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Love Your Liver with Milk Thistle

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Every day we are exposed to environmental toxins, fumes and chemicals in the air while driving, at work and in our homes

Every day we are exposed to environmental toxins, fumes and chemicals in the air while driving, at work and in our homes. Police officers, outside sales representatives, mechanics, taxi and truck drivers and others who work outdoors or live in polluted areas face even higher exposure risks.

To improve overall health and to reduce both the risks and effects of diseases such as asthma, allergies and cancer, it's important to detoxify the body and improve the function of the liver and kidneys. This will also result in better digestion and healthier weight management.

The liver in particular has the exhausting and unending job of reducing and filtering toxins in the bloodstream. It works overtime without complaining, but toxins, along with stressed lifestyles, alcohol consumption and rich, fatty foods, all contribute to liver damage.

Some common symptoms of liver damage include chronic fatigue, an increase in allergic reactions, poor concentration and a lack of energy or vitality. Many ailments that seem unconnected are, in fact, related to liver dysfunction. Take endometriosis, the most common cause of pelvic pain in women. It affects millions of women during their most reproductive phase, and up to 50 percent of infertility in females is due to endometriosis. Estrogen overproduction plays a role in endometriosis, and it is the liver that helps regulate excess estrogen.

Unless we adequately support and cleanse the liver, toxin buildup can become dangerous. For most of us, some damage has already been done, but natural, potent liver-protecting herbal tonics can help regenerate the liver and restore the body to health. A herb called Mariendistel (German for milk thistle) has a long history of protecting and promoting healthy liver function. Also known as silymarin after its active flavonoid, milk thistle reduces tissue damage. It also works to help rejuvenate the liver after long periods of abuse.

The plant with shiny, white-spotted leaves was discovered in the 1800s by Johann Gottfried Rademacher, a German physician and scientist. Rademacher isolated the active ingredient from the hull of the tiny fruit. He traced many digestive troubles to the liver and used Mariendistel with great success. Today, milk thistle has gained acceptance as the most important herb for the liver.

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