The liver is a vital organ for your survival. Its 3 main functions are:
- filters out harmful substances from our blood from the digestive tract
- metabolises what we consume into nutrients our body uses (i.e. gives energy)
- produces bile for digestion
If you are conscious about what you eat to maintain good health, then taking care of your liver, the organ that detoxifies your blood, is equally important.
How do we know our liver is not healthy?
We all know that jaundice (yellowing of our skin and eyes) is a clinical sign of liver dysfunction, but there are more subtle signs that we can take note of before the deterioration.
- Itchy skin – may be caused by presence of bile in your blood stream that accumulate under your skin, a sign of liver damage.
- Small spider-like blood vessels – may be caused by higher levels of oestrogen, an indication that the liver is not metabolising your hormones properly.
- Easy bruising – proteins you need to clot your blood are no longer being produced in sufficient amounts by your liver.
- Bad breath – a fruity, musky smell in the breath that is caused by a high level of dimethyl sulphide, which occurs in your blood when you suffer from liver cirrhosis.
- Blemishes – brown pigmentation can be a sign of liver not functioning properly, resulting in production of more melanin (skin pigmentation).
- Red palms – accompanied by burning itching sensation can be caused by abnormal hormone levels, a sign of liver damage.
- Lack of concentration – if your liver is not detoxifying properly, your blood would be overloaded with toxins, which can have a direct effect on your brain. Pair that with a sluggish metabolising of energy, this can result in fatigue, which affects mental clarity.
How do we naturally detoxify the organ that detoxify our blood?
Did you know that milk thistle is the most well-researched plant (Abenavoli L, 2017) in the treatment of liver disease? It has been a medicinal plant for for almost two millennia.
Why is milk thistle good for cleansing our liver?
The seeds of milk thistle contains a natural flavonolignans called silymarin, which is composed of silybin, silydianin and silychristine. Collectively, silymarin acts as an antioxidant, reduces free radical production and lipid peroxidation that result in cell injuries if left unchecked.
Silymarin derived from milk thistle has been used to treat alcoholic liver disease, viral hepatitis, and toxin-induced liver diseases.
“Silymarin exerts membrane-stabilizing and antioxidant activity, it promotes hepatocyte regeneration; furthermore it reduces the inflammatory reaction, and inhibits the fibrogenesis in the liver. These results have been established by experimental and clinical trials. According to open studies the long-term administration of silymarin significantly increased survival time of patients with alcohol induced liver cirrhosis. “Feher J, Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2012 Jan;13(1):210-7. (link)
“Silymarin and its active constituent, silybin, have been reported to work as antioxidants scavenging free radicals and inhibiting lipid peroxidation. Studies also suggest that they protect against genomic injury, increase hepatocyte protein synthesis, decrease the activity of tumor promoters, stabilize mast cells, chelate iron, and slow calcium metabolism.”Flora K, et al. Am J Gastroenterol. 1998 Feb;93(2):139-43. (link)
How to consume milk thistle?
Using the raw powder extracted from milk thistle seeds, just add 1 teaspoon of the powder to yogurt, smoothie or porridge, or any baked goods.
Where can I get milk thistle powder?
We carry the organic milk thistle powder from Erbology London, containing 4.74g of silymarin.
Certified organic • Raw • Vegan • Gluten-free • No preservatives • No additives • Non-GMO