Home Medicinal Plants Artichokes: effect on digestion & cholesterol

Artichokes: effect on digestion & cholesterol

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 341 views

Artichokes are not only very popular as a vegetable , but also as a medicinal plant. They help with gastrointestinal complaints, lower cholesterol levels, improve fat digestion and stimulate intestinal motility. Therefore, it is also possible to lose weight with artichokes. Read more about the health effects of artichokes here!

What are the effects of artichokes?

The most important ingredients in the leaves of the artichoke plant are caffeic acid, chlorogenic and neochlorogenic acid, cynarin, bitter substances (about six percent), flavonoids and sesquiterpenes (bitter substances). They are held responsible for the healing effects of artichokes.

Artichokes (Cynara scolymus) promote the production and release of bile and thus improve fat digestion. In addition, artichokes lower cholesterol levels and overall blood lipid levels. Existing cholesterol deposits on the blood vessel walls can also be dissolved.

In addition, the ingredients of the artichokes protect the liver via various mechanisms and have a detoxifying effect. Last but not least, they stimulate the activity of the intestinal muscles, which also has a digestive effect.

Together, the ingredients of the artichoke leaves have a very positive effect on digestion and the liver. The extracts of the leaves are medically recognized for the treatment of so-called dyspeptic complaints, also known as irritable stomachs – especially if they are caused by disorders of the liver-gallbladder system. These complaints include:

  • pain in the upper abdomen
  • heartburn
  • fullness
  • gas
  • nausea and vomiting

Based on meaningful studies, the leaves of the plant can also be used to treat gallbladder problems, loss of appetite, high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia), to protect the liver and to prevent the recurrence of gallstones. Artichokes also have an effect on arteriosclerosis (“hardening of the arteries”) and even in the accompanying (adjuvant) treatment of hepatitis C.

The flowers and fleshy bracts are considered a delicacy when cooked. However, they are not nearly as beneficial for the above-mentioned ailments as an extract from the leaves, since cooking renders a large part of the ingredients ineffective. However, the cooked parts of the plant have a high content of soluble fiber. Artichokes therefore support weight loss.

How is the artichoke used?

Artichoke leaves are available in various forms for medicinal use in gastrointestinal disorders: Dried and crushed for artichoke tea, artichoke capsules, as a dry extract, fresh plant juice and aqueous extracts. The dry extract is obtained from both the dried and the fresh leaves and is offered in the form of artichoke tablets, artichoke capsules or artichoke dragees. The daily recommended dose is three to six grams of the medicinal drug.

In contrast to the artichoke vegetable, the artichoke juice, which is produced from the flowers that have not blossomed, still contains a large part of the active ingredients. The artichoke juice effect is therefore good and helps with an irritable stomach or to protect the liver.

If you want to make artichoke tea, you should take a teaspoon of chopped leaves and pour hot water over them. After steeping for 10 minutes, strain the herb. Drink a cup of tea before each meal.

If you want to lose weight with the help of artichokes, you should regularly consume the base of the flower and the fleshy part of the cooked leaves as a side dish. However, this alone will not result in weight loss. In addition, make sure you eat a balanced diet that is rich in fiber and get plenty of exercise and sport.

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