There are many plants that are used to relieve digestive disorders related to the production of bile. Among the most used plants, Milk Thistle stands out for its effectiveness. Indeed, studies have been conducted on it to prove its quality. However, like many plants, Milk Thistle can be dangerous if the rules of its use are not respected. Find in this article some of these dangers.
What are the origins of Milk Thistle?
Sylibum marianum, also known as Milk Thistle, is a plant that is often found throughout the Mediterranean basin, but also in North America. It is used in particular for the quality of its action and its benefits on health. It is about 1.50 m high and has thorny leaves. Its flowers are deep pink while its leaves are marbled with white. The fruits of Milk Thistle, also called “seeds”, are collected and dried in phytotherapy before use. They are used to stimulate the secretion of bile by the liver during the treatment of digestive disorders or simply to prevent the formation of gallstones.
Besides this use, Milk Thistle is also used to treat liver diseases such as toxic hepatitis, cirrhosis, etc. Finally, it is an excellent anti-cancer that also helps fight against diabetes.
What are the dangers of consuming Milk Thistle?
Like many plants, Milk Thistle has health risks that are important to know when using it. First of all, it is not recommended for people who are allergic to its active ingredients, but also for those who suffer from an acute attack of obstruction in the bile ducts, also called stone attack. Secondly, the consumption of Milk Thistle is not recommended for pregnant or breast-feeding women, although it was used in the past to stimulate milk production. Apart from these people, the plant should not be consumed by children under 18 years old either, according to the WHO prescriptions.
The dangers that a consumption of the plant can involve on the organization are among others:
- Mild intestinal disorders;
- Transient diarrhea;
Apart from these dangers and health problems linked to the consumption of Milk Thistle, an interaction of the plant with certain substances can also be dangerous. Indeed, since the plant has an action on the glycemia and facilitates the elimination of chemical substances through the liver, it is possible that the taking of certain drugs leads to other health problems. Some hepatic enzymes in charge of metabolizing the drugs can then see their activity being modulated. As a result, their effectiveness may be affected. This is why it is recommended to consult a doctor before starting a treatment with Milk Thistle.
Which precautions should be taken to limit any danger related to the use of Milk Thistle?
As with any other plant or medicine intended for health care, it is important to follow the recommendations for its use as mentioned above. Milk Thistle should not be taken by those who are allergic to it or those to whom it is prohibited. Moreover, an interaction with other plants of the same type or medication must be avoided. Apart from these rules of use previously mentioned, Milk Thistle is a solution that should not replace a healthy, balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, the recommended regular dose should not be exceeded in order to avoid undesirable side effects.