Let’s face it. Although this article focuses on the milk thistle cautions, you will find that there are far more benefits than risks. This is an edible plant that has a long history of use as medicine. There are benefits to the liver, the skin and other organs of the body, as well as to the blood.
In the 16th century, practically all parts of the plant were eaten. As time has gone by, it has been thought of primarily as a weed, particularly since other foodstuff is readily available.
The roots of the plant can be prepared for eating in the same way that a small potato would be prepared. After being washed, they can be boiled, baked or roasted, mashed, sliced or served whole.
For a fresh spring salad, the young shoots can be cut down to the ground or the mature stems and leaves can be used after trimming away the outer skin or the prickles. The flavor of the leaves is similar to fresh young spinach, with just a little more crunch.
Even the flower heads have been eaten in the past, similar to the way that a globe artichoke is eaten. So, people can eat them, but there are some milk thistle cautions when it comes to other animals that might feed on them.
Ranchers must try to keep sheep, cattle, goats and other ruminants away from them or clear their fields of the plants. Because of the high potassium nitrate content, the plant can block the flow of oxygen in the animal’s bloodstream. If large amounts are consumed, it could cause the death of the animal, due to a kind of oxygen deprivation.
The seed of the plant forms after the blooming phase has ended. It is the seeds that have been valued as medicine for hundreds, if not thousands of years.
There are no milk thistle cautions concerning ingesting of the seeds by humans, as long as dosage directions are followed. Of course, to gather the seeds on your own and consume them for the health benefits is a little risky, unless you are experienced in plant identification. Plants similar in appearance may not have the same effects on your health.
The benefits to the liver have to do with the removal of toxins. Ridding the blood of toxins is one of the many functions served by the liver. But, if toxic exposure exceeds the liver’s ability to rid itself of them, liver damage can occur.
The only milk thistle cautions relevant to the liver’s health have to do with relying too heavily on the seeds for protection. Unless properly prepared, the active components are not readily absorbed by the body.
If you choose a good supplement, there is really nothing to worry about. But, single ingredient supplements are not the most effective ones, because of poor absorption. The inclusion of other nutrients enhances the amount absorbed into the bloodstream.
Make no mistake about it, when it comes to the skin’s health and appearance, there are no milk thistle cautions, but topically applied antioxidants are more beneficial, particularly as we age.
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