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Opiates Destroy Our Livers but Milk Thistle is NOT the Answer!
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Opiates Destroy Our Livers but Milk Thistle is NOT the Answer!

I've been a private troll, lurking behind my computer screen and reading all of the comments on overcoming narcotic pain medication. I must say that I have been truly inspired. I have no idea how long I've been lurking. But, I'm sure that it's been over a year now. Anyhow, I noticed that many people were discussing the severe liver damage caused by narcotic pain relievers like hydrocodone, oxycontin and percocet. As well, I saw that a few posters were reccommending milk thistle as a liver-protecting agent and I felt that it was my humanly duty to share the information that I learned regarding milk thistle and it's affects on the liver, namely, so that no one who is battling an opiate addiction ends up doing more damage to their liver than they already have. I have copy and pasted the article at the bottom of this comment. The article that I found is entitled, "Milk thistle, friend or foe?" and you can find it at this website:
http://www.pbiv.com/articles/milkthistle.html


"True or False?
1) Milk Thistle protects the liver.
2) The liver needs protecting.
3) Up to 25% of the liver can be removed and it will still grow back.
4) Taking Milk Thistle can make you and your liver worse.
5) Like a muscle, the liver needs to be active and worked to be effective.
6) Milk Thistle is the #1 herb on the planet for liver issues.
7) The biggest mistake people make when doing anything for their liver, is to use Milk Thistle.
8) Milk Thistle is without question the worst herb now being used for liver issues.
9) Milk Thistle does the exact opposite of what an herb should do to help the liver.
10) Use of Milk Thistle could make you sick or sicker.
11) Milk Thistle supports the structure and function of the liver.

The answers to the above questions are: #1 True, #2 False, #3 True, #4 True, #5 True, #6 False, #7 True, #8 True, #9 True, #10 True and #11 False.

If you have not fainted yet, read on.

The use Milk Thistle has been well documented and accepted as common knowledge for centuries. Milk Thistle is a liver protector, which is why it is a failure. It is also the reason why people use it. Confused? Apparently, someone in history noted (with some amazement), that Milk Thistle "walls off" the liver. His observation may have gone no further or he may have also noted that this "walling off" response was not optimum for the body.

Over time, all that remains of any observation he made, is the one line "Milk Thistle is a liver protector." That line sounds impressive doesn't it?

By protecting the liver, Milk Thistle prevents the liver from doing its only job. The job of the liver is to protect you. It also has a self protection mechanism. It can repair up to 25% of the damage it receives. That is like cutting off a leg and growing a new one.

The liver's job is to meet and greet everything we come in contact with (good or bad). Through chemistry, the liver then determines what it is, marries it up with a molecule or conjugates it for safety. Once rendered safe foreign matter can either be used by, or kicked out of the body.

But, if the liver is not allowed to do its job, (by our stepping in and overriding it), then all sorts of havoc can result. Imagine unfiltered material floating through your system. If you use Milk Thistle that is what is happening. Milk thistle reduces the action of the liver by 75 to 80 percent. When this happens the body tries to alert us by giving us symptoms such as pain, low energy, foggy thinking, discomfort, moods, depression or lack of sleep.

The solution to free floating unresolved matter in the body is absorption. The body isolates the dangerous matter in an attempt to damage control the problem. Soon, the waste matter is suspended in our fatty tissue, muscle tissue etc, where it remains. This "storing" also impedes weight loss attempts as the fatty tissue (where the dangerous material is) will not break down. The unresolved material marbles the fat in the body making it (the fat) unsafe to break down (i.e. the body will not self destruct).

To summarize:
1) Milk Thistle builds a wall around the liver preventing it from doing 75 to 80 percent of its job.
2) Up to 25% of your liver can be damage or removed and it will still grow back. That is like cutting off a leg, a lot of room for error there.
3) To prevent damage, the body captures and stores foreign matter that the liver can't process.
4) The body tries to warn us of liver overwhelm, by giving us symptoms, pain, low energy, foggy thinking, discomfort, moods, depression or lack of sleep.
5) Our body becomes a storehouse of dangerous material and unused food. This causes us to stay fat. As the body will not release unfit material to its system unless forced to.

What good can be said about Milk Thistle? At least it is not controlled by the government and force fed to us.

In conclusion, we are not saying to damage your liver since it can fix itself. We are saying that, wearing your clothes over your raincoat is just backwards.

The liver is one tough organ and is made better than your car or washing machine. When was the last time your car fixed it's own paint, door ding or broken window?

Finally, imagine you have hired a bodyguard for protection. Now imagine you are out one night and you and your bodyguard decide to get money at the ATM. As you receive your cash, a big scruffy guy walks up, shoves a gun up your nose and demands all of your money, now.

You look around and you see your bodyguard listening to music while getting a massage (totally oblivious to your situation). If you are taking Milk Thistle, your bodyguard is in a deep sleep.

Therefore, do not, do not, use Milk Thistle. Should you want to research this yourself (and we hope you do), go ahead. Please, prove this article wrong.

Be our guest.

If you want to avoid the agony, read the information on Liver Balance Plus at this site. You will then discover the product designed to support the structure and function of your liver. Your liver is well made. If you give it what it needs and let it do it's job, it will be happy, and so will you."  

Anyhow, that's the article that I found and I hope it helps someone out! Thanks!
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9 Comments Post a Comment
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757137_tn?1347200053
Out of 13 medical trials, milk thistle was found to be efficacious in 12. See Andrew Weill and his his discussion of this herb.

Nine years ago my sister was diagnosed with liver cancer. The diseased part of the liver was surgically removed. She refused chemotherapy because it was both nasty and carcinogenic.  She opted instead for natural supplements. At the top of the list was milk thistle. After nine years she remains cancer free and in good health.
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757137_tn?1347200053
Just looked at your profile. I see you have a sense of humor. Does this extend to the liver?
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1236893_tn?1408490528
This natural ingredient has the power to kick-start healthy liver functioning—and energize good health by renewing your liver all the way down to the cellular level. It’s called silymarin.

What is silymarin? It’s a powerful bioflavonoid antioxidant from a plant called Milk Thistle. This incredible plant has a long history of medicinal use, going all the way back to biblical times. More important, it’s supported by years of modern medical research.

Milk thistle, also known as silybum marianum, is an herb whose properties have strong effects on the function of the liver. Used by herbalists for hundreds of years, milk thistle has been touted as a treatment for hepatitis, liver failure, cirrhosis, cancer, diabetes in people with cirrhosis, and high cholesterol. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Mayo Clinic, milk thistle can sometimes be an effective treatment for these diseases and more (see References below).
Hepatitis

The Mayo Clinic reports that oral doses of milk thistle improved liver blood test results for chronic hepatitis. However, in the case of acute viral hepatitis, there has not been enough research at this time to recommend milk thistle for the treatment for this potentially fatal disease.


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Avatar_m_tn
This article is wrong in so many ways that it's hard to believe this wasn't said by a current presidential candidate.  First of all, milk thistle doesn't "wall off" the liver.  Doesn't work that way.  Milk thistle is a liver cleanser, flushing out toxins.  As such, it isn't meant to be taken regularly, only when you do a liver cleanse.  So used properly, it wouldn't be in your system for all that long, since you don't use it on a regular basis.  Also, herbs aren't used singly, though many uninformed people do so.  Milk thistle is used in a formula of herbs and other substances that will have different effects on the liver, including tempering the effects of the other herbs.  Milk thistle is always in formula with herbs such as dandelion root, yellowdock, burdock, alpha lipoic acid, precursors of glutathione (which is the main liver antioxidant, not milk thistle) and many other substances.  You're even wrong on the problem of the opiates.  It's not the opiates that damage the liver, and most of the ones you mentioned aren't opiates, they're synthetic drugs meant to mimic opiates.  It's the addition of acetomenophen, the active ingredient of Tylenol, that makes them liver toxic.  You could smoke opium every day and not suffer liver damage.  Heroin and morphine aren't associated with liver damage.  But the drugs you mentioned are all a combination of synthetic opiates with acetomenophen.  It's the latter that causes the liver damage.  And as for your notion that the liver doesn't store toxins, what do you think cirrhosis is?  While it's true the liver's job is to pass or not pass things that enter the body, much of what it doesn't pass it holds onto.  You get cirrhosis when it holds on to so much toxin it turns hard as a rock.  What milk thistle, in combination with other substances in a formula, does is clean out some of those toxins so the liver stays capable of doing its job.  Now you don't have to liver cleanse with milk thistle to do this.  Fasting does it, too.  Wheat grass is very high in glutathione, so a wheat grass fast will also clean out the liver.  And of course, if you put less junk in, you have less junk to take out.  Where does this stuff come from?
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Avatar_m_tn
And just a comment on the subject of silymarin, since it was brought up.  This is about how herbs are used, which also matters as to how potentially harmful they might be.  Traditionally, milk thistle, as with all herbs, would be taken either mixed in with other food, or what became the tablet, as a tea, which is a water extract, or a tincture, an alcohol extract.  The weakest form is just the dried herb, the second is tea, because water is not an efficient extractive agent, and the most effective would be considered the tincture, since alcohol is a better extractive agent of the active ingredients.  Today, however, most people in the US and Europe take herbs also in new ways.  One is a supercritical extract, which is a combination of an alcohol extract and a newer technique that is better at extracting fat soluble ingredients than is alcohol.  But the most different method is the standardized herb.  Most people taking milk thistle these days are probably taking it standardized to silymarin.  We really have little information about the safety of this method, since it's a pharmaceutical process that hasn't been around that long.  These products are considered stronger, and therefore potentially more effective more quickly but, like pharmaceuticals, perhaps more potentially dangerous as well.  There's insufficient research to know, and no long historical record to consult, and because money for research doesn't flow to products you can't patent (anything not significantly altered from its natural state) and get a monopoly on for a period of years, we won't know for a long time.  Already standardized kava may have caused some liver disease, though we don't know for sure, whereas no problems have been reported with traditional kava.  What standardization does is control for, usually, one active chemical that is thought to be responsible for the herb's effectiveness -- thought to be, because nobody knows for sure and because more likely the many chemicals in plants work synergistically both within themselves and with other plants.  The virtue of this method is that the manufacturer can claim the product is the same each time, whereas the natural plant not altered for standardization will be different in chemical strength depending on growing conditions.  Unfortunately, standardizing for one chemical compound requires the elimination of the plant's natural balance.  You can counter for this somewhat by adding to the product both a standardized herb and a traditionally tinctured herb, which most of the best companies do, but you're still not taking the plant the way it was traditionally used.  Personally, I use standardized herbs for some purposes, traditional for others, tinctures for some, capsules for others, teas for others.  The more you know about herbs the more you can make these decisions, but people should be aware that not all companies are the same, not all products are the same, and not all natural products are in fact natural.
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Avatar_f_tn
Milk thistle is extremely supportive to the liver. It is safe to be taken over long periods of time by itself. If you take 3 tablespoons of the crushed up seed in the morning and 3 at night you will notice an increase in energy in 3 days of taking it because your liver will be functioning that much better. After a period of partying your liver is stressed. You don't want to do a harsh liver detox and kick your liver while its down and make it work harder. You want to take something that's going to support it. Milk thistle is great for that. Turmeric is as well. Turmeric is also great for the liver; anti inflammatory; and a great antioxidant... it has a great deal of other benefits as well. But I think those 3 qualities are the most important to mention when referring to recovering from opiates.
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Avatar_m_tn
Milk thistle is not traditionally meant to be used for long periods of time.  Because it cleans toxins out of the liver it should only be used when you wish to do that.  But it also cleans out things that you don't want cleaned out, which is why cleansing is only done occasionally, not all the time.  For example, if you're on medication, or taking a "natural" product that isn't, in fact, natural, milk thistle might eliminate it before it has a chance to work.  It's the same theory of why you don't take colon cleansers regularly, just when you need them -- there's too much possibility you'll clean something out you don't want out.  Turmeric, on the other hand, isn't a liver cleanser, it is a liver protector.  They each have their place, but there's no reason to take milk thistle on a regular basis, so why take the risk?  First, do no harm.  
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Avatar_m_tn
By the way, the above is my opinion -- if you want to take milk thistle all the time, be my guest -- there's no monopoly on truth with any form of medicine.  I just think it's best to be informed and cautious.
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Avatar_f_tn
Facts over theory.. never trust a troll
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