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Milk Thistle Tea

Milk thistle tea, characterized by its flavorful, natural taste is prepared from the seeds of milk thistle plant found in Europe, Middle East, and North Africa. It can also be referred to as holy thistle tea or blessed thistle tea. Due to its protective and ameliorating effects, milk thistle seed tea has several health benefits.

Milk Thistle Tea

Milk Thistle Tea

Milk Thistle Tea

History and origin

According to a popular Christian belief, the leaves got their white patterns from Virgin Mary’s milk when she was nursing baby Jesus. In ancient times, the medicinal properties of milk thistle were recognized by Pliny and were mentioned by the famous Greek physician Dioscorides in his book De Materia Medica. Later the plant was also recommended in medieval medical books like the Book of Herbs by Matthiolus and the Book of Herbs by Lonicerus as a remedy for jaundice and liver inflammation.

Milk Thistle Seed

Milk Thistle Seed

Milk thistle tea benefits

For the liver

Due to its primary constituent sylimarin, a flavonoid complex, the herbal infusion is effective against liver degeneration, hepatitis, jaundice, cirrhosis, and gallbladder. Its regenerative property helps in supporting those whose liver has been damaged by toxins like xylene and toluene. It serves as a detox tea by cleaning these harmful substances, thereby boosting the functionality of the liver. Since it is beneficial to the liver in numerous ways, it is often called a “liver tonic.”

Good for skin

Few studies have linked the occurrence of psoriasis, a skin condition, with abnormal liver functions. Since this tea increases liver function, its intake is considered beneficial to the skin.

Reduces Cholesterol

Research has shown that it causes the blood sugar levels to decrease, which in turn reduces the bad cholesterol levels in those suffering from type 2 diabetes. This also minimizes the risks of various heart diseases. Consumption of this organic tea helps in improving insulin resistance in diabetic people.

Since the studies have only been done in diabetics, the same positive effects cannot be confirmed in otherwise healthy people.

Milk Thistle Tea Images

Milk Thistle Tea Images

Milk Thistle Tea Pictures

Milk Thistle Tea Pictures

Promotes digestion

It acts as a mild laxative, helping in lubricating the intestines and then flushing out the wastes from the system, consequently treating constipation. It frees up intestinal congestions, stimulates secretion of bile, and promotes a healthier digestive system.

For weight loss

In a recent clinical study, it was found that sylimarin, a combination of silicristin, silidianin, and silibinin found in milk thistle helped diabetic patients to lose up to 18 lbs of weight. However, more scientific evidence is required to confirm this effect.

Milk Thistle Leaves

Milk Thistle Leaves

Milk Thistle Plant

Milk Thistle Plant

Other benefits

Useful for varicose veins

Its topical application in the form of a damp compress provides relief against open leg sores and varicose veins.

How to make milk thistle tea

  • Take about one tablespoon of milk thistle seeds, either  powdered or whole, in a teapot and boil with three cups of water
  • Steep for 20 minutes
  • Strain the mixture
  • Add honey or sugar if needed

You may also brew it by steeping a tea bag in one cup of boiling water for 3-6 minutes.

Safety and precaution

It is safe when consumed as part of a regular diet. However, people sensitive to milk thistle or its plant family members (kiwi, common thistle, and artichokes) should avoid its intake.

Side effects

It may cause diarrhea, gas, bloating, nausea, and upset stomach if consumed in excess.

Consumption during pregnancy

Due to lack of scientific evidence, it should be cautiously taken by pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers after taking their doctor’s advice.

Milk Thistle Flower

Milk Thistle Flower

Pictures of Milk Thistle Tea

Pictures of Milk Thistle Tea

Where to buy milk thistle tea

You can purchase quality milk thistle tea enclosed in bleach-free teabags online and from herbal tea stores.

Article was last reviewed on 3rd November 2017

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