Artichoke is one of the oldest cultivated Brazilian plants. The other name of artichoke is alcachofra. Artichoke belongs to milk thistle family.
This plant grows to a height of about 2 m and usually has violet-green flower of big size. Its petals and flower bottoms are consumed as vegetable all over the world.
The commercial cultivation of artichoke takes place in many parts of South and North America in which, California is the main area. The early Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used it for eating and medication. Artichoke was also an important dinner dish for the Romans.
With the beginning of the fifteenth century, artichoke has also made its place throughout Europe. Artichoke extract was specially used for the liver and gallbladder medicine. It is also used for the cure of anemia, fevers, high cholesterol, diarrhea, ulcers, hypertension and diabetes, especially in Brazil.
Medicines for heart and digestive system also contain a good amount of artichoke extract. Artichoke extract is used by herbal remedy manufacturers throughout the world.
It is also thought to support beneficial health in cases of dyspepsia and chronic albuminuria. Artichoke extract is also used to amplify the creation of bile in liver which in turn elevate the flow of bile from the gallbladder and increases the contractive power of the bile duct. These bile procedures are helpful in various digestive, gallbladder, and liver infections.
Artichoke extract is also frequently used to activate or mobilize the extra fat stores in the liver and it is also very helpful in detoxify the extra fat.
The artichoke is famous for its pleasurable bitter taste, which is due to a plant chemical named as cynarin. The green portion of the plant contains the cynarin. Cynarin is the main biologically active chemical of artichoke. Extract of artichoke is made up of leaves because leaves contain the high quantity of cynarin. Due to this, herbal products are made up of artichoke’s leaves. These leaves also contains 15% caffeoylquinic acids The other active chemicals of artichoke includes flavonoids, sesquiterpene and caffeoylquinic acids.
Artichoke extract can also be used an artificial sweetener for different dishes. Artichoke extract is also used extensively as flavoring agent in different parts of world especially as flavoring agent for alcoholic drinks. The inherent bitterness of Artichoke Stem, Leaves, and Roots makes it highly suitable for use in alcoholic liqueurs that are supposed to enhance ease of digestion in liquor.
It is believed that bitter liquids stimulate the synthesis and production of digestive juices and this why Artichoke is highly regarded as a stimulant for good digestion.
There are some tested evidences to support the fact that Artichoke extract supports healthy digestion by reducing the feelings of bloating and fullness that are primarily caused by the consumption of fatty meals.
Artichoke extract is found to be helpful in supporting easy digestion of lipids and triglycerides.
An even better extract for support of healthy digestion is Kiwi fruit extract from New Zealand.
As always, consult your physician and an experienced herbalist before taking any dietary or herbal supplement.