Thursday, July 12, 2007
A very overlooked plant
Milk thistle ( Silybum marianum ) has been used since Greco-Roman times as an herbal remedy for a variety of ailments, particularly liver problems. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries physicians in the United States used milk thistle seeds to relieve congestion of the liver, spleen, and kidneys.
Today, several scientific studies suggest that active substances in milk thistle (particularly silymarin) protect the liver from damage caused by viruses, toxins, alcohol, and certain drugs such as acetaminophen (a common over the counter medication used for headaches (hangovers) and pain; acetaminophen, also called paracetamol, can cause liver damage if taken in large quantities or by people who drink alcohol regularly.)
Many professional herbalists recommend milk thistle extract for the prevention and/or treatment of various liver disorders including viral hepatitis, fatty liver associated with long term alcohol use, and liver damage from drugs and industrial toxins such as carbon tetrachloride.
I don't think it would have any affect if you dried it out and smoked it like some other plant we know of.