Scientific name: Cynara scolymus
Common names: Globe artichoke, alcachofra, alcachofera, artichaut, tyosen-azami
Ayurvedic names: hatichu
Chinese names: Cao -Shi -Can
Bangladesh names: Hathichak
Arabic names: الخرشوف (alkharshoof)
Rain Forest names:
Approximate number of species known: 50+
Common parts used: Whole herb, sprouts
Height: 2 metres
Actions: Antioxidant, cholesterol-lowering
Known Constituents: Vitamins A, B, C, E, K, minerals, trace minerals; >.8% of chlorgenic acid (C16, H18, O9); the leaves contain cynarin (1,3-dicaffeoylquinic acid), apigenin, cynaroside, chlorogenic acid, rutin, hesperitin, hesperidoside, maritimein, esculetin-6-O-β-glucoside, quercetin, caffeic acid, cosmoside, luteolin, sesquiterpenes (aguerin B, cynaropicrin, grosheimin), sesquiterpene glycosides (cynarascolosides A, B, and C), apigenin-7-rutinoside, narirutin; O-diphenolic derivatives-caffeic acid, 1-, 3-, 4-, and 5-caffeoylquinic acids, and 1,3-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid; flavonoids – glycosides luteolin- 7-β-rutinoside (scolymoside), luteolin-7-β-d-glucoside, and 4-β-d-glucoside; glycolic and glyceric acids; taraxasterol, Ψ-taraxasterol; inulin; guaianolides (cynaropicrin, 8-epigrosheimin); cynaratriol; sugars; enzymes; volatile oil (β-selinene, caryophyllene); aromatic principles (α-cadrene, oct-1-en-3-one, hex-1-en-3-one, decanal, non-trans-2-enal, phenylacetaldehyde, eugenol); cynaropicrin, cynarin (1,3-dicaffeoylquinic acid), 3-caffeoylquinic acid (chlorogenic acid), scolymoside
Originally from the southern parts of Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa.
Famed for its high chlorophyll content. When in bloom it contains beautiful purple flowers.
Leaves are large (50-80 centimetres) and deeply lobed, grayish-silvery-green in colour.
The florets of the flowers are purple, and the whole flower is placed on a large base from a bud. The size of the bud is approximately 12cm with a lot of scales triangularly shaped.
The fleshy lower part of the bud is edible.
The Artichoke is especially popular in France, Italy and Spain, and the way of cooking the artichoke is different in each of them. They can be boiled, fried or cooked on ashes; a gourmand’s favourite.
In some parts of Spain the artichoke is mixed with milk to make cheese.
The showy foliage and beautiful flowers make the Artichoke a nice ornamental plant. They are attractive in gardens, but demand continuous care and particular conditions: good soil, frequent watering, fertilizing and protection from seasonal frosty weather.
Medicinal value comes from the leaves and stems (both fresh and dry).
It’s used for increasing bile production and reducing cholesterol.
Some people use artichoke or treating snake bites, preventing gall stones, lowering blood pressure, lowering blood sugar, to increase urine flow, and as a tonic or stimulant.
In foods, artichoke leaves and extracts are used to flavor beverages. Cynarin and chlorogenic acid, which are chemicals found in artichoke, are sometimes used as sweeteners.
There is growing interest in the use of inulins as substrates for the selective growth of beneficial gut bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli because recent studies have established that their prebiotic effect is linked to several health benefits.
In the present study, the impact of a very-long-chain inulin (VLCI), derived from globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus), on the human intestinal microbiota compared with maltodextrin was determined.
A double-blind, cross-over study was carried out in thirty-two healthy adults who were randomised into two groups and consumed 10 g/d of either VLCI or maltodextrin, for two 3-week study periods, separated by a 3-week washout period. Numbers of faecal bifidobacteria and lactobacilli were significantly higher upon VLCI ingestion compared with the placebo. Additionally, levels of Atopobium group significantly increased, while Bacteroides-Prevotella numbers were significantly reduced.
There were no adverse gastrointestinal symptoms apart from a significant increase in mild and moderate bloating upon VLCI ingestion. These observations were also confirmed by in vitro gas production measurements. In conclusion, daily consumption of VLCI extracted from globe artichoke exerted a pronounced prebiotic effect on the human faecal microbiota composition and was well tolerated by all volunteers.
Cardiovascular diseases are the chief causes of death in the UK, and are associated with high circulating levels of total cholesterol in the plasma. Artichoke leaf extracts (ALEs) have been reported to reduce plasma lipids levels, including total cholesterol.
Clinical trial was done to assess the effect of ALE on plasma lipid levels and general well-being in otherwise healthy adults with mild to moderate hypercholesterolemia. 131 adults were screened for total plasma cholesterol in the range 6.0-8.0 mmol/l, with 75 suitable volunteers randomised onto the trial.
Volunteers consumed 1280 mg of a standardised ALE, or matched placebo, daily for 12 weeks. Plasma total cholesterol decreased in the treatment group by an average of 4.2% and increased in the control group by an average of 1.9%.
No significant differences between groups were observed for LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol or triglyceride levels. General well-being improved significantly in both the treatment (11%) and control groups (9%) with no significant differences between groups.
In conclusion, ALE consumption resulted in a modest but favourable statistically significant difference in total cholesterol after 12 weeks. In comparison with a previous trial, it is suggested that the apparent positive health status of the study population may have contributed to the modesty of the observed response.
Costabile A, Kolida S, Klinder A, Gietl E, Bauerlane M, Frohberg C, Landschutze V, Gibson GR. “A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Cross Over Study To Establish The Bifinogenic Effect Of A Very-Long-Chain Inulin Extracted From Globe Artichoke (Cynara Scolymus) In Healthy Human Subjects.” 2010 October. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20591206
Bundy R, Walker AF, Middleton RW, Wallis C, Simpson HC. “Artichoke Leaf Extract (Cynara Scolymus) Reduces Plasma Cholesterol In Otherwise Healthy Hypercholesterolemic Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo Controlled Trial.” 2008 September.
Others names: Cardoon
Scientific name: Cardunculus
Common part used: leafstalks, top of the stalk
Artichoke is a perennial plant, originally from the southern parts of Europe and around the Mediterranean region. According to one of the versions, it came originally from northern areas of the African continent.
The plant grows up to one and a half or two meters high. It has large leaves, which can be as long as fifty to eighty centimeters. The leaves are deeply lobed and grayish-silvery-green in color.
The florets of the flowers are purple, and the whole flower is placed on a large base from a bud. The size of the bud is around a dozen centimeters; it contains a lot of scales triangularly shaped. The fleshy lower part of the bud is edible, and it is for this that the artichoke has its value in the cuisines of different countries.
It is especially popular in France, Italy and Spain, and the way of cooking the artichoke is different in each of them. They can be boiled, fried or cooked on the ashes, and they always find an appreciation among the gourmands. In some parts of Spain the artichoke substance, mixed with milk, is used for making a particular sort of cheese.
Except being used for food, artichoke will also do as an ornamental plant, thanks to its showy foliage and beautiful flowers. They are attractive in gardens, but demand continuous care and particular conditions: good soil, frequent watering, fertilizing and protection from seasonal frosty weather.
The artichoke plant also has reasonable medicinal value: its leaves and stems (both fresh and dry) are employed for increasing bile production. Its components are also believed to reduce cholesterol formation, and therefore to lower its level in the blood.