to prevent bone loss and promotes stronger bones.
Milk thistle promotes brain health according to this study. Some even claim that milk thistle is effective in treating depression and anxiety, but there’s not enough research to support these claims.
Milk thistle as a beauty product
When applied topically, milk thistle can reduce the inflammation and improve skin conditions. It has antioxidant and anti-aging properties. It’s often used as a natural acne treatment, which makes it one of those natural and organic ingredients that are good for the skin.
Milk thistle skin benefits
With its soothing effects, this sturdy plant moisturizes the skin. It is supposedly useful even for sensitive skin. The vitamin E has protective benefits while fatty acids help to put up skin’s natural moisture barrier.
A natural aid for skin conditions
Detoxifying effect combined with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can have beneficial effects on acne, rosacea, and psoriasis. Many times these conditions appear due to the poor immune system and poor overall health or liver, which could be improved by taking milk thistle supplement according to this study.
On the other hand, there have been some studies according to many online sources that showed how a topical application of milk thistle lotion reduced the redness and itching and improved skin hydration at the same time. Sadly, I have not been able to find any of these studies, so I can’t really confirm this fact. The closest I’ve come to in my research on rosacea and milk thistle was this article.
Slows down the aging process
Due to the antioxidants present in milk thistle, it protects the skin from the free radical damage, which eventually results in slowing signs of aging. Milk thistle should minimize the appearance of dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Milk thistle hair benefits
Apparently, it can help prevent hair loss and boost hair growth. You can use it to get rich and healthy locks that look shiny.
Milk thistle as a kitchen ingredient
To get the maximum milk thistle health and skin benefits, you can consume it different ways. The two most common are:
- Milk thistle leaves
Dried leaves can be used for a powder, which can serve as a tea. Supposedly an additional fat (yogurt or oil) can boost its effects.
- Milk thistle seeds
Seeds are used to make tinctures, powders or extracts. You can eat them raw, as an addition to salads, smoothies, and oatmeal. You can grind them and brew a tea.
Read more on recommended dosage here.
What are your thoughts on milk thistle health and skin benefits?