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10 Health Benefits Of Milk Thistle




Herbs have been used for medicinal purposes since the dawn of time. 

No, I don’t have a reference link for the first man and woman pertaining to their use of specific herbs for medicinal purposes. 

But, I also don’t have the listed address for their preferred Walgreens either. 

And, considering the fact that you’re alive, and I’m alive…well, math dictates that they figured it out. 

For thousands and thousands of years, our ancestors across the globe have been using the products of nature to treat everything from headaches to rashes, digestion issues, liver problems, and more. 

Truly, even modern medicine wouldn’t be where it is today without all that we’ve learned and derived from nature’s medicinal gifts. 

One such gift: milk thistle.

Used in supplements, extracts, and tea forms, milk thistle’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties boast some powerful aids to health promotion and disease prevention! 

Hmmm, maybe sometime soon we’ll see an ad showing folks with a milk thistle tea mustache that reads: “Got milk thistle?” (If so, can I pull a Ross Geller, and go ahead and claim this one?) 

Until then, let’s get on to those benefits…

What Is Milk Thistle?

First, before we discuss milk thistle’s many boosts to your health, let’s take a look at exactly what this herb is.

Originally found in Mediterranean countries, the milk thistle is also known as the Mary thistle or the holy thistle. Its leaves are white in color and produce a white milky sap. 

Its flowers are prickly to the touch, possibly giving the plant its thistle name. And, those flowers produce seeds, up to 200 seeds to be exact. 

Within those seeds is an antioxidant compound known as silymarin, the active ingredient that is thought to be responsible for milk thistle’s many health benefits. 

1- Liver Health

Possibly the most notable, and most common, health benefit associated with milk thistle centers around its benefit to the liver. 

Its most common use for centuries has been in treating liver (and gallbladder) conditions. 

Silymarin, the antioxidant component we mentioned a moment ago, helps to fight free radical damage in the body. In the liver, it works as a detoxifier, rebuilds damaged cells and reduces overall damage. 

And, as your liver is in the business of metabolizing toxic substances, these detoxifying and rebuilding effects of milk thistle prove especially beneficial. 

In animal studies, mice with diet-induced liver damage saw improvements in their liver health with milk thistle. And, while continued studies need to be conducted to affirm this, researchers fully believe this will be the case in humans as well. 

But, until those studies are completed, for now, we do know…

  • Studies have shown milk thistle to reduce liver inflammation and damage. 
  • In those with liver disease, milk thistle taken as a supplement has been proven to improve liver function. 
  • Milk thistle has been successfully used to treat other liver conditions like jaundice, acute and chronic hepatitis, and alcoholic and toxin-induced liver diseases.

2- Weight Loss

While milk thistle’s notoriety for liver health tops the charts, the herb’s benefits in weight loss follow close behind. 

As with its benefits to the liver, it is the antioxidant compound, silymarin, that is thought to also be responsible for the plant’s aid in weight loss efforts. 

This antioxidant helps to detoxify your digestive tract, boosting your weight loss efforts. 

But, silymarin is also thought to be an effective means of boosting metabolism, which goes a long way in facilitating weight loss as well. 

In animal studies, mice that were fed a diet that should have caused weight gain actually lost weight due to an intake of silymarin.

In another promising study, while the results are not yet conclusive, milk thistle also caused inhibited growth in fat cells in lab cultures.

3- Lowers Cholesterol

One study has proven milk thistle to lower cholesterol. 

While the effects of the herb on cholesterol levels weren’t the main reason for the study, when participants were given milk thistle for diabetes management, those taking the placebo found no effect on cholesterol levels, while those taking the milk thistle all experienced decreases in cholesterol levels.  

Milk thistle also cleans the blood and prevents oxidative stress within the arteries. 

4- Boosts Breastmilk Production

Milk thistle has proven to be beneficial for nursing mothers as it increased milk production by more than 64% over those mothers taking a placebo in a randomized controlled study. 

It is thought that the silymarin in the milk thistle was responsible for boosting prolactin, which is a hormone involved in breast milk production. 

5- Supports Immune System

Milk thistle extract has been shown to boost immune responses as well. 

Strengthening immune responses can help you to fight off invading pathogens, thereby preventing illness. 

Human studies have shown these effects on the immune system; however, since these results were found some time ago, researchers have begun new studies. 

And, the newer animal research backs up what was previously discovered: when consumed, milk thistle extract had a positive effect on the immune system, showing improved immunity.

6- Improves Brain Function

Specifically related to age-related cognitive decline (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases), milk thistle has been used in natural medicine for thousands of years to treat these neurological conditions. 

As milk thistle (rather the silymarin found in the herb’s seeds) has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it is thought that these components combat oxidative stress or damage to cells in the brain, thereby preventing mental decline with age. 

Studies in animals support this thought as administering milk thistle to subjects, in a 2015 study, increased resistance to oxidative stress. 

7- Boosts Bone Health

Milk thistle has been found to prevent bone loss in relation to dips in estrogen in postmenopausal women. 

It has also been found to stimulate bone remineralization, a concern for many with age. 

As osteoporosis is characterized by bone loss, milk thistle’s ability to aid in healthy bone growth makes it a promising avenue for treatment. 

8- May Make Cancer Treatments More Effective

From reducing chemotherapy side effects to even slowing the spread and growth of tumors, milk thistle is proving promising in regards to cancer treatments. 

Silymarin is thought to have actual anti-cancer effects according to some studies. 

As of now, research suggesting that silymarin makes chemotherapy more effective is limited to test tube findings. 

But, in 2016, a study showed milk thistle extract to stop the growth of cancer cells in colorectal cancer (other studies indicate the same for prostate and bladder cancers). 

9- Lowers Blood Sugar Levels

A discovery regarding the effects of milk thistle on blood sugar levels found that the herb actually mimics some diabetic medications, reducing blood sugar and improving insulin resistance. 

Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, milk thistle may also be beneficial in preventing kidney damage in diabetics, a common complication for sufferers. 

10- Eases Digestion

We briefly mentioned milk thistle’s benefit to the digestive system in regards to weight loss, but the herb has been notably used to treat symptoms specific to digestion as well. 

German herbal medicine regulators specifically list milk thistle as a possible treatment for sour stomach. 

And, this coincides with its uses throughout history, as milk thistle has classically been known to be used as a treatment for indigestion. 

As this herb supports the health of your liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts, this aids in proper bile flow and detoxification in turn boosts digestion and promotes healthy elimination. 


Milk thistle’s most noted benefits surround liver health, most likely due to its detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects. 

This also lends to its aid in healthy weight loss as toxic buildup can stall weight loss efforts. 

While milk thistle is generally considered safe, it is important to note, like with anything else, allergic reactions are possible. 

And, if you are currently on medications or undergoing treatment for any of the above-listed conditions, talking with your physician before adding anything to those medications or treatments is wise. 

Healthy Liver. 7 Do’s And 7 Dont’s

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10 Tinnitus Remedies That May Provide Relief




Do you hear that? …that ringing? …that continual ringing? (or buzzing, humming, pulsing, etc noise)

If you’ve experienced a ringing in your ears, then the following list of troubles may be just as common for you: 

Fatigue. Stress. Trouble Sleeping. Difficulty concentrating. Anxiety. Headaches. Depression. 

Tinnitus, often characterized by a ringing in the ears, is experienced by at least 15-20% of adults. And, as we’ve just seen, a ringing in the ears is often only the start of the trouble it can cause. 

So then, what spells relief for tinnitus? 

While there’s no known cure for tinnitus, there are effective ways to manage the symptoms! 

Read on to find ten effective ways to find relief for the ringing

What Is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a symptom of trouble occurring within your auditory system. 

Made up of specific parts of your brain and your middle, inner, and outer ear, your auditory system processes both how you hear and understand sounds.

Tinnitus is characterized by a regular, or constant, sound heard even though no external sound is present. 

These constant or regular sounds are often described as ringing, hissing, buzzing, whistling, or humming. And, in more severe instances, some people can hear louder, more profound sounds such as breaking glass or running machinery.

Tinnitus can be experienced in one ear, or both simultaneously. And, it can be constant or even temporary. 

Most people who suffer from such symptoms experience what is known as subjective tinnitus, where the sufferer alone can hear these sounds. However, in roughly 5% of cases, objective tinnitus occurs, where a physician can also hear the pulsing sounds heard by the patient. 

In the case of objective tinnitus, blood vessel complications or even muscle contractions can be the cause of the pulsing sounds that are heard. 

But, in the cases of the more common subjective tinnitus, let’s address the elephant in the room…or rather, the ear…

Why do people experience tinnitus?

We mentioned that tinnitus is a symptom rather than a condition or disease itself, but what does this mean for sufferers? 

If you’re experiencing tinnitus, those plaguing sounds in your ear(s), are likely due to damage incurred to your auditory system. 

Such damage can be gradual or immediate, and is often caused by one or more of the following:

  • head and/or neck injuries
  • age-related hearing loss
  • sudden or constant exposure to loud noises 
  • fluid in the ear
  • wax buildup in the ear
  • high blood pressure
  • tumors in the ear or on the auditory nerve
  • certain medications (including antibiotics)
  • medication taken in large doses (such as aspirin)
  • ear/nose/throat infections

Tinnitus symptoms can be exacerbated by depression, high levels of stress, a lack of sleep, and illness. 

Some people even experience greater symptoms when they consume too much caffeine or alcohol. 

While there is presently no cure known to work for all those dealing with tinnitus, there have studies that have yielded promising results that may lead to a breakthrough in the future. Thankfully, there are some things you can do right now to manage the perception of the sounds heard, lessen the symptoms, and find relief to improve your quality of life while experiencing tinnitus. 

How To Get Relief From Tinnitus?

Most people have found they can experience relief from tinnitus. And, this relief can be found from a wide range of sources, from simple lifestyle changes to more involved measures.

Here we’ll list the most common and effective tinnitus remedies that have provided relief for many sufferers. 


The fact that exercise can improve health isn’t new information, but can it really improve something like tinnitus? 

Actually, yes! 

Stress, lack of sleep, anxiety, and illness can all contribute to worsening tinnitus symptoms. And, worsening tinnitus can contribute to stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, and then illness. So, exercise can help relieve tinnitus in multiple ways. 

Exercise improves your immune responses (helping to fight illness). It is a proven method of stress relief. And, exercise can even improve sleep quality. Improvements in each of these areas can lessen tinnitus severity. 

Dietary Changes

Some people have found tinnitus triggers within their diet. 

For instance, sodium has been found to contribute to instances of tinnitus. So, lowering salt intake has been known to reduce tinnitus, and this has also proven effective at lowering blood pressure, especially helpful in those tinnitus sufferers whose condition stems from hypertension. 

And, as instances of tinnitus were found to increase in individuals consuming foods with high levels of iron, calcium, and fat, controlling consumed amounts of these minerals and nutrients may help to reduce symptoms as well. 

Meditation and Stress Reduction

Mindful meditation and mindful breathing practices are effective ways to relieve stress and thereby lessen the intensity of tinnitus. 

As tinnitus can bring about much stress, practicing effective ways to reduce stress can go a long way in your efforts to find relief in dealing with symptoms. 

Besides reducing overall stress, these methods can help you to focus your mind on things other than the symptoms of tinnitus. 


While acupuncture is often skipped over, not being seen as a conventional or traditional method of treatment, tinnitus sufferers have found great relief with this practice. 

Acupuncture can decrease inflammation and improve blood circulation, making this method of relief especially effective for those suffering from tinnitus symptoms due to high blood pressure or a head or neck injury.

And, studies have shown acupuncture can reduce the intensity at which tinnitus symptoms are experienced.

Hearing Aids

If your tinnitus symptoms are a result of hearing loss, hearing aids can provide relief. 

As you lose your ability to hear, your brain begins to change the way it processes sounds. In this process, you can experience ringing, buzzing, or humming sounds…or tinnitus. 

As the use of hearing aids can improve hearing, tinnitus symptoms can lessen. 

Sound Machines

Sound machines and sound-masking devices offer effective tinnitus relief as they provide external noise, usually pleasant or warm sounds, that can essentially “drown out” the sounds heard internally. 

These machines are often devices you can place on a table or nearby stand but also come in sizes small enough to fit in the ear (electronic devices made to be worn in the ear). 

Studies have shown that white or pink noises were most effective at masking tinnitus sounds. 

Behavioral Therapy

Working with a behavioral or cognitive therapist or counselor has also proven to be effective in dealing with the effects of tinnitus. 

Those who have dealt with tinnitus over long periods of time can experience high levels of stress, and behavioral therapy has proven helpful in teaching sufferers to live with and even cope with this condition. 


While there isn’t a known medication to specifically treat tinnitus, some antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications have been known to improve the quality of life for tinnitus sufferers by making the sounds less intrusive in daily life. 


Many vitamins and minerals are effective at both treating and offering relief for a wide range of symptoms and conditions, including tinnitus. The most common supplements used as a relief for tinnitus are zinc, ginkgo biloba, and magnesium (their effectiveness is detailed below). 

Zinc- Some studies have shown those experiencing tinnitus to be deficient in zinc. In such studies, both the severity and loudness of tinnitus were greater in those individuals with low levels of zinc. 

Zinc is also known to improve nerve transmission within auditory pathways, and as we’ve seen earlier here, improvements in hearing have often lessened the instances and severity of tinnitus. 

Ginkgo Biloba- This herb is most noted for its ability to stimulate circulation. For those experiencing tinnitus due to poor blood circulation or even hypertension, ginkgo biloba may offer relief. 

Magnesium- Studies have shown magnesium to decrease the severity of symptoms of tinnitus. This mineral is often associated with ear health as it has been found to protect the inner ear from damage caused by loud noises, as it works to block damage to cells within the ear from free radical molecules (experienced in instances of loud noise). 

Say No To Alcohol, Tobacco, And Caffeine

Alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine can all hinder blood flow, a known contributor to tinnitus. And, regular consumption of each of these is known to increase blood pressure, another contributing factor to tinnitus. 

Limiting or avoiding these substances can not only improve your overall health but may also provide relief for tinnitus. 

**If you are newly experiencing symptoms, your tinnitus has increased or become persistent, or if you find that your tinnitus symptoms are interfering with your ability to sleep, work, or enjoy your life (to the point of causing depressive symptoms), please see your doctor. 

Upon a routine hearing examination, a physician can refer you to a specialist if warranted. 


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Link Between Diabetes And Dementia?




Obesity and sedentary lifestyles are diminishing the health of many across the nation, increasingly affecting children as well, at an alarming rate. 

And, though I’m sure you’ve heard of the ways that these factors can adversely affect your health, putting you at risk for concerns such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes to name a few, they can also affect the health of your brain. 

Instances of diabetes leading to dementia are growing, and this is causing researchers to dig a bit further into this now-commonly-known link.  

So, what is the connection between diabetes and dementia? 

Do age and onset make a difference? 

And, if you have diabetes, or are at risk for diabetes, what can you do to reduce your risk of cognitive decline? 

Diabetes & Dementia

Diabetes is a health condition that changes how your body converts food into energy. 

As you eat, foods are normally broken down into glucose (sugar) which is released into your bloodstream. 

When the amount of sugar in your blood increases, this sends a signal to your pancreas to release insulin, a substance that allows your cells to then use that sugar as energy. 

In the case of diabetes, however, the body doesn’t produce adequate amounts of insulin, causing too much sugar to remain in the bloodstream.  

This can then lead to further health concerns such as kidney disease, problems with vision, heart disease, stroke, and dementia. 

And, it’s the last threat on that list that is garnering much attention as of late. 

Diabetics actually have a 73% greater risk of developing dementia than non-diabetics, with type 1 diabetics being 93% more likely to develop dementia. 

And, while dementia can be caused by a number of illnesses or even injury, specifically speaking of its link to diabetes, it is thought that high levels of blood sugar and insulin can also cause harm or damage to the brain. 

So then, what is the connection between these two health conditions? 

First, we know that diabetes most often leads to a slow and subtle decline in brain function, but in patients who already are experiencing cognitive decline, the likelihood of this decline progressing to full-blown dementia increases greatly. 

But, aside from those already experiencing cognitive decline, diabetes knowingly causes damage to blood vessels, and it is also a known risk factor for vascular dementia, a type of cognitive decline often associated with brain damage due to problems with a lack of blood supply to the brain. 

In fact, the risk of developing vascular dementia increases by 100% in diabetes patients. 

And, as diabetes can lead to heart damage or stroke, blood vessels within the brain can become damaged in such instances. 

Diabetes can also cause chronic inflammation throughout the body which is known to damage brain cells. And, some studies have shown diabetes to cause an increase in the production of a toxic protein which causes damage here as well. 

And, type 2 diabetes, in particular, is linked to a greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and even mild cognitive impairments including having difficulty concentrating, problems with memory, learning new things, and making decisions. 

The link here is usually seen in patients with type 2 diabetes and those with Alzheimer’s disease, both suffering from oxidative stress and diminished insulin signaling. Here, insulin resistance in the body leads to diabetes, and insulin resistance in the brain leads to Alzheimer’s disease. 

But, as recent research has given us greater knowledge regarding this connection, a finding that is particularly troubling surrounds the age of onset, given the fact that the age of diabetes diagnoses seems to be getting younger and younger.

Age Of Onset Could Make All The Difference

While the link between diabetes and dementia has been well established, this connection has led scientists to search for even more answers. 

And, the results of this ongoing research have led scientists to believe that the earlier one is diagnosed with diabetes, the greater their risk is for developing dementia. 

Over time, the effects diabetes can have on blood pressure and heart health is thought to be one of the largest contributors to dementia as heart and brain health are closely linked. 

Another risk associated with an early life diagnosis of diabetes is that the longer you are faced with controlling your body’s blood sugars, the more likely you are to have had instances or episodes of low blood sugar as well. 

Instances of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) over time can cause damage to the hippocampus (the brain’s memory center), leading to memory loss and dementia. 

Thankfully, not only are there some things you can do to reduce your risk of developing diabetes in the first place, but there are also things you can do to reduce your risk of dementia as well, even if you already have diabetes. 

Decreasing Your Risk Of Dementia When Living With Diabetes

So, now we’ve learned that diabetics also have to be concerned with cognitive decline as they manage an already troublesome disease. 

But, thankfully there are some ways to manage that risk! 

Maintaining a healthy weight, or losing weight if you are overweight or obese can reduce your risk of developing diabetes and can prevent complications (like dementia) from the disease if you are a diabetic. 

Losing weight can…

  • keep your blood sugar levels healthy and in turn reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure or the buildup of arterial plaque which can both lead to heart disease or stroke, thus potentially damaging your brain
  • make your body more sensitive to insulin, causing insulin resistance to decrease and allowing diabetes to be better managed
  • reduce the risk of vascular damage, a common link to dementia

Exercise and a healthy diet are often mentioned in conjunction with weight management, and these certainly are crucial in keeping or reaching a healthy weight, but these can also help you to manage diabetes and decrease the risk of the disease progressing to dementia. 

To effectively manage diabetes, aside from controlling blood sugars, be sure to 

  • exercise at least 30 minutes per day 
  • eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins 

These practices can prevent diabetes, keep the disease from progressing, and may potentially reduce the risk of diabetes progressing to dementia. 

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10 Daily Habits for a Healthier Lifestyle



Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult or overwhelming. By implementing small daily habits into your routine, you can gradually improve your overall health and well-being. Here are 10 daily habits you can start incorporating into your life for a healthier lifestyle:

1. Start your day with a glass of water: Hydration is key to good health, so make sure to start your day with a glass of water to kickstart your metabolism and flush out toxins from your body.

2. Eat a nutritious breakfast: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so make sure to fuel your body with a nutritious meal that includes protein, fiber, and healthy fats.

3. Move your body: Whether it’s going for a walk, doing yoga, or hitting the gym, make sure to incorporate some form of physical activity into your daily routine to keep your body strong and healthy.

4. Practice mindfulness: Take a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness through meditation, deep breathing, or simply taking a moment to slow down and focus on the present moment.

5. Get enough sleep: Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night to allow your body to rest and recharge for the next day.

6. Limit processed foods: Try to incorporate more whole foods into your diet and limit processed foods, which are often high in unhealthy fats, sugars, and additives.

7. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support your body’s functions.

8. Practice gratitude: Take time each day to reflect on what you are grateful for, which can help improve your mental health and overall well-being.

9. Limit screen time: Try to limit your exposure to screens, such as phones, computers, and TVs, especially before bed, to improve your sleep quality and reduce eye strain.

10. Stay connected: Make time for social connections with friends and family, as strong relationships have been shown to improve mental health and overall well-being.

By incorporating these 10 daily habits into your routine, you can start living a healthier lifestyle and improve your overall health and well-being. Remember, small changes can lead to big results, so start small and gradually build on these habits to create a healthier and happier you.

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