In the springtime it’s a good idea to spring clean your home as well as spring clean your body. I like to recommend to people that they do some sort of spring detox using herbs like Dandelion Root, Burdock Root, Sassafras, Licorice Root, Ginger Root, Echinacea Root and others. The lovely-variegated leaf of the Milk Thistle plant, Silybum marianum, is also a wonderful herb to clean, refresh and even rehabilitate the liver. The plant is a very interesting looking garden specimen (please see a photograph on my website,
www.ezherbs.net) on the newsletter link.
Milk Thistle is an unusual and beautiful garden plant as it has large tough leaves with a painting of pure white lines running through it. It eventually produces a tall stalk with a purple flower. When the flower goes to seed, it is this part of the plant that is used for medicinal purposes. Using water to extract the chemical constituents of the seeds is not the best way to take Milk Thistle. Therefore, I feel it is best taken as an herbal tincture. I make a tincture of several liver cleansing herbs in a mixture of vegetable glycerin and water. This way there is no alcohol used, which may negatively effect an already damaged liver.
The Milk Thistle plant in an annual or biennial herb, and can grow to 4 to 6 feet tall by end of summer. It can be found in old pastures and abandoned fields in California, New Mexico and in the Rio Grande Valley.
This valuable plant can strengthen the functions and processes of metabolism. It will help decrease liver damage from alcohol abuse, both short-term and long-term degeneration. The most amazing property, to me, is the plants regenerative ability to repair damaged liver cells.
So if you know someone who has spent a significant number of hours drinking alcohol, and wants to work on repairing some damage, you just might suggest the use of Milk Thistle seeds. If the alcohol consumption has been long-term and a problem, it is best to terminate drinking so the damage does not worsen.