Milk Thistle - an annual or biennial herbaceous plant belonging to the family Asteraceae.
The plant has a rather large leaves, glossy, shiny, slightly wavy. On inflorescences and stems of the plant are the spines yellow. Blossoms from July to August. The flowers are purple, pink or red, tubular, numerous, collected in globular inflorescences-baskets.
The fruits are ovoid achenes brown or black with a tuft.
The plant belongs to the category of weeds. Distributed in Europe, Russia and Asia.
As a medicinal plant found use of milk thistle fruits - seeds without pappus.
The history of the use of milk thistle
The medicinal properties of milk thistle has been used for over two thousand years. In ancient Rome the use of milk thistle found in the treatment of liver diseases, poisoning and as a diuretic.
The first reviews of the milk thistle found in the works of Theophrastus and belong to the IV century BC. e.
Until the mid XX century, milk thistle was used mostly in folk medicine. In 1968 he studied the biochemical composition of plant seeds, and was received silymarin - a biologically active substance used in the treatment of various diseases. Since 1970, the technology of industrial production of silymarin has been patented, and registered as a drug.
The fruit of the plant contains fatty oils, resins, proteins, tannins, mucilage, flavonoids, dyes, saponins, alkaloids (taxifolin) flavonolignany (silidianin, silychristin, silybin), tyramine, quercetin, copper, zinc, selenium, B vitamins, K and other micro-and macro.
Due to the content of the order of 200 properties of milk thistle components used in the manufacture of many medicines and dietary supplements.
The healing properties of milk thistle
Milk thistle has been applied in the treatment of chronic intoxication, food poisoning, gallstones, acquired immunodeficiency toxicosis in pregnant women, cough, blurred vision, diabetes, obesity, jaundice, diseases of the spleen, liver and cardiovascular diseases.
Positive reviews of the milk thistle suggest that it is perfectly helps purify the blood, the liver and the whole body of toxins and radiation. It is used after undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy in the treatment of varicose veins, open fractures and difficult healing ulcers.
Numerous studies have confirmed that the use of milk thistle is effective in the treatment of fatty degeneration, hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver, and in case of poisoning with chlorine, it has a high protective effect.
Preparations on the basis of the plant ("Karsil", "Legalon", "Silibor", "Bondzhigar") contribute to the removal of bile from the body, improve motor and secretory functions of the gastrointestinal tract and protect the liver from the effects of negative factors. They are prescribed for obesity, chronic diseases of the biliary tract, gall bladder and liver. Reviews of milk thistle indicate that drugs based on it helps with hypertension, arteriosclerosis, alcoholism, chemical and food poisoning, hypovitaminosis, anemia, drug abuse, as well as chronic fatigue, depression and stress.
Contraindications to the treatment of milk thistle
Treatment of milk thistle is contraindicated appendicitis, diarrhea, calculous cholecystitis, pancreatitis, hepatic and renal colic reflex disease, and if you are hypersensitive.
Some experts believe that milk thistle is contraindicated during pregnancy.