Artichoke

Plant Part Used

Leaf

Introduction

The flower head of the artichoke has been used as a medicinal agent for centuries. Historically, artichoke has been used for poor digestion, atherosclerosis, and high cholesterol. The leaf of the artichoke plant is used to make a standardized extract.

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

250-750mg daily (standardized extract).

Most Common Dosage

250mg (standardized extract), 2 times a day.

Standardization

[span class=doc]Standardization represents the complete body of information and controls that serve to enhance the batch to batch consistency of a botanical product, including but not limited to the presence of a marker compound at a defined level or within a defined range.[/span]

The most current available medical and scientific literature indicates that this dietary supplement should be standardized to 15% chlorogenic acid and/or 2-5% cynarin per dose.

Reported Uses

Studies have suggested that artichoke can support overall health in two ways. Chlorogenic acid, an active ingredient in artichoke, may be effective as an antioxidant. (1) Another active component of artichoke extract, cynarin, has been reported to lower blood cholesterol levels by helping the body to excrete excess cholesterol instead of absorbing it. (2) , (3)

Artichoke has also been reported to have significant liver protecting and regenerating effects. (4) One study suggests that cynarin supports the healthy growth and reproduction of liver cells. (5) Artichoke’s antioxidant effects have also been noted as a possible aid to liver health. (6)

Artichoke may have some benefit for those suffering from dyspeptic ulcers by stimulating the production of bile juices in the liver. Increased bile production aids in breaking down hard to digest fats, thereby increasing digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Studies have reported that when patients take artichoke as a supplement, symptoms rapidly disappear, reducing pain, nausea, retching, and the sensation of fullness. (7) , (8)

Dyspepsia or indigestion is a common symptom of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In a study evaluating the use of ALE in dyspeptic patients, a small group in the study was identified as having IBS. This group had the severity of their symptoms reduced and provided an overall favorable evaluation of the extract. As many as 96% of this group claimed that the artichoke leaf extract was well tolerated and that it worked at least as well as other therapies used for their symptoms. (9)

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

[span class=alert]Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.[/span]

General

This dietary supplement is considered safe when used in accordance with proper dosing guidelines.

Allergy

On rare occasions some individuals experience an allergic reaction when taking this dietary supplement. (10) Use with caution if you are allergic to the daisy or chrysanthemum family. (11) Call your doctor or seek medical attention if you have fast or irregular breathing, skin rash, hives or itching.

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects related to fetal development during pregnancy or to infants who are breast-fed. Yet little is known about the use of this dietary supplement while pregnant or breast-feeding. Therefore, it is recommended that you inform your healthcare practitioner of any dietary supplements you are using while pregnant or breast-feeding.

Age Limitations

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Since young children may have undiagnosed allergies or medical conditions, this dietary supplement should not be used in children under 10 years of age unless recommended by a physician.

Read More

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References

  1. View Abstract: Gebhardt R. Antioxidative and Protective Properties of Extracts from Leaves of the Artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) Against Hydroperoxide-induced Oxidative Stress in Cultured Rat Hepatocytes. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. Jun1997;144(2):279-86.
  2. Kirchhoff R, et al. Increase in Choleresis by Means of Artichoke Extract. Phytomedicine. 1994;1:107-15.
  3. Wojcicki J, et al. The Influence of Cynarine on Serum Lipids in Patients Affected With Diabetes Mellitus. Pun Med. 1974;16:127-29.
  4. View Abstract: Adzet T, et al. Hepatoprotective Activity of Polyphenolic Compounds From Cynara scolymus Against CCl4 Toxicity in Isolated Rat Hepatocytes. J Nat Prod. Jul1987;50(4):612-17.
  5. Khadzhai I, et al. Effect of Artichoke Extracts on the Liver. Farmakol Toksikol. Nov1971;34(6):685-87.
  6. Maros T, et al. Effects of Cynara Scolymus Extracts On The Regeneration of Rat Liver. Arzneim-Forsch Drug/Res. Feb1966;16(2):127-29.
  7. Khadzhai I, et al. Effect of Artichoke Extracts on the Liver. Farmakol Toksikol. Nov1971;34(6):685-87.
  8. View Abstract: Marakis G, Walker AF, Middleton RW, Booth JC, Wright J, Pike DJ. Artichoke leaf extract reduces mild dyspepsia in an open study. Phytomedicine. Dec2002;9(8):694-9.
  9. View Abstract: Walker AF, Middleton RW, Petrowicz O. Artichoke leaf extract reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in a post-marketing surveillance study. Phytother Res. Feb2001;15(1):58-61.
  10. Meding B. Allergic Contact Dermatitis from Artichoke, Cynara Scolymus. Contact Dermatitis. Jul1983;9(4):314.
  11. PDR for Herbal Medicines, 2nd ed. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company; 2000:45.