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Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum): ingred. of Ron Ron


Originally from of the Mediterranean countries, of southern of Russia and North Africa, is naturalized in California and in the eastern United States. It is located at spontaneous state in desert areas dry and hot. It can also be cultivated in the gardens.

Infesting plant is particularly common in the Mediterranean area and mainly in southern and central Italy, rarely in Northern Italy. The species is found with relative ease in fallow fields, pastures, along the edges of the trails, in the rubble.

Characteristics and properties

Milk Thistle was enjoying a time of high regard in folk medicine, estimates that has been gradually fading unjustifiably. The plant, in fact, is rich in therapeutic properties that make it particularly valuable in liver dysfunction.
Has indeed a long history in folk medicine as a tonic for the liver. Silymarin contained in milk thistle has shown a protective effect against many types of chemical toxins, including alcohol.

An extract of milk thistle is used to improve liver function, protect against damage to the liver and accelerate the regeneration of damaged liver cells.
Clinical studies have confirmed the usefulness of standardized extracts of milk thistle in cases of intoxication of the liver, cirrhosis, and other chronic liver disease related to alcohol abuse.

Properties and medical use of flavonolignans (silymarin)
Taken from [Properties and medical use of flavonolignans (Silymarin) from Silybum marianum] Phytotherapy Research (United Kingdom), 1996, 10/SUPPL. 1 (S25-S26)]

Extracts of flavonolignans purified from the fruits of milk thistle (Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn., Syn. Carduus marianus L.) contain mainly silymarin, an isometric compound of silibinin, sosilibinina, silychristin and silydianin. Silymarin is used for the treatment of toxic liver damage (induced by alcohol, drugs or environmental toxins) and for the support therapy in chronic inflammation of the liver and in liver cirrhosis.

Silymarin and its main Isometre, the silibinin, have been shown to possess antioxidant properties thus preventing lipid oxidation and membrane destruction in celule. In addition, protein biosynthesis and cell regeneration are so accelerated in the liver DAMAGED, which leads to the restoration of hepatic functions.

To certain poisonous toxins from fungi are prevented access to liver cells by silibinin due to competitive inhibition of receptors to the cell mebrane.
Intravenous treatment with a soluble derivative of silibinin is currently an important factor in the life-saving standard therapy of cases of poisoning by Amanita phalloides.

Finally, it was recently shown that silymarin inhibits the production of lecotriene which explains its anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic action.
Clinical tests confirm the positive effects found in experimental studies. Thus, silymarin is now not only the best documented substance for the therapy of the liver but also one of the plant extracts most carefully researched and studied with known mechanisms of action.

Tonic and regenerating of the liver (helps in problems and swellings of the liver: liver disease by alcoholism, drug use, chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, jaundice, sensitivity to chemicals, exposure to industrial toxins, detoxification programs) also protects it from toxic poisoning caused by poisonous mushrooms. Regenerates the liver tissue damaged by hepatitis, cirrhosis, alcoholism, drugs, and environmental toxins. It also helps against fatigue, depression, and food allergies.

Milk thistle prevents free radical damage to liver cells, prevents the formation of leukotriene and stimulates the production of new liver cells (protein synthesis or protein production of cells), accelerating the regeneration process.

The liver protects the body from toxic chemicals. The silibinin in milk thistle protects the liver from environmental toxins that enter the body through food, water, air and skin.
The silibinin has no effect on the enzyme system of the liver; protects the body from the damaging effects of pharmaceutical drugs and anesthesia without interfering with the action of drugs. With all that the liver has to filter every day, is not a surprise that it can sometimes be overloaded.

Milk thistle can help to rejuvenate it and also to protect it from future damage. Anyone who has had hepatitis, cirrhosis or high liver conditions should add the milk thistle as a supplement. In fact, it would not hurt if everyone would take regularly as tonic herb. Antidote to poisoning (especially by a poisonous mushroom, Amanita falloide).

The silibinin and other components of the complex of silymarin were discovered as beneficial in treating liver disease in Germany several decades ago. A national pastime very popular in Germany is picking mushrooms, a practice with inherent risks, such as Amanita phalloides. Consume the Amanita phalloides leads to severe and usually fatal liver damage (destroys cells): in fact, those who survive poisoning by Amanita phalloides are so damaged that often require liver transplant to survive.

Miraculously, silymarin it binds to liver cells by preventing the poisons of the fungus to bind to themselves, thus blocking their poisonous effect. Silymarin is also able to directly neutralize the venom itself, which makes it effective even if taken after the poison mushroom has been ingested.
The extract of milk thistle, for this reason, is obliged to hand in German hospitals where it is administered in an emergency to treat poisoning by Amanita phalloides also fatal [Source: /index.html]. Galagog affects liver and detoxification systems due to its ability to stimulate the emptying of the gall bladder and the flow of bile into the duodenum.

Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum): ingred. of Ron Ron

It acts as an antioxidant, with a check of the free-radical damage much greater than vitamin E. The silybin, which is in the Milk Thistle, stimulates the activity of the enzyme Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD), which acts as a scavenger of free radicals much more powerful than Vitamin E.
In the presence of silibinin, less glutathione, an enzyme that reduces oxidation, is used in the tissues, which results in a smaller decrease of gluthatione. Glutathione reduces the activity of free radicals, not only in the liver, but in the whole body. The milk thistle inhibits the enzyme lipoxigenase preventing the formation of leukotrienes, components responsible for inflammation.

Galactagogue, stimulates the production of breast milk in nursing mothers, relieves cramps and menstrual pain, cure the headaches associated with menstrual periods, balances female hormones (estrogen), softening effect in treating pleurisy, antiemorragico (known since antiquity for this property), depurative (cleanses the blood and liver), diuretic (facilitates the elimination of toxins through urine), febrifuge (dispels fever), antispasmodic (preveine muscle cramps).

The leaves have properties especially appetizing. Milk thistle is also used as a flavor component and aperitiva for the preparation of liqueurs. Stimulates appetite and aids digestion.

Precautions for use of milk thistle

May have a mild laxative effect due to the stimulation of the gallbladder, but this effect lasts only two or three days and then disappears.

In the kitchen

Grass to use in salads and as a cooked vegetable (it tastes similar to spinach), in the past it was often grown in gardens: the stems can be eaten and are tasty and nutritious, while the tender leaves can be tasted in salads. The flowering tops were previously boiled and eaten like asparagus tips.

Milk thistle is a true gift of nature because it is both food and medicine. In spring, the shoots can be boiled and eaten like cabbage and tender leaves can be added to salads. In autumn, the seeds are the favorite food for goldfinches and a medication important for men.

History and tradition

Considered a great stimulator of breast milk to be included in the diet for mothers. Was thought to have curative properties against snake bites. Worn around the neck protected from snake bites. The fruits were used to cure rabies.

Applied externally, was said to be beneficial in cases of cancer. The young and tender plant can be boiled and eaten in the spring as a blood purifier. The fruits were used for many years for a variety of conditions and diseases especially of the liver. However, the medicinal use of the plant, except as a simple bitter, was practically stopped at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Plinius, the Roman naturalist of the first century AD, stated that the plant were great to download the bile, thereby restoring the function of the liver. It was used by European mothers to increase their milk. The white spots on the leaves are drops of milk of the Virgin Mary falls while nursing the baby Jesus. Hence the name Marian.