Posted on Sep 6, 2014 | 0 comments

Modern living can surround us with pollution, especially those of us living in cities. Pollution can be in the air, in our water, and if we’re not careful, in our food. When harmful substances from pollution end up in our body it is up to our liver to help us detoxify. The liver is responsible for the breakdown or modification of toxic substances, in other words it gets the bad stuff out of our bodies.

milk-thistleAside from its role in detoxification, our liver also synthesizes protein, produces biochemicals necessary for digestion, produces hormones, and plays a major role in metabolism. The liver supports nearly every other organ in the body. This means a properly functioning liver is not just good for vibrant health, it is vital for survival.With more and more pollution in our environment it is important to support our liver and keep it healthy. Luckily, Nature provides tools to help us do this, and one of best tools is the milk thistle seed.

What Are Milk Thistle Seeds?
Milk thistle seeds come from the milk thistle plant (Silybum marianum). Milk thistle is a flowering plant native to the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Middle East. The name “milk thistle” comes from the milky sap contained in its stem. The seeds of milk thistle contain a powerful substance called silymarin, which has long been known to support liver health.Milk thistle seeds have been used by natural healers for over 2,000 years to treat liver disease and help protect the liver against toxins.

Benefits of Milk Thistle Seeds
Fascinating research done on milk thistle seeds has indicated that not only do they assist the body in eliminating toxins, but they also protect and encourage the liver to rebuild new tissue. The silymarin contained in milk thistle seeds acts in several different ways inside the body:

1) Hepato-protective: protects liver cells from incoming toxins, allowing it to process and release toxins more effectively

2) Hepato-tonic: Helps to strengthen the liver and improve function

3) Demulcent: Soothes and lubricates membranes , which helps reduce inflammation and redness both inside and outside the body

4) Gentle Laxative: Increases bile secretion and flow, thus improving bowel regularityMilk thistle seeds have also been used to treat hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver, to lower cholesterol and even reduce the effects of a hangover.

How to Use Milk Thistle Seeds
It’s easy to incorporate milk thistle seeds into your daily superfood lifestyle. The silymarin in milk thistle seeds is more effective when the whole seeds are ground to a fine powder or soaked overnight. You will find that the powder is extremely palatable and delicious on its own! It has a delightful, nutty taste similar to ground flax and hemp.

Soaked milk thistle seeds are also great on their own or blended into raw food dishes.Try grinding 2 Tablespoons of the seeds in a coffee grinder or Vita Mix Blender and adding it to any nut milk or smoothie recipe. You can also add the powder or soaked seeds into any savory raw food dish, such as a nut pate or cracker.

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