Artichoke – Properties and medicinal uses

Artichoke is a herbaceous plant of the botanical family Compositae. It is well known for its effect in detoxifying the liver.

Artichoke contains significant amount of carbohydrate and protein, in 5.11% and 3.27% respectively, and it virtually has no fat.
However, the most important of its composition are a series of remarkable substances, which are present in minute quantities. These substances are responsible for its medicinal properties, and they include:

* CYNARINE: This substance acts on the cells of the liver to increase bile production. It also acts on the cells of the kidney to increase urine production. It is a 1.5-dicaffeoylquinic acid.

* CYNAROPICRIN: This substance is responsible for the bitter taste of artichoke

* CYNAROSIDE :This is a derivative of Luteolin with anti-inflammatory properties. It is a glycosidic flavonoid

* STEROLS :These are the Beta-sitosterol and Stigmasterol. They help in reducing the rate at which cholesterol is absorbed in the intestine

* ORGANIC ACIDS:They include malic, lactic, glycolic, glyceric and citric


The artichoke is well known for its medicinal properties, and its digestibility. It has various medicinal uses. They include:

Cynarine, accompanied by other contents of the artichoke, makes way for an increase in the production of bile, thus, reducing the risk of liver disorders. On a normal basis, the liver produces about 800ml of bile a day, but the consumption of one-half of artichoke can raise the amount to as much as 1,200ml. The bile secreted after eating artichokes is less dense and more fluid, thus decongesting the liver.
Thus, it can be said that, it aids the detoxifying function of the liver in eliminating along with the bile many foreign and toxic materials circulating in the blood, including medications, additives and other chemical substances.

Cynarine, also accompanied by other components of artichoke helps in increasing the production of urine, which reduces the risk of kidney disorders

Cynarine also helps in facilitating the emptying of the gallbladder. Moreover, it is appropriate in cases of biliary dyspepsia provoked by gallstones or other bladder dysfunctions.

Cynarine, also accompanied by other components of artichoke, helps in reducing the level of glucose in the blood.

It has been shown and proven that artichoke helps in treating skin disorders, like in cases of dermatitis, eczema, allergic skin reactions. The abundant consumption of artichoke, can improve and even make these disorders disappear.

Artichoke helps in reducing the tendacy of cholesterol to be deposited on the arterial walls, being the main cause of arteriosclerosis, which leads to hardening of the arteries.


Artichoke can be prepared either Raw, Cooked or in Roasted form. It should be washed severely before preparation for proper hygiene.

RAW: The artichoke can be sliced into desirable sizes, served together with a lemon or oil. This method of preparation is the best in taking full advantage of its component (vitamins and minerals)

COOKING: The best way to cook artichoke is by steaming because it retains its mineral contents this way. But if necessarily cooked in water, the residual water can be saved and used for soups for better benefits.

ROASTING: Artichoke can be roasted in the oven, but the outer leaves are advised not to be removed since they help in maintaining an internal moisture during the roasting process.

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