The information in this article and throughout Trio Nutrition’s blog is for informational purposes only, and should never be mistaken for professional medical advice.
Milk thistle is a distinctive plant with prickly leaves, white veins and a bright purple flower. While originally from Europe, it now grows in the United States, South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. Sometimes considered a weed, milk thistle has been used for centuries as a possible health remedy, especially for liver and gallbladder issues.
Why Liver Detox?
The liver is your body’s filter, removing toxins and producing bile to aid digestion. While the liver is quite good at its job, it becomes less effective when it is overtaxed and stressed. This may lead to a range of problems, including digestive issues and inflammation.
There are many ways your liver can become overburdened; some you can control, but others you cannot. We know that drinking alcohol puts your liver under significant stress. Exposure to chemicals, including those you are around passively every day, also strain your liver’s function.
The goal of a liver detox is to possibly help the liver release toxins and restore optimal function. There are a few popular ways to detox the liver, most of which include supplements and dietary restrictions aimed at giving your liver a break. For instance, a liver detox might include omitting alcohol and processed foods.
Milk Thistle and Liver Health
Milk thistle may commonly be used in liver detox supplements because it may support liver health and could possibly have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Milk Thistle may reduce liver inflammation and might help get rid of free radicals as it filters out toxins.
There are other things you can do to support liver health, including:
- Reduce or eliminate alcohol
- Reduce processed foods and refined sugars
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
- Follow dosage instructions on medications
It is also a good idea to avoid exposure to known toxins, including those found in some cleaning and aerosol products, insecticides and chemicals.
Liver Detox Tips
A liver detox may be a way to give your system a break and boost liver function. If you decide to do a liver detox, you may consider taking additional steps to make it more effective. Here are some things you may do to get the most out of your liver detox:
- Drink plenty of water throughout the detox.
- Avoid refined sugars, processed foods, oils and additives.
- Stay away from alcohol during the detox and limit it afterwards.
- Eat organic, whole foods including green-leafy vegetables, fruits and nuts.
- Include some form of exercise, like brisk walks or light cardio.
It may also be helpful to take a probiotic supplement during and after your liver detox. Probiotics may boost the number of healthy bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. This may support digestive health and may help to restore proper gut function. Be sure to use a supplement with pre- and probiotics so that the friendly bacteria can establish itself and it also may provide long-lasting benefits.
Milk thistle is a useful plant that can be added to your overall wellness program. While thought to be possible for several benefits, it is best known for possibly benefiting liver and gallbladder health. Those interested in detoxing their liver may consider using milk thistle, probiotics and developing healthy habits that may promote liver health.