CROATIA. Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) Leaf, Cut and Sifted
Common names: Globe Artichoke, Alcachofa, Artichaud, Al-ḫaršūf, Tyosen-Azam
Artichoke is a biennial or perennial flowering plant native to the Mediterranean region, growing from 4 to over 6 feet in height, cultivated for its edible immature flower heads since ancient times. Currently it is grown mainly in warm temperate zones of southern Europe, north Africa, Latin America, China, and the US.
The Artichoke's "leaves" are actually the outside petals of the flower head that encloses the flower. Flowers in the thistle family are actually many small individual flowers inside the head, which ripen into a pod housing an abundance of seeds.
Artichoke leaf is commonly described by herbalists as a bitter. Bitters tend to stimulate the bile flow in the body, and thereby "flush out" the liver. The liver's functions include cleaning the blood and storing toxins. Flushing the liver with bitters is considered an important health benefit in Western herbalism.
Artichoke’s active constituents include cynarine, a caffeic acid derivative; sesquiterpene lactones; and flavonoids. Animal studies show a reduction of serum and liver cholesterol levels in subjects given cynarine along with alcohol. Literature reviews detail extensive research confirming Artichoke’s liver-stimulating, choleretic, hepatoprotective, diuretic, cholesterol-lowering, and antioxidant properties.
Artichoke leaf can be extracted as a tea or tincture, and is most commonly eaten.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.