milkthistle

Day 11 Herb of the Milk Thistle!
Magic and Medicinals. What our Ancestors Knew, by The Magic Apothecary, Mary Elizabeth Micari

Disclaimer: The following information is of an educational and general nature and should not be construed as legal advice. You should consult appropriate written and professional sources to answer questions related to your individual situation. Exercising one’s rights often entails some element of risk, and you should verify all information relevant to your situation before acting; the author and publisher disclaim any responsibility or liability for any loss incurred as a consequence of the use of any information herein

 

This herb has been a curiosity for me for a long time.  I have a cat with end stage IBD and Pancreatitis.  His liver is shutting down, but we fight that with Milk Thistle.  Seems to have worked some.

Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)

has been known to Detox the Liver and Boost Glutathione! Much more below and the magical properties of this herb.

Milk thistle has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties it is used to detoxify the body, especially the liver. Milk thistle mostly in California in the USA and throughout the world in warm climates. It can be found easily as a dried herb, supplement or tincture or extract.

It is considered a hepatic (works on the liver), galactogogue (promotes lactation),  demulcent (relieves inflammation) and cholagogue (promotes removal of bile from the system).

Milk thistle can promote healthy digestive function by helping with enzyme formation, increasing bile production, decreasing inflammation and soothing the mucous membranes throughout the body.

Milk thistle has 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 in the year 40 A.D.

Milk thistle helps to draw toxins out of the body that can cause a range of symptoms and diseases including cancer development, high cholesterol, diabetes, kidney stones, gall bladder disorders, negative effects of chemotherapy, alcohol use, skin damage and many more.

It is also an antioxidant!  Milk thistle is as powerful as other important nutrients such as vitamin E or C.  These helps fight free radical damage and slow the aging process.

While it has many different benefits, milk thistle is most well-known for being a natural liver supporter and detoxifier. The liver constantly works hard to help defend us from toxins that are common in our everyday life, acting like a filter and removing harmful substances from the body.

Milk thistle is shown to decrease, or even reverse, damage to the liver that’s been caused by prescription medications, antibiotics, pollution, heavy metals and more.

There are a variety of milk thistle products available. The seeds and leaves of the milk thistle plant can be taken either in pill, powder, tincture, extract or tea form. The seeds can be eaten completely raw, too, but usually people prefer to take a milk thistle extract or supplement to consume a higher dose and see bigger results.

Milk thistle gets its name from the milky-white liquid that runs off the plant’s leaves when they’re crushed. The actual leaves of the plant also have a spotted white pattern that makes them look as if they’ve been dunked in milk. Thus, the name!

As a liver support and aid, milk thistle is a powerful detoxifier. It helps rebuild liver cells while removing toxins from the body that are processed through the liver.

The liver is our largest internal organ and is responsible for performing many essential detoxifying functions. The condition of our blood relies on the health of our liver. As a “blood purifier,” the liver needs to actively clean the blood each day to support nearly every system within our body.

The liver helps remove harmful substances from our blood, aids in hormone production, detoxifies the body, releases glucose into the bloodstream to give our body steady energy and releases bile into our small intestine so fat can be absorbed from foods

Milk thistle has been approved as a therapeutic treatment for various liver diseases, including:

fatty liver syndrome, damage from alcoholism called Cirrhosis, jaundice, psoriasis and hepatitis.

Cancer?

Milk thistle seeds are a high source of the antioxidant flavonoid called silymarin, which is composed of several other active compounds known as flavolignans. Silymarin is associated with decreasing the risk for cancer development by boosting the immune system, fighting DNA damage and reversing cancerous tumor growth.

In 2007, after reviewing numerous studies involving milk thistle therapeutic treatments, researchers at the University of Minnesota found that:

There is strong preclinical evidence for silymarin’s hepatoprotective and anticarcinogenic effects, including inhibition of cancer cell growth in human prostate, skin, breast, and cervical cells.

About 50 percent to 70 percent of the silymarin molecules present within milk thistle are the type called silybin, also known as silibinin. This antioxidant stimulates protein synthesis and changes the outside layer of healthy cells, keeping them protected from damage and mutation. It inhibits toxins from dwelling in the body; helps with cell renewal; and counteracts the harmful effects of pollutants, chemicals and heavy metals that can cause “free radical damage.”

Silymarin acts as a cancer protector because it’s “a toxin blockade agent” and inhibits binding of toxins to the cell membrane receptors, according to researchers at the University Magna Graecia Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine.

These and more studies can be found on line easily.

 

Cholesterol

Since milk thistle is a powerful anti-inflammatory it makes sense that there is research being done and the on its benefits to heart health.  It cleans the blood, lowers the  inflammation and help prevent stress damage within the arteries.

Although more formal research is still needed, preliminary studies show that when silymarin (milk thistle extract) is used in combination with other traditional treatment methods, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides levels all improve compared to levels before taking milk thistle.

Something important to keep in mind, however, is that existing studies on possible heart benefits of milk thistle have only been done involving people with diabetes, who tend to have high cholesterol levels. So, at this time it’s unclear if milk thistle has the same effects in other people and if it will be used to naturally lower cholesterol levels in the future.

Control or Prevent Diabetes

According to National Institute of Health, there’s research showing that taking silymarin, the main chemical found in milk thistle, along with conventional treatments, can help to control many symptoms of diabetes and help with controlling sugar.  It has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels in insulin-resistant patients.

This is likely true because the liver is partly responsible for regulating hormones, including the release of insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin is responsible for managing blood glucose (sugar) levels in the blood, which is especially important for those with diabetes.

Prevent Gallstones

The liver is a major organ which helps process nutrients and toxins that are in our bodies through food, water and air.  Other digestive organs like the gallbladder, pancreas, intestines and kidneys work closely together to help the liver.  Milk thistle can help prevent gall and kidney stones too! It does this by supporting the gastrointestinal and endocrine systems and by aiding in the production of bile and healthy enzymes.  Add that to cleaning the blood it can help purify the body of waste and regulate the function of the gallbladder, kidneys and spleen.

Anti-Aging Effects

Because milk thistle’s antioxidants help to prevent free radical damage and remove pollutants and waste it can help slow the aging process.  The skin, being our largest organ will benefit as well

Milk thistle benefits may also reduce your risk for some of the most common and serious disorders that develop in adults as they age, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, kidney and liver damage, and vision-related problems.

Milk thistle’s protective qualities of the skin may make it work well and help in reducing lines and winkles as well as dark spots and discoloration. It is useful for maintaining health of eyes, joints and muscles!

 

Glutathione

Silymarin, the active ingredient in milk thistle, is an antioxidant that can protect against depletion of glutathione, which is a “master antioxidant” that’s extremely useful at helping prevent disease formation. Glutathione is found naturally in the human body, as well as in some plants, such as mushrooms, fungi and algae.

Glutathione’s biggest role is to help fight oxidative stress that leads to such diseases as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases.  It can help prevent damage to important cellular components caused by reactive oxygen species, such as free radicals.

One of the biggest milk thistle benefits is that it preserves glutathione. The modern American diet, pollution, toxins, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections and radiation all work to deplete liver capabilities and glutathione in the body. Milk thistle helps increase glutathione levels by improving liver functions. Milk thistle strengthens the liver cell walls, buffering them from invading toxins, and supports liver regeneration and glutathione formation.

Dosage of Milk Thistle

Because milk thistle is categorized as a supplement, rather than a drug, it’s not subject to the same oversight and quality control from the FDA that standard drugs are. The amount of active ingredients can vary widely depending on the different preparation methods used and the brand. Currently, there are several different milk thistle products available on the market, all recommending different doses.

There is no nationally standardized milk thistle dosing yet currently, but most people do best consuming between 20–300 milligrams daily.

Supplement Form

To detoxify the body temporarily, the recommended daily intake of milk thistle is 150 milligrams, taken one to three times daily. This is a somewhat high dose that can act as a natural liver “detox.”

For ongoing use and liver support, take 50 to 150 milligrams daily.

Tea Form

You can also try benefiting from milk thistle by consuming it in tea form. Many companies make milk thistle tea by steeping the leaves and seeds from the plant.

You can also grow your own milk thistle and make homemade tea if you’re up for harvesting the plants. Each small plant head contains about 190 seeds that can be used in various ways. If you purchase or grow a milk thistle plant, cut off the entire head and hang the plant upside down for about one week to draw out the seeds.

You can then crush the seeds and steep them, along with the leaves, to make tea; eat them raw; or dry them into powder form. Keep the seeds and leaves in the freezer to make them last longer and retain their powerful nutrients.

Milk Thistle Side Effects

Milk thistle is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, with very few cases of side effects ever reported. The most common side effects aren’t serious and include gastrointestinal upset, such as a mild laxative effect. When taken within the recommended dose range, milk thistle is thought to be effective and mostly free of allergic reactions.

Milk thistle may interact with some medications, including allergy medicines, anti-anxiety drugs, and blood thinners, among others. If you are taking any medications, speak with your health care provider before taking milk thistle.

Also note that antioxidants like those found in milk thistle have been shown to possibly interfere with the efficacy of some cancer chemotherapy drugs by protecting cancer cells from cell death.

MAGICAL USES OF MILK THISTLE

Now, you’d imagine there are lots to do with this herb magically as well. You would be correct!

Milk thistle is considered Masculine in nature, its ruling planet is Mars, sacred to Thor and Minera.

It is used for Protection, Healing, Exorcism and Hex Breaking…. of course.  It cleanses internal organs, causes them to function better.  In our ancestor’s time illness was considered the work of the devil or an evil person giving the evil eye!

The name ‘Milk-thistle’ refers to a legend according to which 3 drops of holy milk from the Virgin’s breast is said to have dropped on to the leaf, forever marking it as an herb of our Lady (formerly known as the Great Goddess).

In ancient times the thistles were used as a vegetable and are still.  The artichoke is the most famous member of the thistle family, but milk thistle can also be eaten as a vegetable.

To Use Magically.

You can carry this herb with you or leave it in a bowl in a room.  It will renew vitality.  It is used as a protective amulet in mojo bags along with other anti-hexing and cleansing herbs.

If you throw milk thistles into fire it will keep lightning away from your home.  If you wear a garment made from the thistle it will break any spell.  Poppets can be stuffed with it to break spells or aid in protection.

Use in healing spells and for depression. It is said that when a man carries one he becomes a better lover. A method of calling spirits is to boil some thistle. After removing it from the heat, be seated next to the bowl and begin meditating. As the steam rises, so will your questions and their answers will be heard.

A bowl of thistle in a room strengthens the spirits and renews vitalizes within. Carry it for strength and energy. Grown in a garden it wards off thieves. Grow in a pot by your doorstep to protect against evil. Keep in your pocket it guards you. Throw it in the fire to ward off lighting.

Thistles are used in healing spells, and when men wear it they become better lovers. Thistles also drive out melancholy when worn or carried.

In England it is said they used the tallest thistle as a magical wand or walking stick walking with magic and protection.

You may use it to call on spirits. Just place some thistle in boiling water. Remove from heat and lie or sit beside it. As the steam rises call the spirits and listen carefully; they may answer your question.

Milk-thistle can be used for protection and to rid yourself or your home of negative demons. It attracts good spirits and helps to clear all evil.

Creating baths, incense, oils, perfumes and more with this herb can give you multiple ways to use it as a protective fighter against ill health, ill will thrown at you, jealousy, evil eye and negative energy of all kinds.

 

Forget the cat I am taking some right now!!!!

 

 

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5 Comments

  1. I think I am in need of some Milk Thistle as well. I have a small growing space and I have to chose wisely as to what I plan to grow in pots for my balcony. Everything must serve a useful purpose and be cat friendly. I never thought about trying to grow Milk Thistle in a container though.

    1. I think it might do well. It needs a lot of sun. I find that when I grow an herb I really understand it. Best to find a live nursery though and transplant.

  2. Hullo I was just reading about wonderful Milk thistle, I knew it was a great herb for healing,but I never realized the magical healing of this herb.I have plenty of herbal books and I have been reading through all I could find on milk thistle but none of my books have any info on the ‘THE MAGICAL USES OF HERBS’. Could you please share with me the name of any books on the Magical uses of herbs. Green blessings from Bettyanne { the land down under.}

    1. Hey!!! Thanks for reading. A quick look on Amazon under herbalism should start you on a good search. My list is very long! Just look under magical or spelled magickal herbalism and there will be tons. Many rake their info from a writer named Scott Cunningham
      He was the first to do this work. Let me know what you find!!

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