March 25th, 2013
Used for nearly 2,000 years as a natural herbal remedy for various ailments, including those related to the liver and kidneys, milk thistle is a highly underrated natural remedy that everyone should know about. The plant is well-known for it’s abilities to promote liver health by strengthening liver cell membranes and helping the organ to flush out toxins, but it seems that it seems that one of it’s amazing beneficial properties is going a bit unrecognized – milk thistle’s ability to fight and prevent cancer.
Milk Thistle as a Cancer Remedy, Protects Against Chemo’s Toxic Effects
In 2007, research published in Integrative Cancer Therapies reviewed numerous clinical studies suggesting milk thistle’s positive effects on cancer. After examination and according to the abstract: “there is strong preclinical evidence for silymarin’s hepatoprotective and anticarcinogenic effects, including inhibition of cancer cell growth in human prostate, skin, breast, and cervical cells”. But even as a “promising” remedy for cancer, this is not, as of now, where the bulk of milk thistle’s positive attributes come in.
The University of Maryland Medical Center states:
“Early laboratory studies also suggest that silymarin and other active substances in milk thistle may have anticancer effects. These substances appear to stop cancer cells from dividing and reproducing, shorten their lifespan, and reduce blood supply to tumors.”
In addition to protecting against cancer, milk thistle is well known among the science community to be able to protect the liver and kidneys from the ill effects of chemotherapy. The active substance in milk thistle, silymarin, which is a mixture of flavanoid compounds, is what’s known for this granted protection. The plant is able to reduce liver enzyme levels, help to reduce inflammation, and assists in modulating T-cells.
Adding Milk Thistle to the Natural Remedies List
If you follow natural health and bathe your mind with natural solutions, then you’re likely aware that milk thistle is far from the only plant or food that has been found to possess anti-cancer properties. Here are just a few other foods and plants that have been in the spotlight for their ability to prevent cancer.
- Turkey Tail Mushroom – Using real cancer patients, researchers from Bastyr set out to test the effectiveness of a mushroom called the turkey tail mushroom. They found that when individuals ingest the mushroom, immune cells lining the intestines become stimulated, which in turn stimulate other immune cells all over the body. Another piece of research from the Queensland University of Technology found that the active compound in turkey tail mushroom known as polysaccharopeptide (PSP) is able to stop prostate tumors from ever developing.
- Grape Seed Extract - Grape seed extract has been shown to essentially outperform chemotherapy in destroying and inhibiting the growth of colorectal cancer cells. Researchers from the University of Colorado Cancer Center report that the more aggressive the cancer cells are, the more effective the grape extract works at targeting and stopping the growth. Further, GSE attacks cancer cells whle leaving healthy cells untouched – unlike many mainstream cancer treatments.
- Lei Gong Teng or “Thunder God Vine” - According to the research published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the thunder god plant compound led to no signs of tumors after a 40 day period — even after discontinuing the treatment. An active compound within the plant, triptolide, has been identified as a cancer fighter in previous research, and is thought to be the key component responsible for anti-tumor capabilities.