Globe Artichoke

Globe Artichoke (Botanical Name- Cynara Scolymus)
Common names

Italian (carciofo), Spanish (alcachofa), and Portuguese (alcachofra), Alcachofera, Artichaut, Globe Artichoke, Tyosen-Azami The globe artichoke has become important as a medicinal herb in recent years following the discovery of cynarin. This bitter-tasting compound, which is found in the leaves, improves liver and gall bladder function, stimulates the secretion of digestive juices, especially bile, and lowers blood cholesterol levels. The leaves are anticholesterolemic, antirheumatic, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, hypoglycaemic and lithontripic. They are used internally in the treatment of chronic liver and gall bladder diseases, jaundice, hepatitis, arteriosclerosis and the early stages of late-onset diabetes. The leaves are best harvested just before the plant flowers, and can be used fresh or dried.

Uses Cooking
In the US, large globe artichokes are most frequently prepared for cooking by removing about 5–10 mm of the stem, and (optionally) cutting away about a quarter of each scale with scissors.

Tea
Artichokes can also be made into a herbal tea; artichoke tea is produced as a commercial product in the Dalat region of Vietnam.

Liquor
Artichoke is the primary flavor of the Italian liqueur Cynar.

Medical uses
The majority of the cynarin found in artichoke is located in the pulp of the leaves, though dried leaves and/or stems of artichoke also contain Cynara which are used to increase bileproduction.

WORLDWIDE ETHNOMEDICAL USES

Brazil for acne, anemia, arthritis, arteriosclerosis, asthma, bile insufficiency, blood cleansing, bronchitis, diabetes, diarrhea, dyspepsia, digestive disorders, dandruff, fever, flatulence, gallbladder disorders, gallstones, gout, heart function, hemorrhage, hemorrhoids, high cholesterol, hypertension, hyperglycemia, inflammation, kidney insufficiency, liver disorders, nephritis, obesity, prostatitis, rheumatism, seborriasis, ulcers, urethritis, urinary disorders, and as an astringent and vasoconstrictor
Dominican Republic for bile insufficiency, digestive problems, gallbladder disorders
Europe for bile insufficiency, cancer, detoxification, dyspepsia, gallbladder disorders, high cholesterol, hyperglycemia, jaundice, liver disorders, nausea
Haiti for edema, hypertension, kidney disorders, liver problems, urinary insufficiency
Mexico for cystitis, gallstones, hypertension, liver disorders
Elsewhere for diabetes, edema, rheumatism, urinary insufficiency

Cynarin, is considered to have health benefits and is believed to: protect the liver against toxins and infections
lower blood cholesterol by lowering synthesis of cholesterol in the liver
act as a diuretic
act as a liver tonic
lower blood sugar levels
stimulate the regeneration of liver cells
can reduce nausea, abdominal pain, constipation and flatulence caused by indigestion
ease symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome through bile regulation
help maintain a healthy digestive system
be a popular herbal remedy which helps maintain bowel health
play an essential role in fat and alcohol metabolism (according to recent studies)
have antioxidant properties which can help protect the body against free radicals.