Native to the Mediterranean region, milk thistle is a common flowering herb whose extract, called silymarin, comes from the fruit of the plant and is included in supplements in a variety of forms. This active ingredient may feature both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, although its effects on the body remain under research. Although folklore may have associated milk thistle as an herbal remedy for a variety of conditions ranging from cirrhosis and hepatitis to gallbladder disorders and high cholesterol, no evidence exists that indicates milk thistle is effective at combatting these conditions.
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Most research today focuses on the plant’s ability to promote healthy liver function. Over the years, lab studies have revealed that milk thistle may protect liver cells from toxins and possibly encourage the growth of new cells, which indicates that it may help improve overall liver function, especially for individuals with alcohol-related liver disease. However, contradictory studies have shown little to no evidence indicating this herbal supplement may help promote liver health. Thus, research on milk thistle’s role in traditional medicine remains inconclusiveâ€”but still under evaluationâ€”at this time.
How Can I Get Milk Thistle?
Milk thistle supplements are available in a variety of forms at drugstore.com. Many manufacturers recommend that you take these supplements with a meal, which helps minimize the risk of nausea or other side effects. As an alternative, some of the milk thistle capsules can be opened and added to your favorite tea, giving you an alternative way of consuming this supplement. You may also find milk thistle extract in liquid form at drugstore.com.
How Much Milk Thistle Should I Take?
These supplements come in a variety of strengths, ranging from 100 milligrams to 1,000 milligrams therefore, it is important to follow the package instructions on how to take the product. Many of the milk thistle supplements available at drugstore.com are labeled as natural. Others may be gluten-free.
drugstore.com offers a variety of milk thistle supplements, making it easy to find one that fits your needs, expectations, and lifestyle. Take some time to consult with your physician and to compare products together, which will help you find the one that is right for you.