We’re going to do something a little different today by focusing on one herb, and one benefit: the masterful Milk Thistle, and how Glutathione helps your liver.
For decades now, we’ve been flooded with detox secrets and their benefits. In large part, the juicing world has been key promoting powerful information for healing the body, and brought about healing for thousands of individuals. But what happens when a “detox” doesn’t stick? What does one do then? It means we need to check in with the General.
Did you know that your liver is called the General in traditional Chinese Medicine?
It’s much more than a filter for alcohol or water or blood. It is the great regenerator, and can regenerate itself when given the support to. That is because it is the Liver’s job to defend the “kingdom” and the life of the Emperor (the Heart).
When our liver has become compromised, from diet, stress, environmental or neurological by-products, it is the Liver who must march into action. But, if the liver has become damaged, toxoid or weakened, your body’s ability to fight free radicals plummets. Studies show this is occurs when glutathione levels become too low. Without glutathione, our body is not only unable to detoxify but incapable of repairing DNA. sThis means cell mutations, faulty membranes, and degenerative disease is not far behind.
“It’s the most important molecule you need to stay healthy and prevent disease — yet you’ve probably never heard of it,” says Dr. Mark Hyman. “It’s the secret to prevent aging, cancer, heart disease, dementia and more.” That molecule is GSH or glutathione. It’s become popular awareness that glutathione is missing in autoimmune disorders and hepatic disorders. And so, as is the way in our culture: the supplementation of glutathione has been rippling though health and medical circles.
“Glutathione supplements are available, however, most experts report that our bodies have a difficult time absorbing them…“ it can even be dangerous to do so. Instead, EATING foods and whole herbs, which help to regenerate these molecular levels is recommended instead.
It just so happens that the plant ally Milk Thistle is THE perfect companion for the needs of the General, because it protects the liver but is a natural glutathione booster. 2016 studies showed antioxidant extracts from milk thistle showed potential for “treating liver diseases and preventing liver damage” and insulin resistance.
But, in reality the best thing to do is to eat the plant itself. Doing so can stabilize “cellular membranes, stimulates detoxification pathways, stimulates regeneration of liver tissue, inhibits the growth of certain cancer cell lines, exerts direct cytotoxic activity toward certain cancer cell lines […] Human clinical trials have investigated milk thistle or silymarin primarily in individuals with hepatitis or cirrhosis, although small studies have been reported about individuals with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, prostate cancer, breast cancer, head and neck cancer, and hepatocellular carcinoma.”  Milk thistle shows potential in treating neurodegenerative diseases. And may also prevent kidney cancer. This is due to regenerative effects on kidney cells.
As you can see, the ability of Milk Thistle to clarify and detox allows the body to boost those mechanisms and cellular functions to allow the General to do its job. Your job is to eat Milk Thistle and listen to the needs of the General. If you can get the whole plant, all its parts milk (stalks, leaves, flowers, roots) can be added to salads or to cooked meals. If you cant get that, whole herb encapsulations or tea is recommended.