Milk Thistle is a wild plant that grows in Europe, Asia, Africa, North/South America and some regions of Russia. The milky exudate of the plant is largely responsible for the name by which it is known today. Other names for this botanical plant include Holy Thistle and Saint Mary's Thistle.
For more than 2000 years this herb has been used as a health supplement. The early Greeks and Romans believed that Milk Thistle had a number of benefits to offer. Over time it has been claimed that this herbal supplement has the ability to detoxify the body. It has even been used to strengthen liver functions and decrease cholesterol levels.
Historic sources report that European nations were pioneers in the use of milk thistle. In recent time universities and research centers have also begun to explore the possibilities.
Numerous health benefits have now been attributed to the use of this herb. Some experts even suggest that this supplement may help with disorders involving the immune system, gall bladder, spleen and circulatory system. Recently there have been studies which show this plant may offer cancer-fighting agents and help control blood sugar levels.
Today the active ingredients of the Milk Thistle plant can be purchased in capsule or pill form. It is often recommended for such problems as hepatitis, cirrhosis and symptoms associated with menopause.