How to Use Milk Thistle in Your Anti-Cancer Plan

In my never-ending research about cancer and alternative cancer treatments, one sentence I read really struck me from Cancer Tutor:

“Most people think that cancer is caused by DNA damage and that orthodox medicine is frantically searching for a cure for cancer.”

First, cancer is not caused by DNA damage. It’s actually caused when pathogenic microbes (microscopic organisms) change the respiration of a healthy cell.

Many things contribute to putting our bodies at risk for cancer (and other serious illness), but microbes are the actual cause.

Healthy Cells vs. Cancer Cells

The difference between a cancer cell and a healthy cell is how the cell uses respiration.

A healthy cell will respirate using oxygen; this is an aerobic process. On the contrary, cancer cells thrive in a non-oxygenated environment, which is an anaerobic process called glycolysis.  There are many toxins and microbes that we are exposed to that can change the respiration of a cell and convert it from aerobic to anaerobic.

The second part of the sentence from Cancer Tutor, “orthodox medicine is frantically searching for a cure for cancer” is disconcerting.

Of course we want to believe that there are scientists in white lab coats testing cures every single day, but unfortunately that’s not true. See, cancer cures don’t make money for the pharmaceutical companies. Treating cancer does.  In addition, radiation, surgery and chemotherapy may be successful at treating tumors, but they do not address the circulating cancer stem cells which is imperative if your goal is to cure your cancer.

This is why you don’t have many people with medical degrees telling you about alternative cancer treatments. But I will.

What is Milk Thistle?

Milk thistle is actually a plant, and the fruit and seeds of this plant have been used for years as an herbal remedy to treat liver and bile duct ailments.

The Greek physician and botanist Dioscorides (40–90 AD) was the first to describe milk thistle’s healing properties. Later, in 1597, John Gerard noted that milk thistle was “the best remedy against melancholy diseases” (source).

The active ingredient in milk thistle is silymarin, which is considered an antioxidant that protects against cell damage and repairs liver tissue. It also has antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects.

Milk thistle is available as a capsule, tablet, powder, or liquid extract. And it’s well known to treat liver diseases, such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. But may people use milk thistle for diabetes, hangovers, diseases of the spleen, malaria, depression, uterine complaints, increasing breast milk flow, allergy symptoms, and starting menstrual flow (source).

Milk Thistle and Cancer

There is also research showing that milk thistle can be effective against cancer.

According to The National Cancer Institute, “milk thistle has been studied in laboratory cell lines and animal tumors for its potential to make chemotherapy less toxic and more effective, and to slow the growth of cancer cells”.

In humans, milk thistle has been shown to help the chemotherapy drugs, cisplatin and doxorubicin, against ovarian and breast cancer cells. And according to the American Cancer Society, it’s used to help treat liver inflammation in chemo patients. This is important because chemo drugs will often cause inflammation in the liver. When this happens, doctors will either lower the chemo dose or stop administering the therapies altogether.

One study of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia showed milk thistle reduced the side effects of chemo (source). Fifty children received either the milk thistle or placebo for 28 days. At the start of the study, all of the children had evidence of liver inflammation. Within 28 days children receiving milk thistle had improvements in their liver enzymes compared with children receiving a placebo.

Recently, it’s been studied and shown to exert significant anti-neoplastic effects in a variety of in vitro and in vivo cancer models, including skin, breast, lung, colon, bladder, prostate and kidney carcinomas. (source)

Milk thistle has anti-cancer activity against numerous cancer cell types: (source)

  • Prostate cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Skin cancer

A 2013 study from the University of Colorado Cancer Center found that milk thistle can increase cell death and repair sun-damaged cells. “When you have a cell affected by UV radiation, you either want to repair it or kill it so that it cannot go on to cause cancer. We show that silibinin (extracts from milk thistle) does both,” says Rajesh Agarwal, PhD.

In animals, milk thistle does the following:

  • Reduces chemo side effects
  • Makes chemo drugs work better
  • Slows down the growth of certain cancer cells
  • Blocks tumors from growing
  • Reduces bowel cancer growth
  • Repairs liver tissue

Dosing, Side Effects & Recommendations

Milk thistle is considered safe in dosages of 420 mg/day orally (source).

The side effects of using milk thistle have been found to be very low, or even non-existent.

And here are two clean, highly rated brands I found on Amazon: 

I like to get the most bang for my buck by getting my milk thistle in a cellular longevity blend. I love doTERRA’s Alpha CRS. 

You can get yours by purchasing it retail for $92.67 here or open a dōTERRA wholesale account and the Alpha CRS for $104.50 here.

Arm Yourself Against Cancer |

Leann Forst, MBA, CHC, CEOC — Holistic Health Practitioner

Leann is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and Certified Essential Oils Coach, holding a Master’s degree from Drake University and a Bachelor of Science from Upper Iowa University. Leann is accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. And she is an award winning author of 2 books How to Get Your Kids to Beg for Veggies and 100 Ways to Lose Weight”.

Born and raised as an Iowa farm girl, she moved to Texas in 1998 where she lives with her husband and 2 kids.

As a wife of a brain cancer survivor, Leann has a special interest in anti-cancer nutrition and detoxification. She works with individuals and groups, and speaks regularly at hospitals, schools and organizations to teach people how to attain optimal health by getting to the root cause of chronic and inflammatory conditions, while using healing modalities such as essential oils. Click here to get Leann’s free report, “37 Cancer Facts You Should Know…But Probably Don’t

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.

Milk Thistle and Cancer |
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