Sikavica - čuvarica naše jetre

Sikavica - guardian of our liver

Sikavica - yesterday, today, tomorrow

An ancient medicinal plant that has been used for centuries to treat various diseases such as liver and gall bladder disorders. Cultivation of Silybum marianum as a plant with potentially healthy effects dates back to ancient Egypt. Indeed, archeological evidence representing leprosy is in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Not long after, it was grown in Europe, in the Mediterranean, and was used as a liver tonic because it was believed to be able to "open" a clogged liver and spleen, so it was also used as a cure for jaundice (1). Another historical reference to cardamom is found in the Bible, the old Latin name Lebanon cardus . This plant has been used for centuries as a natural treatment for upper gastrointestinal and digestive problems, liver and biliary diseases, menstrual disorders and varicose veins (2,3).

A good description of its characteristics comes from the time of Pliny the Elder (AD 23-79): the juice and seeds of sycamore were used in case of snakebite poisoning and melancholic depression, a pathology that was considered a "liver problem". The relationship between the liver and mood is really interesting. Metaphysically, the liver is known as the seat of anger, which makes us aggressive and reactive. Therefore, our well-known phrase " You're going to my liver!" really makes sense. In the meantime, scientists have proven that liver diseases are often accompanied by changes in behavior and mood, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction and sleep disorders (4). with it an emotional imbalance.

Sikavica - protector of our liver

Silymarin - the main active substance from sycamore

Silymarin from sycamore is the first aid when we want to treat the liver or speed up and optimize its function. The main active substance from the medicinal plant sikavica is silymarin. Silymarin is an extract of Silybum marianum or sikavica, and consists of flavonolignans (silybin A and B, iso-silybin A and B, silycristin and silidianin) and flavonoids. Among these substances, silybin prevails, which has the most important biological effect and which makes up about 70% of the total composition of silymarin. Silymarin is found in the membrane of sycamore seeds and it is precisely the mechanical extract of sikarica seeds that contains large doses of silymarin as well as fiber, without ammonia residues and other neurotoxins.

As the best source of bioactive silymarin, the mechanical granulate of sikavica is smart to combine with lactic acid (yogurt or cream), so that the absorption of silymarin is optimal. The most important role of silymarin is its antioxidant function (increasing the activity of the enzyme superoxide dismutase within erythrocytes and lymphocytes) (5). In addition to its antioxidant power, silymarin has immunomodulatory, antiviral, antibacterial and anticancer effects . Positive effects of silymarin have been reported in the treatment of cancerous diseases (8), such as breast cancer (9), ovarian cancer, lung (10), skin (11), liver (12) and colon cancer (13).

Also , silymarin coats the membrane of hepatocytes (liver cells) to prevent the entry of xenobiotics into the cell. Xenobiotics are foreign chemical substances that do not naturally occur in our body. These include environmental pollutants, hydrocarbons, food additives, pesticides, carcinogens and drugs. These compounds have a number of dangerous effects on the environment and ultimately on people, and the liver is the first to be hit.

Sikavica - protector of our liver

Liver - source of vitality and health

The ancient Greeks used the saying that the healthy the liver is, the healthier the whole organism is! That this is the case has been confirmed today by numerous studies on the functioning of organs and organisms. The liver is a key organ of metabolism and secretion, continuously exposed to xenobiotics due to its strategic position in the body. Toxins from the digestive tract first enter the liver, which leads to its various disorders, dysfunctions and diseases. For many years, silymarin has been used as a "hepatoprotector", that is, a protector of the liver. Silymarin blocks the binding centers of toxins and thus prevents and hinders their accumulation in the liver.

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  • The liver filters and detoxifies

Everything that gets on our skin or in our body goes to the liver for filtration. The liver is the largest detoxification and digestion organ in the body. It is a body filter – it filters everything we come in contact with; the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, everything we put in or on our body, the liver has to process it all. Its job is to protect our body from harmful chemicals, poisons, toxins, poor diet and much more. When we consume food, it is up to the liver to metabolize and eliminate all harmful preservatives, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, chemicals, bacteria and many additives that may be present in it.

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  • The liver converts nutrients

In addition to filtration, the liver participates in conversion - it converts nutrients from food into nutrients that the body can use, stores these substances and delivers them to the cells when needed. Also, it constantly reflects the level of sugar in the blood, and stores vitamins and minerals. It plays an important role in protein metabolism, converting amino acids from food so that they can be used for energy production.

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  • The liver nourishes all cells in the body

When the liver is working properly, our blood is clean, free of pathogenic microorganisms and rich in nutrients that feed the cells of our body . When the liver is congested, our blood is poorly filtered (the primary job of the liver) and eventually becomes laden with toxins and lacking in nutrients. The path from food to the bloodstream is stomach-intestine-portal vein-liver-blood . What we eat goes into the stomach for digestion, absorption happens in the small intestine, then through the portal vein to the liver which finally sends the nutrients (or toxins) into the blood. If the production of bile is compromised by liver damage, this can affect the proper absorption of vitamins A, D, E, K, and B12, therefore it is absolutely wrong to additionally take these vitamins in the form of multivitamins because, since the liver is not working properly, it will not even be able to use in the body.

  • The liver is crucial for hormone balance

There are two main phases during which the liver detoxifies and eliminates toxins. For most people, the first stage works well, while the second stage is usually slowed down. If the second phase does not work efficiently, the toxic chemicals that the liver has to convert further remain in our body longer. It is important to know that it is impossible to be in hormonal balance if the liver works sluggishly. One of the most important functions of the liver is to break down and remove excess hormones from your body, especially estrogen. After estrogen has done its job in the body, it is sent to the liver so it can be broken down and removed through the colon. Unfortunately, if the liver is stressed, then it cannot function optimally and therefore cannot remove estrogen at its normal rate. Thus, estrogen is not metabolized properly and can be reabsorbed back into the body.

  • The liver affects the work of just about every organ in the body

Our skin and mood always signal when the liver is congested or overworked (which means it is tired of neutralizing excess xenobiotics from the environment). When this happens, our defense system goes down. In other words, when the liver is congested or diseased, it affects all organs. You can find the "alarm system" that informs us that the liver is under severe stress or imbalance if you suffer from the following conditions:

  • Hashimoto's and hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • ovarian cysts
  • allergies
  • bleeding gums
  • sleep problems, frequent night awakenings
  • high cholesterol and fat in the blood
  • elevated ALT and AST liver enzymes

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  • PMS
  • memory problems, cognitive dysfunction
  • digestive problems (bloating, constipation)
  • obesity, overweight
  • hormonal imbalance - estrogen dominance
  • acne, eczema, blemishes, skin dryness and itching, psoriasis
  • express fatigue and lack of energy

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How to help the liver and improve its function?

Sikavica as a medicinal plant has successfully influenced the work and function of the liver for thousands of years. Few medicinal plants work so skillfully on its recovery and improvement of function, which directly affects the health of the entire organism. Along with sikavica - silymarin, it would be good to include fiber in the diet, as well as other bitter substances such as arugula and broccoli. Mechanically granulated seeds of sikavica ( GRANULAT SIKAVICE ) contain both silymarin and fibers and thus greatly affect the detoxification of the liver and intestines. Genetics also play a big role in the speed of the detoxification process, so someone will benefit from a smaller dose of sikava, while another will need a larger dose. It is necessary to take care not to consume the entire daily dose in one dose, but to divide the daily dose into two - it is best to take it in the morning and in the evening. In any case, sikavica is completely safe to use, with no unwanted side effects.

  1. Mayer KE, Mayer RP, Lee SS. Silymarin treatment of viral hepatitis: a systematic review. J Viral Hepatitis. 2005;12:559–567.
  2. Saller R, Melzer J, Reichling J, Brignoli R, Meier R. An updated systematic review of the pharmacology of silymarin. Forsch Komp Class Nat. 2007;14:70–80.
  3. Cesanow N, Fleminh H, Kelly GA. PDR for nonprescription drugs, dietary supplements, and herbs. 27th ed. Montvale: Thomson PDR; in 2006
  4. D'Mello C, Swain MG. Liver-brain interactions in inflammatory liver diseases: implications for fatigue and mood disorders. Brain Behav Immun. 2014 Jan;35:9-20. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2013.10.009. Epub 2013 Oct 16. PMID: 24140301.
  5. Mayer KE, Mayer RP, Lee SS. Silymarin treatment of viral hepatitis: a systematic review. J Viral Hepatitis. 2005;12:559–567.
  6. Tyagi AK, Agarwal C, Chan DC, Agarwal R. Synergistic anti-cancer effects of silybinin with conventional cytotoxic agents doxorubicin, cisplatin and carboplatin against human breast carcinomaMCF-7 and MDA-MB468 cells. Oncol Rep. 2004a;11:493–499
  7. Tyagi A, Agarwal C, Harrison G, Agarwal R. Silybinin causes cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human bladder transitional cell carcinoma cells by regulating CDKI-CDK-cyclin cascade, and caspase 3 and PARP cleavages. 2004b;25:1711–1720.
  8. Kaur M, Agarwal R. Silymarin and epithelial cancer chemoprevention: How close are we to bedside? Toxicol Appl Pharm. 2007;224:350–359
  9. Tyagi AK, Agarwal C, Chan DC, Agarwal R. Synergistic anti-cancer effects of silybinin with conventional cytotoxic agents doxorubicin, cisplatin and carboplatin against human breast carcinomaMCF-7 and MDA-MB468 cells. Oncol Rep. 2004a;11:493–499.
  10. Chu SC, Chiou HL, Chen PN, Yang SF, Hsieh YS. Silybinin inhibits the invasion of human lung cancer cells via decreased production of urokinase-plasminogen activator and matrix metalloproteinase-2. Mol Carcinog. 2004;40:143–149
  11. Lahiri-Chatterjee M, Katiyar SK, Mohan RR, Agarwal R. A flavonoid antioxidant, silymarin, affords exceptionally high protection against tumor promotion in the SENCAR mouse skin tumorigenesis model. Cancer Res. 1999;59:622–632.
  12. Varghese L, Agarwal C, Tyagi A, Singh RP, Agarwal R. Silybinin efficacy against human hepatocellular. Carcinoma Clin Cancer Res. 2005;11:8441–8448.
  13. Agarwal C, Singh RP, Dhanalakshmi S, Tyagi AK, Tecklenburg M, Sclafani RA, et al. Silybinin upregulates the expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors and causes cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human colon carcinoma HT-29 cells.
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