Milk thistle has been used medicinally for over 2,000 years, most commonly for the treatment of liver and gallbladder disorders. Silymarin comes from the seeds of milk thistle and is believed to be the active part of milk thistle. The terms “milk thistle” and “silymarin” are often used interchangeably. Milk thistle products are popular in Europe and the United States for various types of liver disease. Multiple studies from Europe suggest benefits of oral milk thistle for cirrhosis. In studies up to five years long, milk thistle slightly improved liver function and decreased the number of deaths in people with liver disease. Research showed that milk thistle improved control of blood sugar in people with diabetes with and without liver disease. It suggests that silymarin improves blood and urine markers associated with diabetic kidney disease. Several studies of milk thistle in liver disease caused by viruses or alcohol report improvements in liver tests.
Milk Thistle or Holy Thistle Oil. In many European countries this plant is named after Virgin Mary. According to a legend, white spots on the plant’s leaves are the milk of Virgin Mary. It’s no coincidence that in Bulgary healing milk thistle is called “Virgin Mary’s gift”.
Holy thistle oil also includes essential polyunsaturated acids, such as linoleic (omega -6) and oleic (omega -9). Also abundant in natural antioxidants, vitamins A and E. In addition, holy thistle oil is rich in minerals and trace elements – magnesium, zinc, selenium and manganese.
People living in polluted areas or those whose work is related with toxic substances, also can take advantage of holy thistle oil. It is indispensable for those who abuse alcohol, as it is able to excrete toxins from the body.
Holy thistle oil is used in cosmetology. To strengthen hair, it is recommended to rub the oil into hair roots for fifteen minutes 2-3 times a week. It has softening properties so you can rub it into your skin after shave.
Holy thistle oil can be used for salads and cereals dressing.