The Health Benefits You Didn’t Know About Milk Thistle

Hawthorn Berry was briefly discussed in the previous blog about its effectiveness to treat heart problems and many more. Its healing power is truly fascinating and can’t be denied. Many studies really spare their time discovering this kind of plant and it’s really worth it. 

Let’s move on now in discussing Milk Thistle. Aside from being common in treating liver problems, let’s find out the other things it can help. But before that, let’s gather information on its history first.

The History:

Milk Thistle is an aromatic annual or a plant in shrubs with a dense-prickly flower head and reddish-purple tubular flowers. The thistle’s grayish-green stem is cobwebby and slender–about ⅛ inch or less near the head. It has an extensive history of use as an edible plant. In the 1st century AD, Pliny the Elder introduces it as an important aspect for supporting liver health. The English herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper (1650) has the same report to Pliny the Elder so we can say that it is really effective for the liver problem.

Milk Thistle originated in the Mediterranean region and is found from the Iberian Peninsula to Southern Russia, as well as in North Africa and Asia Minor. It has been introduced in North and South America and Southern Australia. It can sometimes be found growing wild in Central Europe.  

Here are the Health Benefits of a Milk Thistle:

  • Milk Thistle supports liver health.

The active ingredient in milk thistle is silymarin which acts as an antioxidant by reducing free radical production. Scientists think this creates a detoxifying effect that becomes beneficial for liver problems. Milk thistle can be a helpful interdependent treatment for liver problems but not a primary option.

  • Milk Thistle promotes skin health.

According to a study, Milk thistle has antioxidant and anti-aging effects on human skin cells in a laboratory environment.

  • Milk Thistle reduces cholesterol. 

Studies found that cholesterol levels were lower in people taking milk thistle to treat diabetes than those taking a placebo.

  • Milk Thistle supports weight loss.

Research says that silymarin can help if you want to lose weight. Silymarin is present in Milk Thistle.

  • Milk Thistle reduces insulin resistance.

A study discovers that milk thistle extract helps to lower insulin resistance. It is a problem if a person has type 2 diabetes.

  • Milk thistle improves allergic asthma symptoms.

It has an active ingredient that helps to reduce inflammation. Another study found that silymarin helps in protecting a person against inflammation in the air passage of mice with allergic asthma. 

  • Milk thistle limits the spread of cancer.

A review from 2016 found that milk thistle extract inhibited the growth of cancerous cells in colorectal cancer. 

  • Milk thistle supports bone health.

A study conducted that milk thistle helped in preventing bone loss. The study looked precisely at a bone loss caused by an insufficiency in estrogen. 

  • Milk thistle improves cognition.

It increases resistance to oxidative stress. Aside from it improves cognition, it also treats degenerative conditions that affect the mind.

  • Milk thistle boosts the immune system.

It helps strengthen a person’s immune response and help them fight off infection. 

How To Successfully Grow Milk Thistle:

This is an amazing herb to plant at home. It requires very little care and a controlled environment to prevent invasive growth. So, here are the tips:


  1. It prefers high temperatures and dry conditions. Its only requirement is well-draining soil.
  2. In order to grow milk thistle outdoor, spread the seed directly to your desired area in spring or fall. Since it grows in clumps, you should space the plant for about 12-15 inches (30-38 cm) apart.
  3. Since milk thistle is a drought-tolerant plant and prefers dry conditions, it’s not necessary to water it always unless there are very extreme conditions of drought.
  4. For the increased seed production of milk thistle, you can fertilize this plant with nitrogen and potassium. 
  5. Milk thistle is considered a weed. Therefore, it is advised to harvest the seeds before they become over-mature to control these from spreading.
  6. Pests or diseases can’t easily affect milk thistle.
  7. When the flower has finished blooming and loaded with seeds, the flower head must be cut with less than one inch (2.5 cm) of the stem.

The Bottom Line:

Now we know that aside from treating liver problems, milk thistle can also help in promoting skin health, reduces cholesterol, supports weight loss, reduces insulin resistance, improves allergic asthma symptoms, limits the spread of cancer, supports bone health, improves cognition, and boosts the immune system. Look how helpful it is. In fact, it may be considered as a weed but it is loaded with many health benefits. 

We are now at the bottom and we’re done discussing the different kinds of medicinal herbs. Having an illness is sometimes inevitable so I hope this blog helps you all for obtaining ideas when you’re seeking a cure. 

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