Artichoke Leaf

Artichoke has a long history of medical usage and has a long list of folkloric health benefits for the following conditions.

High nutritional value. Artichoke is a highly nutritious vegetable, rich in fibers, vitamins and minerals. Artichoke is a good source of Vitamin C, vitamin A, folic acid, biotin, manganese, potassium, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin,

Artichoke promotes weight loss. Cynarin an active chemical compound found in artichoke leaf is known to break down fats and improve bile flow.

Antioxidant. Artichoke flower is known as a potent antioxidant

Artichoke helps the liver and the gall bladder to function efficiently.

Controls blood cholesterol. Extracts from artichoke leaves can reduce blood cholesterol level in the body by inhibiting hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA-reductase activity. Improving HDL to LDL ratio.

Prevents heart disease. Artichoke can prevent arteriosclerosis and coronary heart disease

Promotes bowel movement. Artichoke leaf extract used to treat irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.

Skin problems. Artichoke is used to treat eczema and other dermatologic problems,

Stomach problems. Artichoke is also used to treat stomach acidity (indigestion) and dyspepsia

Diabetes. Artichoke contains inulin and fructans that has minimal impact in increasing blood sugar level making it beneficial for diabetics

Improves digestion. Artichoke contains bioactive agents such as epigenin and luteolin (probiotics) that promotes the growth of good bacteria in the colon and gut.

Hepatopropective activity. Artichoke have cytoprotective actions in the liver, by strengthening the liver and protecting it from damage due to harmful chemicals

Diuretic. Artichoke is a diuretic and can reduce swelling due to excess fluid accumulation.
Health-promoting properties of artichoke in preventing cardiovascular disease by its lipidic and glycemic-reducing action.
The artichoke, Cynara scolymus, is one of the most ancient plants grown in the world, and its extracts, obtained from different parts of the plant (leaves, fruits and roots), have been used as medicaments from time immemorial. The pharmacological and therapeutic effects of the artichoke on the liver had already been well known in the 17th century. Modern studies started in the last century confirmed the stimulating properties of artichoke extracts on the liver and gallbladder. This review enumerates the most significant studies that have highlighted these therapeutic properties. Awareness of the widespread use of complementary and alternative medicine by people with metabolic disorders is crucial for healthcare professionals in order to prevent cardiovascular disease. Source: Monaldi Arch Chest Dis. 2013 Mar;80(1):17-26.

Pharmacological Studies of Artichoke Leaf Extract and Their Health Benefits.
Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) leaf extract was one of the few herbal remedies which the clinical and experimental trials have complemented each other. Both experimental and clinical effects have been verified through extensive biomedical herbal remedy research. Specifically, antioxidant, choleretic, hepatoprotective, bile-enhancing and lipid-lowering effects have been demonstrated, which corresponded with its historical use. Ongoing research seems to indicate that artichoke indeed have medicinal qualities. Most significant appears to be its beneficial effect on the liver. In animal studies, liquid extracts of the roots and leaves of artichoke have demonstrated an ability to protect the liver, with possibly even to help liver cells regenerate. Although research is not yet conclusive, scientists were optimistic that its long-standing use in humans for digestive and bowel problems was indeed justified. It may also play a role in lowering cholesterol and thus help to prevent heart disease. Boiled wild artichoke reduced postprandial glycemic and insulinemic responses in normal subjects but has no effect on metabolic syndrome patients. This article intended to review the wide ranging pharmacological effects of artichoke leaf extract. Source: Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2015 Dec;70(4):441-53.

Phenolic compounds from the leaf extract of artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) and their antimicrobial activities.
A preliminary antimicrobial disk assay of chloroform, ethyl acetate, and n-butanol extracts of artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) leaf extracts showed that the n-butanol fraction exhibited the most significant antimicrobial activities against seven bacteria species, four yeasts, and four molds. The isolated compounds were examined for their antimicrobial activities on the above microorganisms, indicating that all eight phenolic compounds showed activity against most of the tested organisms. Among them, chlorogenic acid, cynarin, luteolin-7-rutinoside, and cynaroside exhibited a relatively higher activity than other compounds; in addition, they were more effective against fungi than bacteria. Source: J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Dec 1;52(24):7272-8.

Artichoke leaf extract – Recent findings reflecting effects on lipid metabolism, liver and gastrointestinal tracts.
In various molecular, cellular and in vivo test systems, artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) leaf extracts show antioxidative, hepatoprotective, choleretic and anti-cholestatic effects as well as inhibiting actions on cholesterol biosynthesis and LDL oxidation. Recently, active ingredients responsible for the main effects have been identified. Thus, luteolin seems to be of crucial importance for the inhibition of hepatocellular de novo cholesterol biosynthesis. The anti-dyspeptic actions ware mainly based on increased choleresis. Regarding clinical data, lipid-lowering, antiemetic, spasmolytic, choleretic and carminative effects have been described, along with good tolerance and a low incidence of side effects. Due to its specific mechanisms of action, the future use of artichoke leaf extract for the prevention of arteriosclerosis can be expected. Source: Phytomedicine. 1997 Dec;4(4):369-78.

Artichoke leaf extract reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in a post-marketing surveillance study.
There is a growing body of evidence which indicates therapeutic properties for artichoke leaf extract (ALE). Dyspepsia is the condition for which the herb is specifically indicated, but the symptom overlap between dyspeptic syndrome and IBS has given rise to the notion that artichoke leaf extract may have potential for treating IBS as well. A sub-group of patients with IBS symptoms was therefore identified from a sample of individuals with dyspeptic syndrome who were being monitored in a post-marketing surveillance study of artichoke leaf extract for 6 weeks. Analysis of the data from the IBS sub-group revealed significant reductions in the severity of symptoms and favourable evaluations of overall effectiveness by both physicians and patients. These results provide support for the notion that artichoke leaf extract has potential value in relieving IBS symptoms and suggest that a controlled trial is justified. Source: Phytother Res. 2001 Feb;15(1):58-61.