The World Most Popular Herb – Artichoke – Health Benefits and Side Effects

A. Artichoke is a perennial thistle of Cynara cardunculus species of the Cynara genus, belonging to the family Carduoideae native to the Southern Europe around the Mediterranean. It has been used in herbal medicine in protecting liver, detoxification, digestive disorders, abdominal pain gas and bloating, etc.

B. Health Benefits
1. Functional dyspepsia (Upset Stomach) symptoms
Dry extracts of artichoke leaf (Cynara scolymus) used in the study of the 311 patients in the cohort, the data from 305 (98%) were included in the analysis of dyspepsia symptoms and the data from 50-73 (16-23%) were entered into the analysis of blood chemistry results, conducted by Società Italiana di Medicina Naturale (SIMN), posted in PuMed(1), reported in the abstract of "[Phytotherapy with a mixture of dry extracts with hepato-protective effects containing artichoke leaves in the management of functional dyspepsia symptoms].[Article in Italian]" by Sannia A., researcher found that Phytotherapy with Cinarepa holds promise as an alternative option in the relief of functional dyspepsia symptoms.

2. Hypercholesterolaemia
People who have high levels of blood cholesterol are proven to be in increased risk for coronary heart disease and other sequelae of atherosclerosisstroke. Artichoke leaf extract (ALE) has demonstrated the effects of lowing the blood cholesterol in some researches, according to the abstract of study of "Artichoke leaf extract for treating hypercholesterolaemia" by Wider B, Pittler MH, Thompson-Coon J, Ernst E., posted in PubMed(2)

3. Bifidogenic effect
Extracted from globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus) is demonstracted the effects of inhibiting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, according to the study of "A double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study to establish the bifidogenic effect of a very-long-chain inulin extracted from globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus) in healthy human subjects" by Costabile A, Kolida S, Klinder A, Gietl E, Bäuerlein M, Frohberg C, Landschütze V, Gibson GR., posted in PubMed(3)

4. Hepato-biliary dysfunction and digestive disorders
Artichoke extracts (Cynara scolymus L.) has shown a property of increasing liver bile flow and relieve digestive disorders due to its ingredients of Flavonoids and caffeoylquinic acids, in the study of "[Pharmacological properties and therapeutic profile of artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.)].[Article in German], by Wegener T, Fintelmann V., posted in PubMed(4)

5. Antioxidant capacity
Artichoke contains high levels of antioxidant Flavonoids which can enhance the immune system fighting against the forming of free radicals and guarding our body against foreign invasion such as bacteria and virus, thus reducing the risk of free radicals and bacteria and virus causes of infection and inflammation, according to the article of "Artichoke" posted in Wikipedia(5)

6. Blood vessel integrity protection
Artichoke has shown a property of protection of the the layer of epithelial cells that lines the interior surface of blood vessels, according to the study of "The effect of artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) extract on ROS generation in HUVEC cells" by Juzyszyn Z, Czerny B, Pawlik A, Droździk M., posted in Mendeley(6), researchers filed the conslusion in abstract that artichoke extract were demonstrated by the reduction kinetics of cytochrome c in reference to ascorbate were also revealed. The results of the present study the warrant application of artichoke extracts as endothelium protecting agents.

7. Irritable bowel syndrome
In a Study of two hundred and eight (208) adults were identified post hoc as suffering with IBS. IBS incidence, self-reported usual bowel pattern, and the Nepean Dyspepsia Index (NDI) were compared before and after a 2-month intervention period, conducted by School of Food Biosciences, The University of Reading, Reading, UK. publication of "Artichoke leaf extract reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and improves quality of life in otherwise healthy volunteers suffering from concomitant dyspepsia: a subset analysis" by Bundy R, Walker AF, Middleton RW, Marakis G, Booth JC., posted in PubMed(7), researchers found that ALE ameliorates symptoms of IBS, plus improves health-related QOL.

8. Prebiotic benefit
In the comparison of the impact of a very-long-chain inulin (VLCI), derived from globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus) to the human intestinal microbiota with maltodextrin,
in the study of "A double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study to establish the bifidogenic effect of a very-long-chaininulinextracted from globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus) in healthyhumansubjects" by Costabile A, Kolida S, Klinder A, Gietl E, Bäuerlein M, Frohberg C, Landschütze V, Gibson GR., posted in PubMed(8), researchers found that daily consumption of VLCI extracted from globe artichoke exerted a pronounced prebiotic effect on the human faecal microbiota composition

9. Antifungal activity
Chloroform, ethanol and ethyl acetate extracts of Artichoke have shown the property of against the growth of fungi, according to the study of "Antifungal activity of Cynara scolymus L. extracts" by Zhu XF, Zhang HX, Lo R., posted in PubMed(9), researchers indicated that The leaves extracts and the ethanol fractions were found to be the most effective extract against all the tested organisms.

10. antimicrobial activities
Chloroform, ethyl acetate, and n-butanol extracts of artichoke leaf extracts have shown that the n-butanol fraction exhibited the most significant antimicrobial activities against seven bacteria species, according to the stdy of "Phenolic compounds from the leaf extract of artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) and their antimicrobial activities" by Zhu X, Zhang H, Lo R., Posted in PubMed(10), researchers wrote that they (Chloroform, ethyl acetate, and n-butanol extracts of artichoke leaf extracts) were more effective against fungi than bacteria. The minimum inhibitory concentrations of these compounds were between 50 and 200 microg/mL.

11. Alcohol-induced hangovers
Alcohol-induced hangovers is defined of the condition of physiological effects following heavy consumption of alcohol, including the symptoms of e headache, nausea, etc. Artichoke extracts (Cynara scolymus L.) has shown a promising result in preventing and treating alcohol-induced hangover symptoms in some researches, in a study of "Effectiveness of artichokeextract in preventingalcohol-inducedhangovers: a randomizedcontrolledtrial" by Pittler MH, White AR, Stevinson C, Ernst E., posted in PubMed(11)

12.Etc.

C. Side Effects
1. It may cause allergic reaction to some people, including an unexplained rash, hives, itching, unexplained swelling, in rare case, it can lead to life threatening anaphylaxis
2. People who have gallstones may want to consult with your doctor before applying as artichoke may worse the condition
3. Etc.

For the world most popular herbs list, visit http://theworldmostpopularherbs.blogspot.com/2011/10/world-most-popular-herbs-health.html

The Author:

"Let Take Care Your Health, Your Health Will Take Care You" Kyle J. Norton I have been studying natural remedies for disease prevention for over 20 years and working as a financial consultant since 1990. Master degree in Mathematics, teaching and tutoring math at colleges and universities before joining insurance industries.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com

Photo Credit: Matthew Bridges | Morguefile.com

Article Posted: March 28, 2012

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