Do you know there are numerous benefits to taking milk thistle for the liver? Anti-inflammatory medication can damage your liver, milk thistle can help to counteract the effects of medications on your liver. Here's everything to know about taking milk thistle.
Are you one of the 50 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain? Does your pain limit your ability to work and get around? Are you concerned about the long-term effects of medications on your liver?
Anti-inflammatory medications are often prescribed for back pain and arthritis. Side effects can include allergies, liver problems, and swelling in the legs.
Side effects can also include vertigo, ulcers, and high blood pressure.
If you're interested in treating your pain using herbal remedies, read on. I'll tell you all about milk thistle, an herb that's been used for thousands of years. I’ll also help you find some effective pain management strategies.
What is Milk Thistle?
Milk thistle is a plant that grows almost everywhere in the world. It's been used to treat cirrhosis of the liver and gallbladder problems since Ancient Roman times.
Milk thistle often grows wild and is available in liquid and pill form. Its flowers are called "achenes," and it's this part of the plant that people take.
People don't report too many side effects from the plant, just some stool softening for a few days. If you're allergic to plants in the ragweed family, you may have an allergy to milk thistle.
Before you start taking it, consult with your doctor or herbal therapist. They may recommend that you take a smaller dose to start with or wait until after you start a new medication.
Benefits of Milk Thistle for the Liver
Silymarin is the main compound found in milk thistle, and it's been studied for its high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants help to eliminate free radicals, which may cause cancer.
Another one of the benefits of milk thistle is that the plant's seeds are also edible. You can toast them at home and then toss them into your salads or hot cereal. Another way to use them is to add them to smoothies or breads.
There have not been many studies of milk thistle's effect on the body, but trials on animals have been successful.
It's been shown that milk thistle has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, which means that it could be used in pain medication in the future.
If you have chronic pain, you may find relief from regularly taking milk thistle.
Using milk thistle for the liver could also help you avoid Alzheimer's and osteoporosis. It's also been used for gallstones, diabetes, and hepatitis.
How to Do a Milk Thistle Detox
Before you get started on a milk thistle detox, it's a good idea to check your medications. There are several medications that should not be mixed with milk thistle, including Valium.
If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor before taking milk thistle. It can lower your blood sugar, but it could also interact with your medications and raise blood sugar.
The first stage of using milk thistle to detox your liver is to make sure you're not allergic. Go to your local health food store and find milk thistle tea. Make one cup of tea and see how you feel the next day.
In general, you should always take water with milk thistle. It helps with the absorption of antioxidants.
If you don't have any allergic reactions, continue with the tea for a week or so. Once you finish the tea, you can start on milk thistle capsules or liquid extract.
You don't have to stop eating to do a detox with milk thistle, but you may want to fast for eight to 12 hours at a time. Skip dinner, have a few cups of tea, and hold off on food until the next morning.
Finally, try to keep a record of your pain levels before and after you take the milk thistle. If your arthritis improves or if you feel a change in your chronic pain, be sure to make a note.
Where to Find Milk Thistle
You can often find milk thistle tea and capsules in your local health food store. Some stores also carry extracts, so you have a few choices.
If you're going to be taking milk thistle in pill form, you should start with one 200 mg capsule. Make sure you're drinking a lot of water and try to avoid alcoholic drinks for the first few weeks.
Once you're used to the pills, you can double the dosage to about 400 mg per day. If you have any nausea or persistent diarrhea, cut back on your intake or stop for a few days.
If you can't find milk thistle in your health food store, you can always find some online. You should buy organic milk thistle, if possible, and find a website that doesn't have any additives in its pills.
Milk thistle isn't meant to be taken for years at a time. Every six months or so, you should stop taking it for two to three weeks. If you have access to a natural health doctor, talk to them about your dosages and schedule.
Day-To-Day Pain Management Strategies
In addition to taking milk thistle for the liver, you can take several other herbs for pain management. Garlic powder is a strong anti-inflammatory agent, along with turmeric and cayenne pepper.
People who struggle with chronic pain often have a terrible time finding remedies. Resting can help sometimes, along with the proper medications.
If you struggle with shoulder pain, ankle pain, or neck and back pain, give yourself some time to find effective treatments. Used in conjunction with anti-inflammatory medication, herbal remedies could be just the ticket for long-term relief.
Take your time and keep track of what works for you. Don't be afraid to experiment with different strategies, the better equipped you are to fight the pain will help you fight it successfully.