With the increasing popularity of milk thistle in promoting liver health, it is now becoming available in a variety of preparations. There are different silymarin products in the form of capsules, tablets, tinctures, seed extract and powder. Milk thistle powder may either be made from the seeds of Silybum marianum or from other parts such as the twigs, roots, berries and other aerial parts, which are believed to help in protecting the liver against harmful toxins. The active components of milk thistle seed powder are silibinin, silychristin and silydianin, collectively known as Silymarin.
Milk thistle seeds are rich in nutrients and powerful compounds. The plant tastes somewhat bitter yet tonic to the spleen, kidney and liver, and can be taken for a long period. The seeds contain essential fatty acids and betaine, which are both proven liver protectors. Historically, milk thistle has been recognized for its potent regenerative effects on liver cells. Almost all parts of the plant can be used for both food and medicine with no reports of toxicity or any serious side effects.
Commercially sold milk thistle powder today has different variants. Some are in combination with other herbs like dandelion, yarrow and burdock. This powder can be used in many ways. You can place it in a spice shaker and sprinkle in cereals, salad, smoothie, soup or any type of meal for instant liver boost.
If you want to make your own milk thistle powder, you can buy a bulk of whole seeds and turn them into fine powder using a coffee grinder or food processor. You can also mix other nuts or herbs for added nutrition. Good additives may be pumpkin, flax and sunflower seeds; rough nuts like walnuts, cashews and almonds; raisins and other dried fruits. In this way, you can try to provide for the slight bitter taste of milk thistle.
Milk thistle seed can also be brewed as an herbal coffee. Just roast the seed and place the result in the coffee grinder to turn into fine powder. Brew it in your coffee maker and enjoy your milk thistle coffee.
For the most part, milk thistle is taken internally but it can also be applied topically to treat different forms of skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis or rosacea. For topical application, you have to make milk thistle paste from milk thistle powder. To make a paste from the powder form of milk thistle, combine water and powder at a ratio of 1:3 and mix it, adding water if necessary. The powder you buy may affect the thickness of your paste so it is best to add oatmeal to your paste as well. Oatmeal is also a soothing substance to the skin, making it an excellent addition to your paste. Add a few drops of castor oil to make your paste gooey. It also helps the milk thistle extract penetrate deeply into the skin.
There are different ways to use milk thistle powder, whether you mix it in food, turn it into a coffee powder or create an herbal paste for skin diseases. Adding milk thistle to food can be beneficial to your liver but always consult your healthcare provider before taking any herbal remedies.