Like chia seeds and goji berries, I have become a popular ‘superfood’. Lots of celebrities and diet guru’s stir me into their yoghurt every morning.

So what do they think is so wonderful about me? Well, I am said to have a detoxifying and purifying effect on the liver, so they think that a bit of milk thistle detox will bring that important organ back into tip-top condition in no time.

And they put me into all sorts of food supplements: milk thistle capsules, milk thistle tablets, milk thistle teas, milk thistle juice, and so on.

These are supposed to help with stomach ache, heartburn, bloating and nausea.

So do they work? Well, the liver is perfectly able to clean up waste products; after all, that’s what it’s there for. Detoxification is a natural process by which the liver processes the materials taken into the body and converts any dangerous or even poisonous substances into other substances that can be safely excreted through the bile ducts and intestine.

So a milk thistle diet is mostly just expensive: a little bit of thistle seed costs rather a lot. Not bad, is it, for a weed!