Archive for December 2013

ARTICHOKE

December 25, 2013
artichoke

artichoke (Photo credit: wundoroo)

Other Names:    

Alcachofa, Alcaucil, ALE, Artichaut, Artichaut Commun, Artichaut Sauvage, Artichoke Extract, Artichoke Fruit, Artichoke Leaf, Artichoke Leaf Extract, Artischocke, Cardo, Cardo de Comer, Cardon d’Espagne, Cardoon, Cynara, Cynara cardunculus, Cynara scolymus, Extrait d’Artichaut, Feuille d’Artichaut, Garden Artichoke, Gemuseartischocke, Globe Artichoke, Kardone, Tyosen-Azami.

Artichoke is a plant. The leaf, stem, and root are used to make “extracts” which contain a high concentration of certain chemicals found in the plant. These extracts are used as medicine.

Artichoke is used to stimulate the flow of bile from the liver, and this is thought to help reduce the symptoms of heartburn and alcohol “hangover.” Artichoke is also used forhigh cholesterolirritable bowel syndrome (IBS), kidney problems, anemia, fluid retention (edema), arthritisbladder infections, and liver problems.

Some people use artichoke for treating snakebites, preventing gallstones, loweringblood pressure, lowering blood sugar; to increase urine flow; and as a tonic or stimulant.

In foods, artichoke leaves and extracts are used to flavor beverages. Cynarin and chlorogenic acid, which are chemicals found in artichoke, are sometimes used as sweeteners.

Don’t confuse artichoke with Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus).

How does it work?

Artichoke has chemicals that can reduce nausea and vomiting, spasms, and intestinal gas. These chemicals have also been shown to lower cholesterol.

  • Upset stomach symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, gas, and stomach pain, when artichoke leaf extract is used. Improvement can take up to 2 to 8 weeks of treatment.
  • High cholesterol. Taking a specific artichoke extract (Valverde Artischocke, Novartis Consumer Health) seems to modestly reduce total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and the LDL/high density lipoprotein (HDL) ratio over 6 to 12 weeks of treatment.
  • Preventing alcohol-induced hangover.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Developing evidence suggests that artichoke extract might reduce symptoms of IBS. In one study, a specific artichoke leaf extract (Hepar-SL forte, Serturner Arzneimittel GmbH) reduced abdominal pain and cramping, bloating, gas, and constipation associated with IBS after 6 weeks of treatment. In another study, a different specific artichoke leaf extract (Cynara SL, Lichtwer Pharma) reduced the occurrence of IBS symptoms in patients with heartburn by about 26%. People taking this extract also reported improvement in their quality of life after 2 months of treatment.
  • Water retention.
  • Snakebites.
  • Kidney problems.
  • Anemia.
  • Arthritis.
  • Liver problems.
  • Preventing gallstones.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of artichoke for these uses.

 ARTICHOKE SIDE EFFECTS & SAFETY

Artichoke is safe in the amounts used in foods. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when used as a medicine. It has been used safely in research for up to 23 months.

In some people, artichoke can cause some side effects such as intestinal gas and allergic reactions. People at the greatest risk of allergic reactions are those who are allergic to plants such as marigolds, daisies, and other similar herbs.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of artichoke during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Bile duct obstruction: There is concern that artichoke might worsen bile duct obstruction by increasing bile flow. If you have this condition, don’t use artichoke without first discussing your decision with your healthcare provider.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Artichoke may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking artichoke.

Gallstones: Artichoke might make gallstones worse by increasing bile flow; use artichoke with caution

ARTICHOKE DOSING

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For heartburn: 320-640 mg artichoke leaf extract three times daily. Some studies have used a specific extract called ALE LI 220 (HeparSL forte, Berlin, Germany).
  • For high cholesterol: 1800-1920 mg per day of a specific artichoke extract (Valverde Artischocke, Novartis Consumer Health) in 2 to 3 divided doses. Products containing 60-1500 mg per day of the active ingredient, cynarin, have also been used.

Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on our blog. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database ConsumerVersion. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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