The experience I have with Milk thistle comes from the use of it in my practice in England where I see many people with problems associated with the liver. Whenever I see a patient who I believe is manifesting liver problems, I use Milk thistle either on its own or in combination with other herbs. In my practice I use Iris Diagnosis as a diagnostic technique to determine the individuals constitution and level of health. This Iridology is European Iridology using the chart which is in your study guide Level 1600 - Teacher's Notes with Richard Schulze, M.H., page 65, drawn by James Colton, with whom I trained.
Case Study 1.
This is a 27 year old male who suffers from Muscular Dystrophy who came to me to see if I could help him to gain more energy. His symptoms were abdominal discomfort, bloatedness, alternating periods of constipation and diarrhoea with a loss of appetite in the mornings, food intolerances to wheat, dairy, tomatoes, pork and spicy foods. From Iris Diagnosis it was noted that he was of the neurogenic constitution and that he had markings in his liver and gallbladder. The herbal combination I gave him included Milk thistle, Angelica, Dandelion, St John's wort, Echinacea and Vervain. The next time I saw him which was four weeks later he was much improved, he had more energy and his appetite had improved. This medication was continued over a period of three or four months where he was much improved overall, his bowel movements had improved, bloatedness and discomfort had almost gone. Over the next few months through the change in diet and continuation of the same formula with breaks of a week every couple of months, the patient's health improved to the point where he felt he'd not been as healthy for a long time.
Case Study 2.
This is a 52 year old lady who 20 years ago damaged two thoracic vertebrae in the spinal column which resulted in her being hospitalised to assess the extent of her injuries. The chemical Myodil was injected into her spine so that the Radiographer was able to take suitable X-rays to show the extent of the damage. She developed an allergy to the chemical that caused her severe problems. Because of the seriousness of the situation and the close proximity to the spinal column, the hospital decided to leave the Myodil where it was with the prospect of paralysis, brain damage and motor problems and in the most severe case death. This has developed over the years into a condition called drug induced arachnoiditis. This patient came to me with symptoms of indigestion, bloatedness, bowel cramps, flatulence, tired all the time, migraine headaches, pain under the right ribs, breathlessness and also muscle weakness, depression, urine infections and poor sleep pattern.
The prospect for this patient is that the Myodil, although at the time was in the base of the spine, could move to any part of the body causing more problems. The symptoms showed that her liver was under severe pressure therefore I started treating her with the Barberry L-G formula and also Milk thistle 1:1 liquid extract in high doses of 10 mls three times a day. Her diet was also changed to help her liver, removing dairy, meat, fish and as many refined products as she felt she was able and introduced distilled water, organic fresh fruits and vegetables, one day grapefruit and juice fasts every week.
Over the following months her symptoms were helped with the very slow removal of Myodil from her body. Often she suffers from liver pain, by taking Milk thistle 1:1 extract in 5 ml or more doses this pain decreases. When she doesn't take the Milk thistle this pain increases again. From this we have been able to tell that the Milk thistle extract is helping her liver to cope with the extreme stress that it is under. It is hoped with this patient that the Myodil will come out of her body through the use of Milk thistle, Barberry L-G, and other cleansing herbs and treatments. At the present rate we have removed a third of her total Myodil through the use of these. (The Myodil was completely removed from her body in 2002. I contribute this success to the remarkable healing properties of herbs and especially Milk thistle. Without it I am 90% certain she would have died.)
Case Study 3.
This is a 41 year old male who as a drug user contracted hepatitis C through the sharing of needles. His symptoms were tiredness, listlessness, aches and pains, dizziness, headaches, sickly feeling in the stomach, abdominal pain, and itchy skin. He had stopped alcohol over two years ago and his diet was almost mucusless eating a little bread and a little chicken. He was given the Barberry L-G formula along with Milk thistle extract. The next time I saw him his symptoms were a lot better, he looked brighter and he said he felt a lot better. The Milk thistle in combination with the Barberry L-G had helped a great deal.
Case Study 4.
This is a 35 year old male who also has hepatitis C which he contracted through a needle left in the mattress of his bed whilst on holiday. His symptoms were tiredness, nausea, feeling fine one day bad the next, thirsty all the time, bloatedness, indigestion, headaches, sometimes pain in the liver and gallbladder region. He also has allergies to wheat and dairy products. His diet was changed to the mucusless diet, but he still opted to eat a little chicken. He himself had already stopped alcohol as he knew already the detrimental effects of alcohol and liver disease. His treatment started with Barberry L-G formula and Milk thistle extract which he felt had not helped him so much. On questioning his headaches had reduced, he had not suffered either indigestion or abdominal bloatedness in the last three weeks of the four weeks that he had been taking the medicine. At his next appointment I increased the Milk thistle to 5 mls twice a day which was double the dose he had been taking previously. Barberry L-G was still included in the treatment along with grapefruit fasts, which he felt helped enormously.
In my practice I can see the benefits of Milk thistle, but I also acknowledge that other herbs have an effect on the liver and need to be used to help Milk thistle in its work. This also includes the use of cleansing and nourishing the body's tissues and blood stream through opening the channels of elimination and feeding the body properly with a mucusless diet of wholegrains, nuts and seeds, fresh fruit and vegetables.