The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!

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Artichoke

Scientific Names

Artichoke

  • Cynara scolymus L.
  • Composite family

Common Names

  • Garden artichoke
  • Globe artichoke

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Parts Usually Used

Flower heads, leaves, root
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Artichoke

Artichoke is a perennial plant; its tuberous root produces a stem from 3-5 feet high, with alternate, thistle-like leaves that are grayish-green above and woolly white underneath. The blue flowers are enveloped in the familiar globular heads of purplish-green, spiny scales which terminate the main branches. The flower heads, picked before maturity, are the dinner table vegetable fare. Flowering time varies from spring to mid-summer, depending on the warmth of the climate.
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Where Found

Grows in the Mediterranean area and the Canary Islands and is widely cultivated elsewhere as a food plant.
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Medicinal Properties

Cholagogue, diuretic, tonic
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Legends, Myths and Stories

The flower or head of the artichoke, commonly known as the heart, is reputed to be an aphrodisiac, although this claim has never been scientifically proven. Through the years, various studies worldwide have shown that people’s blood cholesterol levels dropped after eating artichoke. In fact, an anticholesterol drug called cynara is derived from this herb. In 1940, a study is Japan showed that artichoke not only reduced cholesterol but it also increased bile production by the liver and worked as a good diuretic.

Native Americans of the Missouri River Valley region cultivated artichokes along with the squash, beans, corn, etc.
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Uses

Extracts of the leaves and root are helpful in arteriosclerosis, jaundice, dyspepsia, liver insufficiency, chronic albuminuria, and postoperative anemia, reduces cholesterol blood levels. In some countries, considered an aphrodisiac.
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Formulas or Dosages

To make a delicious, heart-healthy treat, rub the leaves with olive oil and tuck a few slices of garlic in the leaves. Steam for 30-40 minutes. Remember that the benefits of this vegetable will be lost if you douse it in melted butter, which is high in saturated fat, or in margarine, which is high in calories.
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Nutrient Content

Iron, phosphorus, potassium, niacin and vitamin A & C

Artichoke nutrients

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How Sold

Supermarket
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Resource Links

LiveStrong.com: Natural Methods for Lowering Triglycerides & Cholesterol

MayoClinic.com: Cholesterol-lowering supplements

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Bibliography

Buy It! Culpeper’s Complete Herbal & English Physician: Updated With 117 Modern Herbs, by Nicholas Culpeper, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1990, (reprint of 1814)

Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

Buy It! How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine & Crafts, by Frances Densmore, Dover Publications, Inc., 180 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014, first printed by the United States Government Printing Office, Washington, in 1928, this Dover edition 1974

Buy It! Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., Simon & Schuster/Fireside, Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020

Buy It! Prairie Smoke, by Melvin R. Gilmore, Minnesota Historical Society Press, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101, copyright 1987.

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

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