Finally, we should have some notes on the herb’s effects on specific portions of the populace, specifically those with sensitive constitutions, e.g. children, expecting women, and the aged. It must be said first that milk thistle is believed to be generally safe for everyone. For centuries, it has been used by health care providers who have focused on the medicinal properties of milk thistle in treating ailments affecting the digestive system, liver and gallbladder. Within this long period of usage, there have been no reports of any significant adverse reactions to this herb. It also has very low toxicity, which makes it a recommended herbal medicine for liver health. Being a detoxifying herb, several initial side effects such as nausea, mild diarrhea, skin rashes or headache may occur, but these effects of milk thistle will soon pass.
Healthy children are less likely to take milk thistle regularly since they don’t suffer liver damage from harmful toxins such as alcohol. However, when used as preventive support for other treatments, taking milk thistle could lead to many beneficial effects. If taken together with medications for infection, chronic illness or allergy, it will provide liver protection against toxic build-up. It can also boost the immune system and maintain healthy function of vital organs such as the liver, bowels and kidney. Milk thistle can also help in promoting clear skin conditions for adolescents suffering from acne. Children undergoing chemotherapy for cancer have experienced the positive effects of milk thistle in strengthening and protecting liver function. The recommended dose for children depends on their weight. Oftentimes, the recommended adult dose is 420 mg. Therefore, if the child weighs 20 -25 kg, the suggested dose of milk thistle would be 140 mg per day, or 1/3 of the adult dose.
Currently, there is little evidence to support whether milk thistle is safe or unsafe for pregnant women. Side effects of milk thistle are rare and it is better to take extra caution if you want to detoxify during your pregnancy. Milk thistle contains certain compounds that are similar to the hormone estrogen. Generally, herbal supplements and other substances that could possibly affect the endocrine system must be avoided during pregnancy, but there are still exceptions to the rule. As such, it is perhaps a good idea to consult your healthcare provider before taking any sort of supplement, including milk thistle. Although scientifically unproven, there are possible dangers of taking milk thistle during pregnancy. In theory, due to its hormonal effect, it may lead to changes in the fetus’s developing reproductive organs and endocrine system. To add to that, it may also stimulate premature contractions, leading to preterm labor or miscarriage.
There are many herbs that can be taken for a healthy liver and milk thistle tops this list. Indeed, milk thistle can effectively help in treating health problems especially to the elderly in promoting smooth function of the vital organs. The liver-detoxifying effects of milk thistle lessen the risk of liver damage and malfunction as well the debilitating and sometimes painful medical conditions that may arise from liver failure. The herb helps in stimulating the bowels and kidney into functioning better and improves blood circulation. Hence, it may improve motor function and memory. In turn, these health benefits can uplift the quality of life of the elderly.