Milk thistle has been reported to have protective effects on the liver and to greatly improve its function. It is typically used to treat liver cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis (liver inflammation), toxin-induced liver damage (including the prevention of severe liver damage from Amanita phalloides ('death cap' mushroom poisoning), and gallbladder disorders.
Toxin-induced liver damage
Research suggests that milk thistle extracts both prevent and repair damage to the liver from toxic chemicals and medications.
Beside benefits for liver disease, other unproven treatment claims include:
Used as a post (oral steroid) cycle therapy for body builders and/or in the hopes of reducing or eliminating liver damage
Lowering cholesterol levels
Reducing insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes who also have cirrhosis,Reducing the growth of cancer cells in breast, cervical, and prostate cancers
Used in many products claiming to reduce the effects of a hangover
Used by individuals withdrawing from opiates, especially during the Acute Withdrawal Stage.
Reducing liver damaging effects of chemotherapeutic drugs
Clinical study has shown that liver function tests can be improved in active hepatitis patients
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