I took milk thistle once and it just made me sick. I don't hold much stock in milk thistle, though some people with liver disease swear by it. I think it may help those with healthy livers to cleanse, like you say, more than helping people who already have liver disease. Typically, they tell us to avoid herbals, though it has been mentioned to me before by nurses and medically savvy people. I found mushroom extract, specific mushrooms, a three mushroom reishi blend, helped me alot and there has been a little research done in Japan regarding mushroom extracts. I took it at the end of my interferon therapy as I was craving mushrooms terribly bad, and I don't like them, but once I started taking the mushroom extract, my liver function tests came down, but it could have been coincidental.
I do think if you crave something, you may need it, except for carbs!
Milk thistle can't reverse hepatitis viral infections, fatty liver, or autoimmune liver disease. These diseases are very difficult to control with extremely strong medications. I don't see how it could reverse the damage directly either, but perhaps may make the liver environment more friendly for healing.
I find it frightening when promises like that are made. I had dear friends try to sell me vitamins and herbs they swore were going to cure me and I was extremely hurt. People with liver disease have great difficulty metabolizing herbals and most medications, not to mention their own bodily secretions. Supplements can be deadly to someone with liver disease.
Also, liver disease heals, and then gets bad, just like autoimmune disease. It would be very difficult to credit a supplement for any remission and healing, which may be coincidental.
But for people with healthy livers that feel they may take lots of meds or eat or drink things that feel might harm the liver slightly, it might be useful after allowing the liver to heal on its own through abstinance, to flush the cells.
I can't metabolize herbs. Some people with liver disease cannot even use cologne because the small amount of alcohol in it can cause liver failure in them. It's hard to understand how very sensitive we are. I'm surprised I can take the meds I take, they must be small enough to pass through my liver and at low enough doses.
Tylenol and any anti-inflammatory will damage your liver with long term use and milk thistle will not repair that damage. The better thing would be to try to take breaks from anti-inflammatories and tylenol and such from time to time and let the liver heal on its own.
Water and, better yet, milk are great ways to flush the body. Milk is an antidote for most drugs as the lactic acid causes the body to flush out substances. And increasing your bodily pH through eating certain vegetables that raise the pH of your body and avoiding substances that cause your cells to become acidic is something my ex husband, a science writer who wrote about microbiology, said is definitely worthwhile.
I find milk to be helpful and water. Actually they give liver patients lactulose to help them. A glass of mild at night to clear out morning meds is a good thing, but my uncle, a dentist, said to brush after.
Thanks for the tips. I hope I gave you some ideas too. I just have to be really careful.
--Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us. Bill Watterson (1958-) cartoonist "Calvin and Hobbes"
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus-like AI Disease, Hashis, Vitiligo, spinal stenosis/fusion with plate, salivary/lymphectomies, Diabetes, NAFLD, COPD, RLS, neuropathy, trigonitis, hystero, diffuse brain atrophy, GI nightmare
Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, Estradiol patch, Prosed, Detrol, Klonopin, Ultram, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol, steroid injections and pred prn