Milk Thistle Benefits & Side Effects
What is Milk Thistle good for? Ask a gardener and they’ll likely say “not much”. Ask us, however, and we’ll talk about its Milk Thistle Tea benefits.
But what, exactly, does this often-overlooked herb do? The good news is that we’ll be exploring the facts, figures, history and health benefits of Milk Thistle Tea in the article below. Topics covered will include:
- What is Milk Thistle Tea?
- What is Milk Thistle Tea Good For?
- Milk Thistle Seed Tea Benefits?
- The Benefits for your Hair?
- Why it Benefits the Skin?
- Does Milk Thistle Tea Have Caffeine?
- Are there any Side Effects
- Can You Drink it While Pregnant?
- How to Prepare Milk Thistle Tea?
Afterwards, you can try this extraordinary infusion right here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. We pack almost every product, including this one, fresh to order, which is our way of guaranteeing not only quality but also consistency.
Are you ready to learn more about it? Please keep reading to discover its true potential.
What is Milk Thistle Tea?
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) is an annual or biennial plant belonging to the Asteraceae (daisy) family. It is native to Europe and Asia, although it has since spread to the Americas and Oceania.
Most recognise it as a troublesome weed which has long irritated gardeners. Yet it also has much more to offer, including, of course, Milk Thistle Tea benefits.
The plant itself can grow up to 1.5 metres high, consisting of conspicuous, glossy green, white-veined, sinuate-lobed leaves. They are also thornily toothed at the edges and can prick anyone who walks too close.
Additionally, Milk Thistle produces tufts of red-violet tubular flowers on the top of its apically-branching stalks, which bloom from June to September.
What is Milk Thistle Seeds Tea?
Making Herbal Tea out of the Milk Thistle plant is most commonly associated with its leaves. However, there is another option: Milk Thistle Seeds Tea.
These brown, hard-shelled, egg-shaped components have become increasingly popular in recent years due to Milk Thistle Seed Tea benefits. We will talk about this more later, as well as Milk Thistle Tea benefits as a whole. But right now, let’s look into flavours.
When brewed, the former of the two infusions offers smooth, herbaceous notes with grassy, earthy, vegetal undertones. The latter Herbal Tea, meanwhile, is somewhat more of an acquired taste. Expect a combination of oily, sweet and bitter notes (all at once) from first to last sip.
Both varieties date back many centuries, which is what we’ll be looking into now.
The History of Milk Thistle Tea
Milk Thistle Tea has fascinating origins - starting with what we call it. Its botanical name, Silybum marianum, is twofold: “Silybum” derives from the Greek words “sillybon” or “silybos”, meaning “tassel” or “tuft” respectively.
The word “marianum”, on the other hand, is of Latin origins. It refers to the legend that the white “spots” (veins) on the Milk Thistle leaves come from the milk of the Virgin Mary.
One of the first people to recognise Milk Thistle Tea benefits was the Roman naturalist, Pliny the Elder (23-79 CE). He wrote that its juices were adept at the “carrying of bile”.
Then there was Dioscorides (c. 40 - c. 90 CE), who believed it could act as a remedy for colic and serpent bites. During the Anglo-Saxon period, one record notes that “this wort if hung upon a man’s neck it setteth snakes to flight”.
Hundreds of years later, Nicholas Culpepper (1616-1654) considered Milk Thistle a great choice for fighting fevers. He even went as far as to state that it prevented and cured the plague, as well as helping those with jaundice and dropsy (oedema).
Another famous herbalist of the 17th century, William Westmacott, wrote that it was “a Friend to the Liver and the Blood”. Today, little has changed.
Milk Thistle Tea Properties
This Tea contains several health-beneficial properties capable of improving life in small yet significant ways. Most notable is its abundance in silymarin (between 65-80% per standard extract) and silibinin, both of which can do wonders to your health and wellbeing. But how does this work?
Let’s start at the beginning, diving deep into the world of Antioxidants in Tea. Antioxidants are a natural form of defence in the body. Their primary role is to combat free radicals in the body, which in turn are the product of natural, though often harmful, human oxidation.
Many recognise this as “oxidative stress,” which can, when left unchecked, lead to increased risks in developing numerous chronic conditions. The antioxidants in Milk Thistle Tea, however, can counter these risks.
Milk Thistle Tea Benefits
But that’s not all it can do. Indeed, when consumed as part of a healthy and active lifestyle, Milk Thistle Loose Tea (regardless of the specific type) does much to provide support.
According to the latest scientific research, it can, among other qualities, treat psoriasis, relieve hangovers, promote weight loss and aid the liver. There are even suggestions it prevents type-2 diabetes.
It’s vital to note, however, that most of the following research is still in its early stages. Although it appears promising, it remains paramount that you seek medical consultation should you experience any of the ailments mentioned below.
First and foremost, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company care about the welfare of its customers. We are here to show, not endorse, its potential.
Is Milk Thistle Good for the Liver
When it comes to Milk Thistle Tea benefits, the most famous one is, undoubtedly, improved liver health. Specifically, evidence indicates that it’s an excellent choice for a detox.
This term refers to the process of removing nasty toxins from the body, which is especially useful for the liver. This is because part of the liver’s function is to purify the blood by removing harmful substances, anyway.
One of the most common “nasty toxins” found in the body is alcohol. Opting for a Milk Thistle Tea hangover treatment, then, might support your liver in its work.
Milk Thistle Tea for the liver helps by strengthening the outer membranes of the organ’s cells while reducing the number of toxins entering these cells. In doing so, it reportedly eases symptoms of hangovers.
Does Milk Thistle Help Cirrhosis of the Liver
Is Milk Thistle Tea good for you for anything else to do with the liver? Yes. Some research has noted correlations between drinking it and reduced risks of developing cirrhosis.
This condition, also known as liver cirrhosis or hepatic cirrhosis, affects liver function and can cause long-term damage. Typically, it is a disease that develops slowly over months and years, which is why the latest evidence is significant.
Of six studies into Milk Thistle for chronic alcoholic liver diseases (including cirrhosis), four reported an improvement in liver function.
These were aminotransferases, albumin, and/or malondialdehyde. However, this beverage strictly should NOT be treated as a “fix-all” solution - even despite such promising findings.
Milk Thistle and Heart Health
The antioxidants in Milk Thistle Herbal Tea, as we’ve already established, combat free radicals in the body. This then leads to reducing the risk of developing conditions such as heart disease.
Preliminary research also suggests that it can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol in the body. One 2006 study, in particular, concluded that those drinking this infusion had lower cholesterol than those receiving a placebo.
Additionally, its silymarin content might reduce blood pressure. Although there isn’t yet any evidence to back this claim outright, there are theories as to why this might occur.
The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse notes that high blood sugar contributes to high blood pressure. Seeing as people use Milk Thistle Tea for blood sugar levels already, it stands to reason that it might help blood pressure, too.
Milk Thistle Tea Weight Loss Benefits
Are you hoping to fit into your favourite pair of jeans again? Milk Thistle Tea benefits might be able to help. This is according to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.
It discovered that people lost weight and decreased their body mass index (BMI) during a 120-day trial while using this herb. The reason for this is its ability to boost the metabolism of fat cells.
Metabolism essentially converts the fuel in your food into energy, which is then used to power nearly everything you do. As a result, by boosting this process, Milk Thistle Tea could enable the body to burn fat quicker and more efficiently.
This might ultimately lead to periods of exercise producing better, indeed more noticeable, results. Still, it won’t do all of the work for you, so keep up those jogs.
Milk Thistle Seeds Tea for Gallstones
Let’s now explore some Milk Thistle Seed Tea benefits - beginning with gallstones. As the name suggests, these are small stones, usually made up of cholesterol, which form in the gallbladder.
Most of the time, they do not cause any symptoms and rarely require treatment. However, on occasions, they can get trapped in an opening (duct) inside the gallbladder, triggering intense pain.
Evidence from clinical trials conducted at New York University Langone Medical Center has found that the silymarin in this Tea can protect against gallstone formation.
This took place, according to the research, because silymarin reduced cholesterol output in the bile. There is also the possibility that it expanded the bile acid pool while stimulating more gallbladder contraction.
Milk Thistle and Diabetes
Statistics suggest that an estimated 4 million people, including those who’re currently undiagnosed, are living with diabetes in the UK alone. This represents around 6% of Britain’s population - or one in every sixteen people having diabetes (diagnosed or undiagnosed).
Some scientists, meanwhile, believe that Milk. Thistle Seeds Tea has hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic properties.
One study published in the Journal of the Society for Biomedical Diabetes Research found that silibinin can act as an inhibitor of aldose reductase. In other words, silibinin in this beverage can help metabolise glucose in the body, which ultimately results in balanced blood sugar levels.
And then, of course, there’s the fact that its antioxidants reduce diabetes risks by slowing oxidation.
Is Milk Thistle Good for Psoriasis
Utilising Milk Thistle Seed Tea benefits for your skin is an excellent choice. This is in part due to its anti-inflammatory properties, which can do much to keep your outside looking healthy, vibrant and youthful.
It can help with the condition known as psoriasis, in particular, which is typically characterised by raised, red, scaly patches of skin.
Although its precise causes remain unknown, this Tea might be able to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with psoriasis. The belief is that it reduces inflammation while slowing down excessive cell growth.
The key ingredient contributing to this is silymarin. Topical application of Milk Thistle Seed Tea, then, has the potential to reduce its appearance on your skin after an extended period.
Milk Thistle Tea Side Effects
It appears uncommon to experience any Milk Thistle Tea side effects or, for that matter, Milk Thistle Seed Tea side effects. That isn’t to say, however, that it’s void of health concerns.
For instance, some people have reported cases of abdominal bloating/pain, indigestion, diarrhoea, gas and nausea after drinking either of these Herbal Teas. There is also the risk of a loss of appetite.
Furthermore, those who’re sensitive or allergic to plants in the Asteraceae family should avoid Milk Thistle Tea altogether. If you have any of the above symptoms, or suffer from discomfort of any kind after drinking these infusions, you should consider seeking medical help.
We must again stress that The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company is here to show, not endorse, Milk Thistle Tea benefits.
Milk Thistle Tea Pregnancy
Can you drink Milk Thistle Leaf Tea and Milk Thistle Seed Tea while pregnant? Although there is a small (emphasis on “small”) risk with ANY Herbal Tea, evidence suggests there is little to worry about with these infusions.
According to some research, they might even offer Milk Thistle Tea pregnancy benefits - including reducing instances of morning sickness.
And what about Milk Thistle Tea for breastfeeding? As its name likely suggests, it is a beverage that has long been associated with milk, beginning with the legend of the Virgin Mary.
Some indeed think that it can increase breast milk supply, although there is little evidence backing such a claim. This is why it’s vital to monitor your intake should you decide to try Milk Thistle Tea for this purpose.
Does Milk Thistle Tea Have Caffeine?
The short answer is no. Both Milk Thistle Tea and Milk Thistle Seed Tea are completely, 100% caffeine-free. But is this a good thing or a bad thing?
Well, that very much depends on your perspective. They are certainly a great choice for those who’re caffeine sensitive, as well as anyone looking to cut down their intake.
However, if you need an extra boost in the morning, you’re better off with “real” Tea.
When we say “real” Tea, we’re referring to any beverage originating from the Camellia sinensis plant. The four primary types are Black, Green, White Tea and Oolong, all of which contain varying levels of caffeine.
How to Make Milk Thistle Tea?
Now that you know the basics, it’s time to get brewing. The good news is that when it comes to “how to make Milk Thistle Tea”, regardless of which one, the instructions are relatively straightforward.
First, get your hands on the Tea itself - as well as an Infuser or Filter. Then, just follow these steps below, and you’ll be enjoying a nice, warming, health-beneficial cuppa in practically no time at all!
1. Use a Tea Filter / Infuser.
Put Loose Leaf Milk Thistle Tea into one of our Tea Filters or Infusers.
2. Boil the kettle.
Either filter or bottled water is best.
3. Put the Filter or Infuser into a cup.
A porcelain mug has the least influence on the taste.
4. Add freshly boiled water to your cup.
Fill your cup and mug with the water from the kettle.
5. Allow it to Infuse / Steep.
Let it brew for 5-10 minutes. The longer you leave it, the stronger it tastes.
6. Consider a choice of additions.
Some people add honey or lemon, although it tastes best without any accompaniments.
All that’s left, then, is to sit back, relax and enjoy your cup of Milk Thistle Tea. But first, be sure to buy from The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company.