This thorny looking flower, also known as Holy Thistle, is from the daisy family and is native to the Mediterranean region. Its name comes from the milky white fluid that flows when the plants leaves have been crushed. It has been used for thousands of years as a natural treatment for liver, kidney, and gall bladder ailments among other uses. Here are a few benefits of adding milk thistle tea to your diet:
- Liver Cleanse: Many people’s livers are constantly exposed to toxins (i.e. alcohol, drugs, pesticides, prescription medications, etc.) that can cause much damage over time. The milk thistle herb helps cleanse, detoxify, and maintain good liver health so that it can better handle filtering out these toxins. It is also believed to help reverse some of the damage done to the liver so if you suffer from cirrhosis, jaundice, hepatitis, gallbladder disorders, or other liver related diseases, it may be worth adding this herb to your diet! Note: Always consult your health care provider before starting treatment with any herbs, especially if you are taking any medications and/or are pregnant or nursing.
- Type II Diabetes: The active ingredient in milk thistle is silymarin, which is made up of powerful antioxidants that are not only believed to help your liver, but also support your cardiovascular system. Those that suffer from type II diabetes may be able to benefit since milk thistle may help lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels.
- Cancer Prevention: Milk thistle’s active ingredients, including silymarin, may exhibit properties that help fight against cancer! According to the University of Maryland, “These substances appear to stop cancer cells from dividing and reproducing, shorten their lifespan, and reduce blood supply to tumors.” However, there have only been a few studies researched on this matter. More studies need to be conducted to provide more concrete evidence.
***Remember to always use loose-leaf tea instead of tea bags to get the best range of health benefits! Always consult your health care provider before supplementing.
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