I am a recovering alcoholic and now that I’m “dry” I was wondering if there was something that would ease the damage I’ve done to my liver? Can you help?” –V,L. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Answer: Yes, milk thistle. It is grown in Europe as a vegetable and used in salads. It functions as a substitute for spinach. But it’s not just good food, it’s good medicine. Extracts of the plant can support a healthy liver, a good thing since the liver is responsible for processing everything that goes into your mouth, drugs included.
Milk thistle is a safe, natural herb that can revitalize the liver, even after the damage has been done. And alcohol does some damage. Alcohol is a potent toxin to the liver, and in case you didn’t realize, so are hundreds of drugs, preservatives, pesticides and heavily processed foods. If you decide to take milk thistle, get a good brand that is standardized to 80% silymarin. A note of caution, if you are allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds or daises, you may be sensitive to milk thistle too.
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.