Globe Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) is a herbaceous plant with a stem that reaches up to 2m in height and branches bearing violet, blue or white colored flowers at their apex. Plant’s leaves are thorny and emerge from the stem base. The herb of Cynara scolymus is believed to be a cultigen native to the Mediterranean area of Southern Europe.
Globe Artichoke Health Benefits
Globe Artichoke’s flowers lead the role in providing natural antioxidants. Cynarin, an active component found in herb is found to improve the bile flow and hence cures indigestion, and liver and gall bladder malfunctioning.
The herb has potent diuretic action and hence it’s prescribed in various ailments related to kidney and bladder. Being a safe herb with diuretic property, Globe Artichoke is included as one of the main ingredients in many herbal supplements indicated for elevated blood pressure (hypertension).
Liver and Kidney Problems
Artichoke possesses potent diuretic and hepatostimulating properties. Several in vitro and in vivo studies have revealed about antioxidative and hepatoprotective properties of Globe Artichoke leaves’ extracts and their active components, against hepatic cell damage caused due to various hepatotoxins. The hepatoprotective effects of polyphenolic compounds from Cynara scolymus against CCl4 toxicity in isolated rat hepatocytes is backed by laboratory trials.
Hyperlipidemia and Hypercholesterolemia
Aqueous extracts of Globe Artichoke have been observed to reduce the cholesterol as they inhibit the HMG-CoA reductase. Said this, the herb is also prescribed as hypolipidemic and anti-cholesterol agent that help maintaining the healthy ratio of High Density Lipoprotein and Low Density Lipoprotein (HDL/LDL).
The diuretic properties of the herb makes it potent natural anti-hypertensive and hence it is used in lowering the blood pressure. It shows promising results in diminishing the risks of arteriosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
Digestive System Problems
The herb of Artichoke is found to have bioactive agents called luteolin and apigenin and hence is believed of possessing bifidogenic effects on friendly bacteria in gut (intestines). The leaf extracts of Globe Artichoke have been studied and researched by experts and the documentation reveal that it has beneficial effects on the patients who have been diagnosed with condition of dyspepsia. In certain cases, the herbal extract is used successfully to alleviate the pains and cramps due to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Detoxification and Revitalizing Tissues
The herb has been used to detoxify and neutralize the harmful effects of toxic substances. There are many scientific researches done and the documents support this functionality of the herb. Said this, many supplements prescribed as tonic and rejuvenator for optimum health contains Globe Artichoke as one of the main ingredients in their formulas.
Miscellaneous Health Benefits of Globe Artichoke
Homemade antidotes containing Globe Artichoke have shown good results in inflammatory and painful conditions such as arthritis, gout and other musculo skeletal disorders.
The genus of Cynara, along with its primary function of natural diuretic, also possesses potent property to heal and cure the liver cells (hepatic cells). Liver problems associated with alcohol and malaria is the indication for prescribing Artichoke supplements. Brazilian herbal medicines describe Cynara as natural cleansing and purifying agent for liver and gallbladder.
Commercial extracts of the herb Cynara has shown good results in platelet aggregation. However, the herb has to be consumed for a couple of years regularly to get the effects.
Dosage and Side Effects
The German Commission E has recommended an average daily dose of 6 gm. drug (that is equivalent to the extract based on the herb-to-extract ratio) or other such preparations for addressing dyspeptic issues.
A recommended dose regimen for liquid extract (1:2) is 3-8 mL a day.
Dosage that has been used in clinical trials of Globe Artichoke leaf extracts for its optimum effects is considered up to 1.92 gm. a day in divided doses for up to 6 months.
The herb is to be used with caution in patients with history of gall bladder stones. Rarely, the herb has side effects of dermatitis (allergic reaction). However, abdominal gas and bloating are other undesired effects of Globe Artichoke in some cases.