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Milk Thistle

After the birth of a baby, breastfeeding is crucial for proper development and it is important that the baby has enough milk. The hormone prolactin triggers the secretion of milk. This can be helped by milk thistle extract, which studies have shown can stimulate the release of the hormone prolactin.

Treatment of oestrogen dominance may be helped by herbs containing phytoestrogens that have anti-oestrogenic effects. These include yam root, goldenseal (rhodiola), milk thistle, chamomile and dandelion.

Milk thistle has been used for centuries to cure liver diseases. Today, millions of people use it to maintain liver health. The main active ingredients in milk thistle are silymarin and silibin. These have strong antioxidant, anti-free radical properties, which means they protect against free radicals that damage cells.

The liver is our main detoxifying organ, the liver is responsible for the elimination of toxins in the blood (detoxification) and also helps digest fats by producing bile.

Too many toxins will cause the liver to become damaged (fatty liver), making it less able to excrete harmful substances. This leads to a host of diseases (cancer, autoimmune diseases, hormone problems, etc.) and overall deterioration of health.

Milk thistle can have a threefold effect in supporting liver function, on the one hand by protecting the liver function, on the one by protecting the liver from further damage through its antioxidant effects. On the other hand, it has anti-inflammatory effects - since all liver diseases are caused by an inflammation process, it acts directly at the "root" of the problem. It also has the ability to prevent tumour cells from multiplying, thus preventing the liver from becoming enlarged.

Studies have been reported on the anti-cancer effects of silymarin and silibin, and the areas of study have included: ovarian, lung, skin, prostate, breast, liver, bowel and stomach cancer. These effects are explained by the inhibition of the proliferation of the aforementioned tumour cells.

For its hepatoprotective effects, studies have recommended 420 mg daily of silybin extract for 6-8 weeks. And for maintenance, 280 mg/day.

Milk thistle extract is well tolerated, with mild digestive problems or headaches, joint pain, itching or diarrhoea in some cases. However, few studies have been done on its safety, animal studies have found it to be safe at very high doses, but no parallels can be drawn with humans. In women, at high doses, it may thicken the endometrium due to its phytoestrogenic effects. Therefore, we should stick to the recommended doses. 

In the absence of studies, stick to the doses mentioned above or consult a doctor before taking them.


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