Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How to Take Milk Thistle By Janie Fichter

Milk Thistle

Having a healthy liver is crucial to a body's well-being. Milk thistle, an herb known for its liver loving properties, is widely available and easy to take. Silymarin and other substances in milk thistle are known to protect the liver from damage caused by toxins, viruses, alcohol and some prescription drugs. Milk thistle aids digestion, improves mood and may also protect the body from cancer. Milk thistle is easy to grow and takes a year to mature. It's native to Mediterranean areas, but grows all over the world.

Moderately Easy
Instructions. Things You'll Need:
•Milk thistle capsules, tincture or dried herb

Step 1

Sip a cup of milk thistle tea. The herb is usually available as packaged tea. If not, put two tablespoons of crushed milk thistle leaves and seeds in a muslin bag or tea ball. Steep in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes and sip slowly. Add honey and peppermint to sweeten, if desired. Milk thistle tea is fabulous to drink before or after a meal. It aids digestion and is also known to stabilize insulin levels and reduce cholesterol.

Step 2

Take a supplement. Milk thistle is available at many health food stores and markets, in capsule form. Silymarin is not easily absorbed by the body, therefore, taking a concentrated capsule is most effective, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Capsules offer a standardized amount of silymarin. The recommended dosage is two to three capsules a day for an adult. Take milk thistle with a glass of water.

Step 3

Dilute 10 drops of milk thistle tincture in a glass of water. Take three to five times daily. A tincture is extract of an herb, by way of alcohol or other substance, like iodine. Tinctures are available at health food stores and from herbalists. You can make your own tincture by putting two cups of dried milk thistle and seeds in a glass mason jar. Cover herbs with either brandy or vodka and screw on lid. Let jar sit in a cool, dry place. The herbs must be covered and soaked in alcohol at all times. Check the jar every two days and add more alcohol if the herbs have absorbed the alcohol. Let this mixture sit for three weeks and shake the jar occasionally. After three weeks, strain liquid into a dropper bottle. The tincture will be good for one year.

Step 4

Grind up milk thistle seeds in a coffee grinder to make a powder. Add one tablespoon of powder to fruit juice or water and drink it twice a day.

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