Articles by Natural Health Author Paul Fassa

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Studies Show Milk Thistle Effective Against Cancer
(and here's how to make your own tincture)

by Paul Fassa
See all TBYIL articles by Paul Fassa

(The Best Years in Life) Milk thistle is an herbal extract that is commonly used for a wide range of liver ailments. It functions to help detox and strengthen the liver. It works well with Dandelion extracts, and both are relatively inexpensive.

Hepatitis, fatty liver, and sclerosis of the liver have often been well contained with daily milk thistle use. But anyone living in our toxic environment may want to use it for optimum liver function.

Milk thistle is part of Germany's medical mainstream. German MDs prescribe pharmaceutical grade milk thistle for patients with liver problems.

The active ingredient of milk thistle is an antioxidant bioflavonoid known as silymarin. Silymarin has three aspects: silybin, silidianin, and silicristen. Silybin has been isolated as the part that delivers most of silymarin's benefits, which include blocking and removing toxins from the liver while accelerating cell regeneration or repair. Milk thistle extracts are available in capsules or tinctures.

You can make your own large quantities of milk thistle extract tincture cheaply from the instructions later in this article.

And now there's a new and improved application for milk thistle.

Animal Study Demonstrates Milk Thistle's Ability to Curb Lung Cancer

A recent study has produced evidence of milk thistle reversing lung cancer. Alpna Tyagi, PhD, of the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy, and her team found that treatment with silibinin, which is the same substance as silybin but with a different name, stopped the spread of lung cancers in mice.

An inflammatory response leads to a chain of cellular events that can eventually result in tumor growth. Tyagi and her team discovered that targeting a certain pair of enzymes part of the way into that chain of events eliminates the creation of the final pair of enzymes that produce tumors.

In other words, milk thistle's silibinin (aka sylibin) eliminates those enzymes that continue a chain of events resulting in the enzymes that produce tumors.

What's noteworthy is how Dr. Alpna Tyagi compared her study of silibinin (aka silybin) to what Big Pharma is currently testing for similar lung cancer afflictions (using millions of dollars to create a patentable pharmaceutical).

She bluntly pointed out in the University of Colorado Cancer Center report that "... naturally-derived products like silibinin may be as effective as today's best [pharmaceutical] treatments."

Other studies have since been performed with similar results on other cancers since the Colorado study. But all of them tend to assume a subservient role of using milk thistle as an adjunct to their normal chemo and radiation torture.

Some recommend using milk thistle to help the liver eliminate toxins from chemotherapy and even radiation. If you're wondering why not move into human trials with milk thistle for cancer, that's simple to explain.

You can't patent natural remedies and have the patent protection of up to 20 years while charging whatever you can get away with from private and government insurance providers. Quite the racket.

However, many alternative cancer treatment experts recommend using three natural protocols if going it alone. This study is good news for anyone looking to include another natural inexpensive, safe weapon for one's personal war on cancer.

If you're up to coping with biochemical technical nomenclature, you can access the abstract published in the summer 2011 journal Molecular Carcinogenesis here. (

Here's an even more recent study abstract on milk thistle for stopping cancer growth: (

The “Colorado study report” in the sources below is more layman user friendly.


Simple Tincture Recipe

I use alcohol. It can be 100 proof vodka alone (some prefer 80 proof) or 190 proof grain alcohol such as Everclear mixed 50/50 with distilled water. The 190 proof grain alcohol equates to 95% alcohol by volume where 100 proof vodka is already 50/50 grain alcohol and water. Because of it's high alcohol (ethanol) content, 190 proof Evergreen or similar products are banned in some states.

Some vodkas can be derived from corn, but the finer Russian ones are often from wheat grains or potatoes. Regarding the fact that corn is used to make grain alcohol, here is data on the GMO issue, which is probably why herbalists I've known didn't seem to care:

“GMO corn - used as the base for fermentation - is early in the process. Once a neutral grain spirit such as Everclear is ready for market, the distillation and filtration ensures that you're left with nothing but 95% ethanol and 5% water. Any remnants of the GMO inputs are
left behind.”

But you can look into Alchemical Solutions in Oregon. They make neutral grain spirits (clear liquid), up to 190 proof or less, from only organic grains and fruits.  (

I recommend Mountain Rose Herbs for reasonably priced quality herbs. That's where I order my milk thistle seeds (not powder). (

Here's how to make a tincture and use it:

Get a mason jar or similar larger jar and poor in the organic or wild craft milk thistle seeds to just below the half-way mark. Normally half-way is appropriate with most herbal powders and leaves. But the seeds swell up considerably.

Next, poor in your choice of clear alcohol to a little below the top of the jar. You want to be able to shake the jar daily for mixing. Secure the jar well with a good lid, label the jar with the date and shake it a bit, then store it in a dark pantry or closet.

Every day, gently shake the jar and put it back into its dark chamber. Continue this process for a month. Some are satisfied with a two week seasoning period, but I was instructed by two different herbalists to go the full month.

When your tincture is seasoned, you can drain the liquid into a large tinted jar or leave it as-is and drain out a little at a time into two or four ounce tinted (dark blue or brown) dropper bottles.

A daily dose of one or two droppers full, usually one dropper full takes two draws, is usually sufficient. More may be needed for therapeutic purposes. The drops can be place into hot teas or hot water to evaporate some of the alcohol content and sipped slowly.

The beauty of a tincture hidden away in a dark space is the alcohol preserves its nutritional and medicinal value for years. Some say indefinitely. You've seen those one ounce bottles go for ten or more bucks. Imagine a half-gallon or more of your own tincture stashed indefinitely for less than twice the amount of a one ounce bottle.

See also:

Naturally Restore and Maintain Your Vitally important Liver

The hepatitis C study America never heard about - The Berkson Clinical Study

A Comprehensive and Highly Effective Natural Anti-Cancer Protocol

The Best Years in Life Cancer Alternatives Resource Page

Sources for More Information:

The Colorado study report -

About the author:

Paul Fassa started looking into natural health to overcome his unhealthy lifestyle. Then he developed more interest as he researched his articles for Natural News and Align Life.

He is amazed at the ignorance of natural medicine and how beneficial foods and herbs are constantly ignored or vilified in order to promote toxic foods and meds by Big Pharma, the FDA, USDA, and the AMA, what he likes to call the "Medical Mafia".

His blog is - "Healthmaven: Escape from the Medical Mafia Matrix." His Natural News articles can be reviewed here:


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