Artichoke has been used traditionally as food and medicinal herb for diuretic and digestive properties. Artichoke leaves are used by many in connection with gastrointestinal complaints stemming from bile deficiency (in the liver and gall bladder), as well as to stimulate appetite and diuresis. The results of several clinical investigations suggested that artichoke extracts are useful when used in connection with hepato-biliary dysfunction and digestive complaints, such as sensation of fullness, loss of appetite, nausea, and abdominal pain. Some researchers have even suggested that artichoke dry extract could be safely recommended to patients with hyperlipoproteinemia and for possible prevention of vascular disease. Artichoke also has powerful antioxidant activity.
Claimed health benefits of artichoke
High Cholestoral: Lowers LDL or bad cholesterol and increases HDL or good cholesterol. Artichoke leaf has been shown to lower cholesterol. One study showed a decrease in total cholesterol of 18.5% and LDL cholesterol by 23%. It had actually gained widespread use in the 1950s and 60s before the advent of "statin" drugs. It is thought to interfere with cholesterol synthesis. A substance called luteolin may play a role.
Reduces triglycerides, total serum cholesterol
Has diuretic properties - useful in kidney disease
Increases bile flow and lover function used in connection with cirrhosis
Helps abdominal pain, heartburn, bloating
Relieves constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
The German Commission E recommends 6 g of the dried herb or its equivalent per day, usually divided into 3 doses.
Artichoke leaf appears to be very safe. However, individuals with gall bladder disease should use artichoke only under medical supervision. Its safety in pregnant and lactating women is unknown. People with allergies to artichoke or members of the chrysanthemum family should avoid it.
Other useful herb information: Parsley | Bilberry | Amla | Yarrow | Camellia | Dioscorea | California Poppy
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