pl flaga PL rus flaga  RU

Globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus)

karczochnspThe globe artichoke is a plant which, apart from culinary use, is one of the organic raw materials used in medicine.

What does the artichoke look like and where does it come from?

The distinct appearance of artichoke flowers makes the plant easily recognisable. The flowers are collected in globular blooms enclosed with thick, scale-like leaves.

The globe artichoke originates from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Its cultivation has spread throughout Europe and spread to North America.

A competitive variety to the globe artichoke is the cardoon (Cynara cardunculus). Its different features, namely the spiky leaves and deep blue flowers, make it easy to distinguish the cardoon from the globe artichoke. This variety is also used in cooking and herbal medicine, albeit to a much lesser extent than the globe artichoke.

Medical substance content in the globe artichoke

The most acclaimed component of the globe artichoke is cynarine (1,5-Dicaffeoylquinic acid). The substance has a major effect on the functioning of the liver. Cynarine is choleopoietic and cholagogic; hence it facilitates digestion of food. Cynarine also protects the liver cells.

Another positive effect of taking the artichoke extract is reduction of the total cholesterol level (i.e. the blood levels of the "good" and the "bad" cholesterol) and lipid levels (triglycerides). The globe artichoke also contains inulin, which regulates the blood sugar level while encouraging loss of excess weight.

The uses of the globe artichoke

The artichoke is a typical vegetable in Italian cuisine. It does not feature heavily in Polish traditional cooking; however, it should be more acclaimed due to its favourable effect on the liver. The edible part of the plant is the bloom heads stripped of the hard scale leaves. Artichoke can be cooked, fried or roasted. It should not lose its health values.

Cynara scolymus is also a pharmaceutical material. The artichoke extract, usually available in tablets (the medical product Sylicynar) or liquid extracts is becoming increasingly favoured as a pharmaceutical preparation. The preparations with the artichoke extract are intended for those who wish to boost the functioning of the liver, facilitate its regeneration and improve digestion of food. The extract of the plant is also recommended to patients with elevated cholesterol and blood triglyceride levels.  

An interesting property of the artichoke is the capacity to stimulate the secretion of bile from the liver. An increased flow of bile, as well as its improved passage through the bile ducts results in improved digestion of food.

It is suggested that the artichoke may also have detoxifying and slightly diuretic effects, as well as limit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms. These characteristics contribute to effective detoxication of the body from harmful metabolic products (i.e. substances which may negatively affect the health).

The artichoke extract harmonises with the sylibum extract (Sylibum marianum)

The composition of the two plant extracts in a single preparation (Sylicynar) multiplies the positive impact on the liver and the blood cholesterol levels. The sylibum extracts aids the detoxication of the body, stimulates liver cell regeneration and prevents fatty degeneration of the organ. It also controls the flow of bile, also in patients with gall stones or after jaundice.

Products containing Globe artichoke

Tips - Globe artichoke

When the liver fails, help it naturally!

The liver is one of the critical organs in the human body. Its primary task is to detoxify the system of harmful chemicals originating from the environment and generated in...

Read more