Artichoke is a plant that has been traditionally used for various health remedies due to its potential medicinal properties. The use and value that the Greeks placed on the extracts of Artichoke for treating high cholesterol and digestive disorders, since the Fourth Century B.C., may have some bearing on continuing clinical studies.
Artichoke has been used as a natural remedy for bloating, and constipation. The compounds in artichoke are thought to stimulate bile production, promoting better digestion and relieving symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort.
Additionally, artichoke has been studied for its potential cholesterol-lowering properties. Some research suggests that artichoke extract may help reduce total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, possibly due to its ability to inhibit cholesterol synthesis in the liver.
The study by Englisch et al. around 2000, was conducted over a six week period, looking at the Artichoke based extract in the product “Valverde Artischocke” (not available in America). The study was done on 131 patients with elevated cholesterol. The result showed that those with serum cholesterol greater than 280 milligrams/dl reported a 20.2 percent decrease in cholesterol, compared to 7.2 percent in the placebo group.
The extracts of Artichoke stimulate the flow of the bile, which helps in digestion and absorption. Artichoke has been effective, though to a lesser extent, for irritable bowel syndrome as well.
Other post market surveillance studies conducted by Held and Kraft 1991 & 1997 respectively, revealed that of 417 patients having symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating or gas in the gastrointestinal tract, constipation, lack of appetite, nausea, hepatic or biliary tract disease, who were treated for four weeks with artichoke leaf extract, saw the elimination of symptoms in 65 to 77 percent of patients after one week, and in 52 to 82 percent of patients after four weeks.
Artichoke is believed to possess antioxidant properties that can help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation. These properties may contribute to its potential benefits for liver health and may support overall detoxification processes in the body.
While artichoke has shown promise in various areas, it’s important to note that more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms and determine its effectiveness for specific health conditions. As with any herbal remedy, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before using artichoke for medicinal purposes.