The artichoke is a herbaceous plant very close to the common thistle in morphology. It is generally assumed that the artichoke is a vegetable product of man born of experimentation. As a plant to bloom again every year after the winter and have a large rosette of leaves deeply segmented although less divided than the thistle and less thorns. These leaves are light green and covered on the underside of a thin white hebrillas, which form a web that whitens further leaf color. The stem is stout, with few leaves, and on top are a very large flower heads that are artichokes, covered with numerous bracts coriaceous.
As a horticultural product grows in the gardens of Spain.
Flowers summer. Harvesting for food interested in the flower heads, but for medicinal purposes is preferred to collect the leaf has a bitter taste is characteristic, very strong and persistent. It is better to pick the leaves of the first year because they are much richer in active ingredients.
In the composition of the artichoke phenolic acids found as caffeic, chlorogenic and cynarin, which is a mixture of two acids. There are also some acids and flavonoids.
The choleretic properties and cinarina cholagogue, hepatoprotective and cholesterol-lowering drugs. Artichokes, like the leaves of the thistle, are an excellent food, especially for diabetics because they contain inulin instead of starch. Inulin is found in both leaves and flowers in the floral receptacle and even on stalks that support them. In addition, the artichoke is hypoglycemic, ie decreasing the amount of blood sugar.
A final finding regarding the artichoke leaf refers to the properties it has on arteriosclerotic states, and in its early stages. This is due to its action on metabolism and cholesterol aurea. It also states that the fleshy bracts of the florets, raw foods have an inhibitory action on gastric acid secretion, but this is yet to be studied.
In general is especially useful in anorexia, dyspepsia, hepatitis and other liver problems, gallstones, oliguria and constipation. It is contraindicated during breastfeeding, because the bitter principles that become part of its composition may pass into breast milk.
Juice of the leaves. This is the most recommended home remedy. Extract the juice of fresh leaves of the artichoke and mixed with sugar water or wine to mask the bitter taste. With this juice clears the liver and reduce the sugar in the urine of diabetics.
Infusion. They take 10 gr. Of fresh leaves and add to a quart of boiling water, this infusion can have a cup before the main meals. If the infusion is to be used as hepatoprotective, you can double the amount of fresh leaves. Bitterness can be masked with mint.
Fluid extract. From 30 to 45 drops, two or three times a day.
FAMILY: Composite tubulifloras
FLOWERING: In summer
PART USED: Sheets
CASTILIAN: Alcarchofa, alcaulera
CATALAN: Carxofera, alcarxofa
Fort Hepatoprotector, Laxative Moderate, Diuretic Moderate.
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