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Milk Thistle: natural ingredient of Wonderup

Habitat

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

Plant-weed seeds in nature, is particularly widespread in the Mediterranean area, mainly in Southern and Central, more rarely in Northern Italy. It is found quite easily in the uncultivated fields, pastures, along the margins of the paths through the rubble.

It was chosen as an ingredient of Wonderup because it contains a large amount of complex of bioflavonoids (phytoestrogens) called flavonolignans, which comprise mainly silybin together with the isosylibin, dehydrosilybin, silidianin, silicristin, etc.. An underdeveloped breast is in fact a symptom of a lack of estrogen during puberty, at which deficiency can be remedied by re-establishing a correct and secure level with the delicate action of phytoestrogens, which nourish the female breast volume and firmness.

Characteristics and properties

Milk Thistle enjoyed a period of great respect in popular medicine, estimates that has been gradually fading unjustifiably. The plant has got a lot of therapeutic properties that make it especially valuable in hepatic dysfunction.
Has a long history in popular medicine as a tonic for the liver. Silymarin contained in milk thistle demonstrated a protective effect against many types of chemical toxins, including alcohol.

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

Milk Thistle: natural ingredient of Wonderup

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

The purified extracts flavonolignan from the fruits of milk thistle (Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn., Syn. Marianus Carduus L.) mainly contain silymarin, a compound silibinin, sosilibinina, and silicristin silidianin. Silymarin is used for the treatment of toxic liver damage (induced by alcohol, drugs or environmental toxins) and supportive therapy in chronic inflammatory liver diseases and in liver cirrhosis.

Silymarin and its main isomer silibinin, respectively, have been shown to possess antioxidant properties preventing lipid oxidation and destruction of the membranes in celule. Additionally, the biosynthesis of proteins and cell regeneration are so accelerated in the liver damaged, which leads to the restoration of hepatic functions.

A certain toxins from toxic mushrooms denied access to liver cells by silibinin through competitive inhibition of receptors to the cell mebrane.
The intravenous treatment with a soluble derivative of silibinin is currently an important life-saving in the 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 effect and its 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 vegetable extracts more accurately researched and studied with known mechanisms of action.

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

Milk Thistle: natural ingredient of Wonderup

Properties and medical use of flavonoglinans (Silymarin) (continued ...)

The milk thistle prevents the free radical damage of liver cell, prevents the formation of leukotrienes and stimulates the production of new cells of the liver (protein synthesis or production of proteins 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 liver enzyme system, thus protecting 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, it’s no surprise that it can sometimes be overloaded.

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

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

Miraculously, silymarin binds to liver cells by preventing the mushroom poisons of binding themselves and then blocking their poisonous effect. Silymarin is also able to directly neutralize the poison itself, which makes it effective even if taken after the mushroom poison was ingested.
For this reason, the milk thistle extract is present in German hospitals where it is given in an emergency to treat poisoning by Amanita phalloides also fatal [Source: http://health-pages.com/mt/index.html]. Golagog, affects liver and detoxification systems due to its ability to stimulate the emptying of the gall bladder and flux of bile into the duodenum.

Milk Thistle: natural ingredient of Wonderup

Properties and medical use of flavonoglinans (Silymarin) (continued ...)

It acts as an antioxidant, by inspecting damage from free radicals much greater than vitamin E. Silybin, which is located in the Milk Thistle, stimulates the activity of an enzyme, the Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD), which acts as a scavenger of free radicals and is much more potent than Vitamin E.
In the presence of silibinin there is a minor decrease of gluthatione, an enzyme that reduces oxidation is used in the tissues, which results in a smaller decrease of gluthatione. Glutathione reduces free radical activity not only in liver but throughout the body. The milk thistle inhibits the enzyme lipoxigenase preventing the formation of leukotrienes, compounds that are responsible for inflammation.

Galactagogue, it stimulates milk production in lactating mothers, relieves menstrual cramps and pain, cure headaches associated with menstrual periods, balances the female hormones (estrogen), emollient effect in treating pleurisy, antihemorrhagic (known since ancient times for this property), depurative (purifies the blood and liver), diuretic (facilitates elimination of toxins through the urine), febrifuge (fever drives), antispasmodic (prevents muscle cramps).

The leaves have properties particularly aperitive. The milk thistle is also used as a flavor component and aperitif for the preparation of liqueurs. It stimulates the appetite and aids digestion.

Precautions for use of milk thistle

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

In the kitchen

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

Milk Thistle is a real gift of nature because it is both food and medicine. In spring, the shoots can be boiled and eaten as sprouts and tender leaves can be added to salads. In autumn, the seeds are the favorite food for goldfinches and an important medicine for men.

History and tradition

Considered an excellent stimulator of breast milk to be included in the diet for nursing 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 have been used for many years for a variety of conditions and diseases, especially the liver. However, the medicinal use of plants, except as a simple bitterness was virtually stopped in the early twentieth century.

Plinius, the Roman naturalist of the first century BC, stated that the plant was great to discharge the bile, thereby restoring the function of the liver. It was used by European mothers to increase their breast milk. The white patches on the leaves representing drops of milk of the Virgin Maria falls while nursing the baby Jesus. Hence the name Marian.