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Liver, taken from live, is an important organ in our bodies: It helps digest fats and promotes digestion by aiding in the manufacture of bile, and also raises the body's ability to detoxify against the toxins. Some toxins like nicotine, alcohol and carbon monoxide etc. The liver can decompose those toxins into something non-toxic to humans. In addition, the liver is also a container for fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamin A, D, E and K. Therefore, it’s urgent to protect our livers.
The most common liver diseases are alcoholic hepatitis, acute hepatitis, cirrhosis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, liver cancer etc. While milk thistle, is well-known for preventing and treating liver diseases. The effective component in milk thistle is silymarin which mainly found in milk thistle’s fruits, seeds and leaves. Silymarin is a kind of flavonolignans, which mainly includes silibinin, silydianin and silvchristine. Silibinin has the best effect, and it’s also the best substance for protecting livers in the world.
About the curative effect of milk thistle, there are two stories can prove it. Scientists infected mice with lethal doses of toxin from death cap (a kind of poison mushroom), and then give them some milk thistle to eat. What is astonishing is none of the mice were dead and some of them only got a little bit liver damage. The mushroom pickers in Germany always use milk thistle to detoxify poison mushroom, and they have been doing it for a long time. Before they know this herb, the mushroom picker always mix the mushroom they want with another poison mushroom-Amanita phalloides. It looks exactly like the non-toxin mushrooms and if anyone eats it will lead to hepatic failure and die fast. Later when they found milk thistle and eat it before they pick mushrooms, even if they eat poison mushrooms by mistake, they will not die. It’s said that many hospitals in Germany are using milk thistle extract to make injections to cure patients who took poison mushrooms by mistake.
Milk thistle has been using for at least 2000 years to cure liver diseases. The effective component silymarin is good for liver index like GOT and GPT’s increasing. If you take it along with vitamin B you will have even better effects. Therefore, milk thistle is not only good for patients who have liver diseases, but also good for people who always exposure to toxic substances at work, such as chemical plants, manufacturing industries or people who drink or smoke a lot, people live close to contaminated area etc.
關於苦薊草的療效，有兩個故事可以充分證明這一點。科學家把致死性劑量的，從毒菇中提取的毒素注入老鼠體內，幾分鐘之內給予苦薊草，不但老鼠不會死亡，而且肝臟僅受微小傷害。而德國采菇工作者，使用Milk Thistle的草藥﹐來解毒菇之毒，已經有相當長的歷史。在他們還不知道服用這種藥草之前，采菇人經常會誤采一種劇毒菇─ Amanita phalloides長得和一般無毒菇類很像﹐誤食劇毒菇Amanita phalloides會造成肝衰竭迅速死亡﹐後來在采菇人事先服用了這種草藥後﹐即使再攝食毒菇也不會中毒（草藥的純度與劑量是效果的關鍵）。據悉，德國的醫院已經使用苦薊草的萃取物，做成注射藥劑，在急診室施打在誤食毒菇的病患身上。