Can liver damage be reversed?

Also known as Silybum marianum, milk thistle is a herb many believe to have medicinal properties.

Milk thistle seeds contain a group of compounds known as silymarin which are said to contain both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Due to this powerful compound, milk thistle has been used as a remedy for various conditions through the years, making it very popular among health enthusiasts.

Below are some of the health benefits you’ll get from milk thistle.

It protects the liver

Milk thistle is known for its liver-protecting effects which is why it’s used as a complementary therapy by people suffering from liver damage.

Liver damage can be caused by several things.  It can be due to fatty liver disease, alcoholic liver disease, hepatitis, or liver cancer.

This amazing herb is also used to protect the liver from harmful toxins like amatoxin which you can get from a death cap mushroom, a poisonous fungus that can be deadly when ingested.

Studies have shown that people with liver disease who took milk thistle supplements showed improvements in their liver function, thereby suggesting that it can help reduce liver inflammation and reverse liver damage in the process.

A separate study also showed that milk thistle may also extend the life expectancy of a patient suffering from liver cirrhosis due to alcoholic liver disease.

Though milk thistle is used as a complementary therapy for people suffering from liver diseases, there’s currently no solid evidence that it can help you prevent these health conditions.

It can help protect your bones

Apart from its liver-protecting properties, milk thistle extract is also known for its bone-protecting effects.

Animal studies have shown that milk thistle can help stimulate bone mineralization, protecting you from bone loss in the process.

This would be very helpful for humans especially since progressive bone loss can slowly develop as we age.  Unfortunately, there are currently no human studies that can prove this, making this claim inconclusive, to say the least.  

It can boost milk production

Milk thistle has also been reported to be beneficial for lactating mothers because it can help boost breast milk production.

This is made possible by producing more prolactin, otherwise known as the milk-producing hormone.

One study found that mothers who took 420 mg of silymarin for 63 straight days produced more milk than those who didn’t.  Unfortunately, there are no other studies available that can help confirm this claim.

It can help lower blood sugar for people with diabetes

Studies have shown that milk thistle may also help regulate blood sugar levels in people with type-2 diabetes.

This is made possible by the compounds it contains which were found to have similar effects to that of diabetic medications.  That is, by helping reduce blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity.

Furthermore, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of milk thistle were also found to be useful in reducing the risk of developing diabetic complications such as heart and kidney disease.

Unfortunately, the quality of the studies mentioned is not that good which means more studies are needed before formal recommendations can be made.

Final Thoughts

Milk thistle has been in use for more than 2,000 years and has been used to treat a variety of ailments, making it one of the most commonly used medicinal herbs.  

Its liver-protecting properties have become its trademark making it a good complementary therapy for people with liver damage.  If there’s a kind of treatment that can help reverse liver damage, taking milk thistle supplements daily would be a good first step.