|Description||Globe artichoke is a member of the botanical family that includes thistles. It was first domesticated in the Mediterranean area, where most production still occurs. It can reach up to 2 metres high and has large purple and green flower heads. The buds are cooked and eaten as a delicacy.
Cynarin is the key active component.Not to be confused with the root vegetable, Jerusalem artichoke.
|Function/ Used for||Rich in a wide range of nutrients including Vitamin C, vitamin A, folic acid, biotin, manganese, potassium, niacin, riboflavin and thiamine. Artichoke has long been used to support the healthy functioning of the digestive system, in particular the gall bladder and liver. It has been found to improve digestion and relieve nausea and flatulence.|
|As a supplement||It is available as extracts in tablet or capsule form, and as standardised leaf extract containing cynarin.
Dose: usually 640mg, three times daily with meals.1
|Found in (dietary sources)||N/A|
|Precautions and contraindications||People suffering from obstructive gall bladder disease should consult their GP before taking artichoke extract because it increases bile secretion.
A small number of people are allergic to artichoke.
|Use in pregnancy and breastfeeding||There is no evidence of adverse effects in pregnancy.|
|Interactions e.g. with other medications||None known2|
|Adverse effects||Artichoke presents minimal risks, although some people may experience flatulence and mild gastro-intestinal upset.|
|References||1 Williamson, E. M. Potter’s Herbal Cyclopaedia. C.W. Daniel Co Ltd. 2003
2 Mills, S. & Bone, K. Principles and practice of phytotherapy. Churchill Livingstone, 2000.