Why Milk Thistle: Has Your Doctor Asked You to Take a Liver Test after Prescribing a New Drug?
Your liver is the key organ for keeping you healthy. Of course you need a good functioning brain and your heart is core to staying alive, but on a daily basis nothing does more work to keep you healthy than your liver. We must look at the whole person first and foremost, but by focusing on the liver for a brief moment, you can make a big difference in your daily health.
What it does: The blood your heart pumps passes through the lungs and the body ultimately passing through your liver to be cleansed. Toxins from the blood are removed and stored in receptacles for further processing and shunting out of the body. Essentially, the liver is a great big sponge and filters everything you take in through the mouth or absorb through your skin. The liver is a factory too producing cholesterol and needed hormones for metabolic function.
It’s the organ of detoxification.
After all the abuse you put your liver through by eating junk food, sometimes called food-like substances, the liver is working overtime to remove synthetic chemicals from the air you breathe, from the food you eat. If the liver spots a string of molecules it doesn’t recognize, like a synthetic drug, it tries to remove those poisonous substances and expel it from the body. So what pharmaceutical companies do and this is what we support when fund research, is to try to overload the liver with so much of the medicine that at least some of it makes it through to your blood stream to deal with the symptom that the medicine was prescribed. Quite often, what’s happens as a result is that the liver is shocked, even destroyed at some level. This is when the doctor orders a liver screening to see how much of your liver has been decimated and they do this by measuring liver enzymes in the blood.
Doctors know that you have 70 – 90 years to live and your liver is a large organ. In fact, you can live with even half of your liver. Sometimes, people will donate half their liver to a family member who needs it. Alcohol over consumption can easily destroy portions of your liver. In a certain manner doctors are willing to destroy some of the liver as long as you have enough liver function to see you through to your 80th birthday, on average. It’s a trade off. And I don’t disagree that this is sometimes necessary to save life.
As a holistic practitioner, I prefer not to have to use synthetic, harsh drugs to treat a patient but rather find ways to prevent the need for medication to begin with. Generally, what happens is a person is prescribed a drug which may mitigate one symptom but the side effects warrant another drug to treat the side effect. If you are taking more than 3 pharmaceutical drugs right now then you probably know what I mean. Seniors in the United States on average are on nine different medications. Drug interaction can be algebraic for the doctor and mind numbing for the patient!
In emergency care and acute care situations, obviously you and I are going to do what the doctor says.
If you are on a pharmaceutical drug, if your doctor has asked you to do a liver test, then here’s a way to protect yourself.
Use a combination of liver trophic supplements. Milk Thistle and Dandelion Root have both been used for thousands of years to “cleanse the blood.” Both of these supplements will cling to the liver and help to detoxify the detoxification center of your body. Yes, even the liver needs a cleansing once in awhile to function well.
Is it expensive? Absolutely not. It’s a few cents a day… Read on.
Milk Thistle An Amazing Herb!
- Milk thistle is a plant whose fruit and seeds are used to make remedies for liver and bile duct ailments
- The active ingredient found in milk thistle is silymarin, an antioxidant that, among other things, protects against cell damage and stimulates repair of liver tissue
- Milk thistle has been studied in laboratory cell lines and animal tumors for its potential to make chemotherapy less toxic and more effective, and to slow the growth of cancer cells
- Milk thistle is usually taken in capsules or tablets
- Milk thistle has been studied in a clinical trial of children with leukemia.
- Very few bad side effects from the use of milk thistle or silymarin have been reported
- It is not known if milk thistle may make anticancer medications or other drugs more or less effective when taken with them
- Milk thistle is available in the United States as an herbal dietary supplement.
Article By Garey Simmons, CHC (243 Posts)Garey Simmons is a certified health coach, dietary supplement expert and a member of the American Association of Drug-less Practitioners. Garey turned his health challenges around in just a few months by using dietary supplements, vitamins and exercise, by becoming aware about nutritional remedies to lifestyle issues, by taking action on the fundamental essence of what makes up optimal health. Garey is a graduate of the New York Institute of Integrative Nutrition and lives in Baltimore, MD.
Modern food that fills our supermarket shelves tastes really good. They have a lot of sugars added, salt added and especially if the package says “Low in Fat”. That means in order for it to taste so good, it has be processed beyond redemption. There is no food value left. These are what nutritionists call empty calories, zero micro nutrients. You can easily become addicted. So beware. When Lay’s made the claim, “Betcha Can’t Eat Just One!” They weren’t kidding. A lot of money and scientific research went into that manufacture to make sure you didn’t eat just one, or a little, but you wind up devouring the whole bag, no matter what the size of the bag. The individual serving size bag is designed to leave you unfulfilled so you wind up buying another and another.All these processed foods contain chemicals that are confounding and detrimental to your liver.
From the National Cancer Institute:
- Milk thistle is a plant whose fruit and seeds have been used for more than 2,000 years as a treatment for disorders of the liver, bile ducts, and gallbladder. Milk thistle is native to Europe but can also be found in the United States and South America.
- The medicinal ingredient found in milk thistle is silymarin, an extract of milk thistle seeds. It is an antioxidant that protects against cell damage. Silymarin contains 4 compounds: silybin (the most active), isosilybin, silychristin, and silydianin. Most research has studied silymarin or its major compound silybin, instead of the plant in its whole form.
- The botanical name for milk thistle is Silybum marianum. Milk thistle is also called holy thistle, Marian thistle, Mary thistle, St. Mary thistle, Our Lady’s thistle, wild artichoke, Mariendistel (German), and Chardon-Marie (French).
- What is the history of the discovery and use of milk thistle as a complementary and alternative treatment for cancer? The ancient Greeks and Romans used milk thistle as a treatment for liver ailments and snake bites. During the Middle Ages, milk thistle was recommended to treat liver toxins. Modern homeopathic practitioners have used compounds from milk thistle seeds to treat a range of disorders including jaundice, gallstones, and peritonitis. The German Commission E, which studies the safety and efficacy of herbs for the German government, recommends milk thistle for liver damage due to toxins, cirrhosis of the liver, and as a supportive therapy for chronic inflammation of the liver.
- Despite milk thistle’s long history of use for liver complaints, it was not until 1968 that researchers extracted silymarin from milk thistle seeds and suggested that it might be the plant’s active ingredient. Silymarin was later discovered to be a mixture of flavonolignans, a family of plant-based substances with antioxidant effects.
“I was trained to dispense medication. I was not trained to process or understand biological information systems. I was not trained to see how everything communicates with everything else.” Dr Mark Hyman, MDOf course it’s natural to go to see your doctor if you are sick or bitten by a spider or have acute symptoms. But to get healthy and stay healthy, well then you should confer with a health and wellness practitioner!
Optimal Health Bridge has the most powerful formula on the planet for high potency, easy to absorb Milk Thistle.The right formula, the right amount, the right absorb-ability for Optimal Health.
Isn’t it time to protect your liver from a toxic environment, processed foods with empty calories, zero nutrition, suspect chemicals and modified genetics??
Milk thistle ( Silybum marianum ) has been used since Greco-Roman times as an herbal remedy for a variety of ailments, particularly liver problems. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries physicians in the United States used milk thistle seeds to relieve congestion of the liver, spleen, and kidneys. Today, several scientific studies suggest that active substances in milk thistle (particularly silymarin) protect the liver from damage caused by viruses, toxins, alcohol, and certain drugs such as acetaminophen (a common over the counter medication used for headaches and pain; acetaminophen, also called paracetamol, can cause liver damage if taken in large quantities or by people who drink alcohol regularly.)
Let’s Talk About Benefits:
You can exercise all you want, but you won’t burn fat unless your liver is in good working order. Your liver detoxifies your blood and it solely in charge of turning fat into blood sugar for muscle energy. That’s why you need to take care of your liver so your liver can take care of you.
Many professional herbalists recommend milk thistle extract for the prevention and/or treatment of various liver disorders including viral hepatitis, fatty liver associated with long term alcohol use, and liver damage from drugs and industrial toxins such as carbon tetrachloride.Cancer – Preliminary laboratory studies also suggest that active substances in milk thistle may have anti-cancer effects. One active substance known as silymarin has strong antioxidant properties and has been shown to inhibit the growth of human prostate, breast, and cervical cancer cells in test tubes. Further studies are needed to determine whether milk thistle is safe or effective for people with these forms of cancer.