Milk thistle, is a natural herb that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and is commonly used to detoxify the body, especially the liver, as well as help liver diseases and gallbladder problems. Milk thistle (which has the scientific name Silybum marianum) grows mostly in California, although it can be grown in many parts of the world with a warm climate. In fact, milk thistle, or silymarin, is the most common natural supplement for liver disorders in the U.S. due to its many health benefits.
As an herb that’s considered a “hepatic, galactogogue, demulcent and cholagogue,” milk thistle benefits are thought to include being able to promote healthy digestive function by promoting enzyme formation, increasing bile production, decreasing inflammation and soothing the mucous membranes throughout the body.
What Is Milk Thistle?
Milk thistle has actually been used for over 2,000 years. The plant is native to the Mediterranean region and a member of the Asteraceae plant family, which also includes other plants like sunflowers and daisies. The Greek physician and botanist Dioscorides was the first to describe milk thistle’s healing properties back in the year 40 A.D.