by: Paul Fassa
(NaturalNews) Milk thistle's use for liver health for 2000 years was almost lost under Big Pharma's medical monopoly. Fortunately, it has experienced a revival as an efficacious natural medicine over the last few decades. And now, recent milk thistle research indicates it may also be useful for treating cancer.
General milk thistle information
Milk thistle has been used successfully for a wide range of liver ailments. Hepatitis B and C, fatty liver, and sclerosis of the liver have all been well contained with daily milk thistle use. But anyone living in our toxic environment may want to use it for optimum liver function. It is available in capsules or tinctures.
Milk thistle is part of Germany's medical mainstream. MDs prescribe pharmaceutical grade milk thistle for patients with liver problems. You can make your own large quantities of milk thistle tincture cheaply. General tincture instructions are here.
The active ingredient of milk thistle is an antioxidant bioflavonoid known as silymarin. Silymarin has three aspects: silybin, silidianin, and silicristen. Silybin has been isolated as the part that delivers most of silymarin's benefits. Those benefits include blocking and removing toxins from the liver while accelerating cell regeneration or repair.
Recent study demonstrates milk thistle's ability to curb lung cancer
A recent study has produced evidence of milk thistle reversing lung cancer. Alpna Tyagi, PhD, of the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy, and her team found that treatment with silibinin, which is the same substance as silybin but with a different name, stopped the spread of lung cancers in mice. The study was published in the summer 2011 journal Molecular Carcinogenesis.
An inflammatory response leads to a chain of cellular events that can eventually result in tumor growth. Tyagi and her team discovered that targeting a certain pair of enzymes part of the way into that chain of events eliminates the creation of the final pair of enzymes that produce tumors.
In other words, milk thistle's silibinin (aka sylibin) eliminates those enzymes that continue the chain of events, which result in the enzymes that produce tumors.
What's surprisingly noteworthy is how Dr. Alpna Tyagi compared her study of silibinin (aka silybin) to what Big Pharma is currently testing for similar lung cancer afflictions (using millions of dollars to create a patentable pharmaceutical). She bluntly pointed out that "… naturally-derived products like silibinin may be as effective as today's best treatments."
Many alternative cancer treatment experts recommend using three natural protocols if going it alone. This study is good news for anyone looking to include another natural inexpensive, safe weapon for one's personal war on cancer, and should lead to further studies with milk thistle for other forms of cancer.
Just realize that it won't go very public. Big Pharma won't be feeding the media any press releases on the Colorado milk thistle for lung cancer study because milk thistle can't be patented. It's surprising that it was published at all.