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Cardo lechoso


¿Qué es?

El cardo lechoso es una planta. Las partes que están sobre la tierra y las semillas se utilizan para hacer medicamentos. Comúnmente se usan las semillas.

El cardo lechoso se utiliza a menudo para los trastornos hepáticos, incluyendo el daño hepático producido por sustancias químicas, por la intoxicación con el hongo venenoso amanita, por la ictericia, por la enfermedad inflamatoria crónica del hígado, y por la hepatitis crónica. Sin embargo, los investigadores todavía no han llegado con seguridad a la conclusión de que el cardo lechoso es eficaz para cualquiera de estos usos.

El cardo lechoso también se utiliza para la pérdida del apetito, para la acidez (dispepsia), y para problemas de la vesícula.

Algunas personas usan el cardo lechoso para la diabetes, la resaca, las enfermedades del bazo, para el cáncer de la próstata, la malaria, la depresión, los problemas uterinos, para aumentar el flujo de leche materna, síntomas de alergia y para empezar el flujo menstrual.

En los alimentos, las hojas y flores del cardo lechoso se comen como verduras en ensaladas y como un sustituto de la espinaca. Las semillas se tuestan para usar como un sustituto del café.

El cardo lechoso recibe su nombre debido a la savia lechosa que sale de las hojas cuando estas se rompen. Las hojas también tienen marcas blancas únicas que, de acuerdo a la leyenda, era la leche de la Virgen Maria. No confunda el cardo lechoso con el cardo sagrado (Cnicus benedictus).

¿Qué tan efectivo es?

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (La Base Exhaustiva de Datos de Medicamentos Naturales) clasifica la eficacia, basada en evidencia científica, de acuerdo a la siguiente escala: Eficaz, Probablemente Eficaz, Posiblemente Eficaz, Posiblemente Ineficaz, Probablemente Ineficaz, Ineficaz, e Insuficiente Evidencia para Hacer una Determinación.

La clasificación de la eficacia para este producto es la siguiente:

Posiblemente eficaz para...

  • Las alergias estacionales (rinitis alérgica). Algunas investigaciones muestran que las personas que toman un extracto de cardo lechoso en combinación con un antihistamínico convencional tienen reducción de síntomas en comparación con las personas que sólo utilizan un antihistamínico.
  • La acidez (dispepsia) cuando se usa una combinación de cardo lechoso y varias otras hierbas. El producto de combinación (Iberogast, Medical Futures Inc) contiene cardo lechoso más hojas de menta, manzanilla alemana, alcaravea, regaliz, iberis amara, celidonia, angélica, y bálsamo de limón. Cuando se usa esta combinación diariamente y por un período de 4 semanas parece reducir en forma significativa la severidad del reflujo y del dolor, los calambres, la nausea, y los vómitos.
La mayoría de los estudios sobre la eficacia del cardo lechoso han sido hechos con un extracto específico que ha sido estandarizado para contener de 70 a 80% de silimarina. En los Estados Unidos, esta preparación se encuentra en el producto llamado Thisilyn (Nature’s Way).

Insuficiente evidencia para hacer una determinación para...

  • La enfermedad hepática producida por el uso excesivo de alcohol. Hay evidencia conflictiva acerca de la eficacia del cardo lechoso en el tratamiento de la enfermedad hepática relacionada con el alcohol.
  • Intoxicación por hongos amanita. Si se inyecta por vía intravenosa (VI) silibinina, una sustancia química que se encuentra en el cardo lechoso, se puede disminuir el daño hepático debido a la intoxicación con el hongo Amanita phalloide (hongo de la muerte). Sin embargo, es muy difícil obtener silibinina en los Estado Unidos.
  • La hepatitis B o hepatitis C. Al parecer el cardo lechoso o algunas de las sustancias químicas presentes en él, no parecen aumentar la supervivencia o disminuir la función hepática en las personas con hepatitis B o C.
  • La enfermedad hepática causada por sustancias químicas. Algunas investigaciones sugieren que el cardo lechoso podría reducir el daño hepático producido por la exposición a venenos industriales tales como el tolueno y el xileno.
  • Los trastornos del bazo.
  • Los problemas de la vesícula.
  • La hinchazón de los pulmones (pleuresía).
  • La malaria.
  • Los problemas de la menstruación.
  • Otras afecciones.
Se necesita más evidencia para poder aprobar al cardo lechoso para estos usos.

¿Cómo funciona?

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La semilla del cardo lechoso podría proteger a las células del hígado de las drogas y sustancias químicas que son tóxicas. También parece tener efectos antioxidantes y antiinflamatorios. El extracto de la planta de cardo lechoso podría aumentar los efectos del estrógeno.

¿Hay preocupación por la seguridad de su uso?

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El cardo lechoso es PROBABLEMENTE SEGURO para la mayoría de las personas adultas. El cardo lechoso a veces tiene un efecto laxante. Otros efectos secundarios menos comunes son nausea, diarrea, indigestión, gas intestinal, hinchazón, sensación de plenitud o dolor, y pérdida de apetito.

Advertencias y precauciones especiales:

Embarazo y lactancia: No se tiene suficiente información sobre el uso del cardo lechoso durante el embarazo y la lactancia. Sea precavida y evite su uso.

Alergia a la ambrosía y plantas relacionadas: El cardo lechoso puede producir una reacción alérgica en las personas que son sensibles a las plantas de la familia Asteraceae/Compositae. Miembros de esta familia incluyen la ambrosía, los crisantemos, las caléndulas, las margaritas, y muchas otras hierbas. Si usted tiene alergias, asegúrese de consultar con su proveedor de atención médica antes de tomar cardo lechoso.

Afecciones sensibles a las hormonas tales como cáncer de mamas, cáncer del útero o cáncer de los ovarios, endometriosis, o fibromas uterinos: Los extractos de la PLANTA del cardo lechoso pueden actuar como estrógeno en el cuerpo. No use cardo lechoso si tiene alguna condición que se puede agravar por la exposición a estrógeno. En cambio, los extractos de la SEMILLA del cardo lechoso que son los que se usan más comúnmente no parecen actuar como estrógeno.

¿Existen interacciones con medicamentos?

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Moderadas

Tenga cuidado con esta combinación

Medicamentos modificados por el hígado (Fármacos glucoronidados)
El cuerpo descompone algunos medicamentos para eliminarlos. El hígado ayuda a descomponer estos medicamentos. El tomar cardo lechoso podría afectar lo bien que el hígado descompone los fármacos. Esto puede aumentar o disminuir lo bien que funcionan estos medicamentos.

Algunos medicamentos que son modificados por el hígado incluyen acetaminofeno, atorvastatina (Lipitor), diazepam (Valium), digoxina, entacapone (Comtan), estrógeno, irinotecan (Camptosar), lamotrigine (Lamictal), lorazepam (Ativan), lovastatina (Mevacor), meprobamato, morfina, oxazepam (Serax), y otras.

Medicamentos modificados por el hígado (Sustratos del citocromo P450 2C9 [CYP2C9])
Algunos medicamentos son modificados y descompuestos por el hígado. El cardo lechoso podría disminuir la rapidez con que el hígado descompone algunos de los medicamentos. El tomar cardo lechoso junto con estos medicamentos que son descompuestos por el hígado podría aumentar los efectos y efectos secundarios de algunos medicamentos. Antes de tomar cardo lechoso hable con su proveedor de atención médica si está tomando medicamentos que son ser modificados por el hígado.

Algunos medicamentos que son modificados por el hígado incluyen amitriptilina (Elavil), diazepam (Valium), zileuton (Zyflo), celecoxib (Celebrex), dicloflenac (Voltaren), fluvastatina (Lescol), glipizida (Glucotrol), ibuprofeno (Advil, Motrin), irbesartan (Avapro), losartan (Cozaar), fenitoina (Dilantin), piroxicam (Feldene), tamoxifeno (Nolvadex), tolbutamida (Tolinase), torsemida (Demadex), warfarina (Coumadin) y otros.

Medicamentos modificados por el hígado (Sustratos del citocromo P450 3A4 [CYP3A4])
Algunos medicamentos son modificados y descompuestos por el hígado. El cardo lechoso podría disminuir la rapidez con que el hígado descompone algunos medicamentos. El tomar cardo lechoso, junto con otros medicamentos que son descompuestos por el hígado puede aumentar los efectos y efectos secundarios de algunos medicamentos. Antes de tomar cardo lechoso, hable con su proveedor de atención médica si toma medicamentos que pueden ser modificados por el hígado.

Algunos de los medicamentos modificados por el hígado incluyen lovastatina (Mevacor), ketoconazol (Nizoral), itraconazol (Sporanox), fexofenadina (Allegra), triazolam (Halcion) y muchos otros.

Tamoxifeno (Nolvadex)
El cardo mariano podría aumentar la cantidad de tamoxifeno que el cuerpo absorbe. Antes de tomar cardo mariano converse con su proveedor de atención médica.

Menores

Preste atención a esta combinación

Estrógenos
El cardo lechoso podría disminuir las hormonas en el cuerpo. El cardo lechoso podría ayudar al cuerpo a descomponer las píldoras de estrógeno para eliminarlas. El tomar cardo lechoso junto con píldoras de estrógeno podría disminuir la eficacia de las píldoras de estrógeno. El cardo lechoso contiene una sustancia química llamada silimarina. La silimarina podría ser la parte del cardo lechoso que ayuda al cuerpo a descomponer los estrógenos.

Algunas de las píldoras de estrógeno incluyen los estrógenos conjugados de origen equino (Premarin), etinil estradiol, estradiol. y otros.

Medicamentos para bajar el colesterol (Estatinas)
En teoría, el cardo mariano podría cambiar los niveles de algunos medicamentos que se usan para bajar el colesterol (estatinas). Esto podría aumentar o disminuir el efecto de estos medicamentos.

Algunos medicamentos que se usan para bajar el colesterol incluyen atorvastatina (Lipitor), fluvastatina (Lescol), lovastatina (Mevacor), pravastatina (Pravachol) y rosuvastatina (Crestor).

¿Existen interacciones con hierbas y suplementos?

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No se conoce ninguna interacción con hierbas y suplementos.

¿Existen interacciones con alimentos?

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No se conoce ninguna interacción con alimentos.

¿Qué dosis se utiliza?

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Las siguientes dosis se han estudiado en investigaciones científicas:

POR VÍA ORAL:
  • Para las alergias estacionales (rinitis alérgica): El extracto de cardo lechoso de la silimarina, 140 mg tres veces al día.
  • Para molestias estomacales (dispepsia): se ha usado producto específico de combinación que contiene cardo lechoso (Iberogast, Medical Futures Inc.) y varias otras hierbas en una dosis de 1 ml tres veces al día.

Otros nombres

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Artichaut Sauvage, Blessed Milk Thistle, Cardui Mariae Fructus, Cardui Mariae Herba, Carduus Marianum, Carduus marianus, Chardon Argenté, Chardon de Marie, Chardon de Notre-Dame, Chardon Marbré, Chardon-Marie, Épine Blanche, Holy Thistle, Lady's Thistle, Lait de Notre-Dame, Legalon, Marian Thistle, Mariendistel, Mary Thistle, Our Lady's Thistle, Shui Fei Ji, Silibinin, Silybe de Marie, Silybin, Silybum, Silybum marianum, Silymarin, Silymarine, St. Mary Thistle, St. Marys Thistle.

Metodología

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Para saber más sobre cómo este artículo fue escrito, refiérase a la metodología metodología (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/spanish/druginfo/natural/methodology-sp.html) de la Base exhaustiva de datos de medicamentos naturales.

Referencias

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Para ver todas las referencias de la página de Cardo lechoso, por favor diríjase a http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/spanish/druginfo/natural/138.html.
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Página actualizada 27 octubre 2014