Posted by Nicole on August 23, 2014
Getting to Know Milk Thistle
Milk thistle can prove to be a strong ally in the battle
against a nasty hang over. When the sun comes up, and it's time to take care of
life's many tasks the next day, there's few things that can be worse than the
hangover. With milk thistle on your side, you may be able to overcome it, and
seize the day without the headache, fatigue, nausea, and general discomfort
that last night's drinking has left on your shoulders.
What is Milk Thistle?
Milk thistle's official name is “silybum marianum,” and it
was originally found in parts of Southern Europe and Asia. It's also been
called Scotch thistle, and Saint Mary's thistle. With spiny leaves and a fairly
striking red and violet flower, the plant's an aggressive grower, so much so
that it's considered to be an invasive weed in some parts of the world. Its
tenacity, and its value as an herbal supplement, has also led to its
cultivation on a large scale.
Milk thistle's primary benefit is to support liver function,
and even more specifically, the chemicals in milk thistle help to protect the
cells of the liver from damage by toxins. It has also been shown to have
antifungal properties. As a downside, it's been shown to be toxic to sheep and
cattle, which can make it a problem for farmers in areas where the plant's
proven to be an invasive species.
A Few More Facts
-One of the earliest recorded uses of milk thistle was
during first century AD, where there were already associations of the herb and
-Milk thistle not only works to protect the liver, but also
helps to promote the growth of new liver cells when damaged cells are an issue.
-Milk thistle's been researched for other functions that it
can support aside from the liver, and in the past, was even prescribed to
increase breast milk production. Modern research has determined this to not be
-Milk thistle is a powerful antioxidant, providing more
power per serving than popular choices like Vitamin C.
Before or After?
Regular use of milk thistle as a supplement may help you to
promote better liver health, which means that you could see some benefit when
using a supplement with the herb even if you haven't had a drink. In fact, you
could help to counteract the effects of alcohol by continuing to take milk
thistle on a daily basis. For some people who enjoy having a drink every now
and again, this could be a smart way to fight a hangover before it even begins.
Of course, milk thistle can still provide some
benefits during the hangover. Remember, some hangovers can last anywhere from a
few hours, to two days or more depending on your health, how much you've had to
drink, and other factors, so a recommended daily dosage of a milk thistle
supplement could be the right way to address those hangovers that never seem to
actually be over.