Is milk thistle good for you?

Milk thistle is one of the ingredients in our popular naturally revitalising drink, Overhang, and we’re getting loads of customer queries about what it actually is and what benefits it offers. We’ve put this brief guide together to answer all these questions in more detail. Please be aware the below information should not be taken as authoritative nor as advise. Please do your own research and consult a professional if you’re still unsure.

What is milk thistle?

Milk thistle is a purple flowering plant, also known as Marian thistle, holy thistle and wild artichoke (Wiki Link). It’s a prickly, thorny plant and native throughout Europe and Asia. In the wild, milk thistle can grow to more than five feet tall, and its bright purple flowers appears between the months of June and August.

The seeds of the plant contain a compound known as silymarin, which is said to protect against damage to bodily cells. Active compounds in silymarin include silybin, silychristin and isosilybin, and it has been used in various herbal remedies and elixirs for several thousand years.

Is milk thistle good for me?

Research has indicated that milk thistle can help in treating liver diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatitis. Studies by Cancer Research have also shown to help improve the results of chemotherapy drugs used in the treatment of breast cancer and ovarian cancer and is believed to slow the growth of prostate cancers.

Some other research studies have looked at the benefits of silymarin for treating liver cirrhosis, bile duct disorders and hepatitis.

In the UK, milk thistle is native to the south of the country and found mainly by the coast. Some people use it as food, and roots can boiled or eaten raw. The young shoots can also be eaten in spring and even the flower heads are eaten, after soaking and stewing for some time. Removing the prickles from leaves of the plant makes it a useful green salad or spinach substitute. Of course, there is an easier way to consume milk thistle. Simply pick yourself up a bottle of Overhang from any Morrisons, Holland & Barrett, WHSmith*, Tesco** or ASDA**. You can also buy online at Ocado or Amazon.

There are lots of claims made about the benefits of milk thistle and its active ingredients online. The team at Overhang don’t make claims for any of the ingredients in our tasty and nutritious drinks, we just know that Overhang is a delicious health drink that seems to offer our customers a host of benefits!

Milk thistle – גדילן מצוי by Eran Finkle licensed under Creative Commons 4.0