Need something besides toxic sunscreen to protect against skin cancer? How about the herb, milk thistle?
Milk thistle is already well-known for its ability to help the liver detoxify itself, but evidently it has several important effects on our skin, too. Milk thistle protects against photo-aging, or UV damage, and effectively blocks both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) induced skin carcinogens. Studies at the University of Colorado Cancer Center found that the extract of the milk thistle plant was exceptional at preventing skin cancer and photo-aging.
It’s a compound called silibinin in milk thistle that does all the hard work to protect you from cancer. Rajesh Agarwal, PhD, co-program leader of Cancer Prevention and Control at the CU Cancer Center and professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, said about one of the U of C studies:
“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 does both.”