You might be working on your New Year Resolution! How about some food that can help you with that “Slim” Resolution? Artichoke leaf will be on that list then!
Most of you may be familiar with Artichoke as vegetables that you bought in the market. The artichokes you bought in a market is the unbloomed flower bud. Artichoke is known to help with elevated blood sugar and is nutritious dense. It originates in the Mediterranean and is now grown in Africa, Italy, France and the United States California.
Beyond the flower bud, the Artichoke leaf is one of the best herbs for fat metabolism and liver tonic:
- Its bitter taste trigger a chain of digestive action including increasing bile secretion, increasing digestive enzymes with its binding to bitter receptors throughout the digestive tract helping the fat metabolism and enhancing nutrients absorption (e.g., iron hence it’s beneficial in treating anemia)
- It is one of the highest anti-oxidant profile with its Cynara constituents. Cynara also causes other foods to taste sweet while consumed alongside artichoke
- It tonifies and protects liver, i.e., it promotes regeneration of the liver and promotes blood flow in liver:
- In Europe, it is used as a traditional medicine with choleretic, cholagogue, and laxative properties to stimulate appetite and to treat liver insufficiency and hypercholesterolemia.
- In France, it is regarded as a liver tonic and hepatoprotective (‘wringing out of the hepatic sponge’) and as a depurative.[1,2]
- The Quechua community of northern Bolivia uses an infusion of Globe Artichoke leaf for cirrhosis of the liver and colic caused by gallstones.
- Elevated estrogen or cholesterol levels due to sluggish liver function can be regenerated
If you take a handful of artichoke leaf and placed in your mouth, you will notice saliva will start flowing without any ingestion of food. That’s the power of bitter and in particular, artichoke leaf in stimulating the sluggish digestion. After all those festive gatherings, artichoke leaf will be your next Must-Have afternoon tea!
Artichoke has a cooling energy, so it’s always better to balance with some warming herbs (Orange peel, Angelica Archangelica, Fenugreek, Ginger, Turmeric) so as not to impair the digestive fire. Last, but not least, help your liver to detoxify by having early nights as the new year begin!
Related Products: Digestion Herbal Tea
Materia Medica Summary – Artichoke (Cynara Scolymus)
Parts used: the leaf
Energy and flavors: cool, bitter
System affected: liver, heart
Used for Liver and gall bladder problems, lower cholesterol, rheumatic conditions, in small dose before meals for digestive weakness, obesity
- Rocchietta S. Minerva Med 1959; 50: 612
- Leclerc H. Précis de Phytothérapie, 5th Edn. Masson, Paris, 1983.
- Fernandez EC et al. Fitoterapia 2003; 74: 407