Introduction of Artichoke:Cynara scolymus or Artichoke thistle.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Artichoke, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Cynara scolymus L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, brief history, the features of the herb Artichoke, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Artichoke(Cynara scolymus).

Cynara scolymus:herb photo English Name: Artichoke.
 Latin Name: Cynara scolymus L.,Cynarae folium.
 Common Names: Garden Artichoke, Globe Artichoke, Artichoke thistle, cardoon, wild or desert artichoke.
 Property and flavor: neutral in nature, tastes sweet.

 Brief introduction: Artichokes have been eaten safely in Europe and USA (the United States of America) for hundreds of years, it is native to the Mediterranean coast and prefers warm and humid climates. Artichoke has a unique flavor and excellent nutritional value. It is a healthy vegetable with high nutritional value and is known as the "King of Vegetables". In addition to fresh food, it can also be salted, quick-frozen, or processed into canned products; the outer bracts of the buds can be made into health-care tea; the stems and leaves can be used as functional feeds or deep-processed and purified to make meals, apéritifs, oral capsules, cosmetics, etc. Artichoke is also an elegant ornamental flower, and its large flower heads open, with violet-blue flowers as gorgeous as sapphire, which is lovely.

 Botanical source: The common herbal classics defined the herb Artichoke as the leaves of the species (1). Cynara scolymus L. It is a plant species of the Cynara genus, the Asteraceae family (the daisy, or composite family). The seed is used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Cynara scolymus L.

 Cynara scolymus:flowers Botanical description: Cynara scolymus is a perennial herb of the Cynara genus in the Asteraceae family, it grows up to 2 meters. Stems are upright, stout, ribbed, and branched at the upper part, and all stems and branches are covered by dense spider silk hairs. The leaves are large and the basal leaves are rosette-shaped; The stems and leaves of the lower part are all oblong or broadly lanceolate, about 1 meter long and 50 cm wide, double pinnatifid, and the lower part is gradually narrowed with a long handle. The middle leaves and upper stems and leaves are gradually smaller, sessile, or slightly extended along the stem, and the leaves at the upper part and the lower part of the flower head are oval or linear, up to 5 cm long; All the leaves are green on the upper surface, glabrous, gray on the back surface, covered with dense or sparse villi, and the apex of the secondary lobe or leaf apex has no long hard needles. The flower heads are very large, with branches at the top; Involucral bracts are multi-layered, hardly coriaceous, and glabrate, the apex of the middle and outer involucral bracts is gradually pointed, but no hard needles and the apex of the inner involucral bracts have dura appendages; The floret is purplish red, the length of the corolla is about 4.5 cm, the length of the tubule is about 2.8 cm, the length of eaves is about 1.7 cm, and the length of corolla array is about 9 mm. The hair is white, multi-layered, about 3.6 cm long, with a bristle feather shape, tapering to the apex, and the base unites into a ring, falling off as a whole. Its flowering period is from June to July. The flower petals are blue, lilac, or white. The fruit is a pubescent achene 4 to 5 mm in diameter and 7 to 8 mm long, oblong, 4-sided, the apex is truncate, it is flecked brown and glossy.

 Cynara scolymus:flowering plant Ecological environment: Cynara scolymus is native to the Mediterranean region and prefers a warm and humid climate. It is also found in the Canary Islands, and South America. The total planting area of artichoke in the world is about 80,000 hm2(Square hundred meter, or hectares), 85% of which is concentrated in countries of the Mediterranean basin. The main producing countries are Italy, Spain, and France, and now it is also planted in California of USA, South America, Africa, and parts of Asia.

 Cynara scolymus:flowers Brief history of artichoke: Artichoke thistle was used as a food and a medical remedy as early as the 4th century B.C., the artichoke plant has a long history. At the time, Theophrastus (Greek Peripatetic philosopher), a pupil of Aristotle (Greek philosopher and scientist), described the plant in detail. Enjoyed as a delicacy, an appetizer, and digestive aid by the aristocracy of the Roman Empire (ancient state, 27 B.C.~476 A.D.), it later seems to have fallen into oblivion until the 16th century, when medicinal use of the artichoke for liver problems and jaundice was recorded. In 1850, a French physician successfully used an extract of artichoke leaves in the treatment of a boy who had been sick with jaundice for a month and had made no improvement from the medicine used at that time. This accomplishment inspired researchers to find out more about the effects, and their research resulted in the knowledge we have today about the constituents and their mechanisms of action.

 Artichoke is one of the oldest cultivated plants. It was first grown in Ethiopia and then made its way to Southern Europe via Egypt. Its image is found on ancient Egyptian tablets and sacrificial altars. The ancient Greeks and Romans considered it a valuable digestive aid and reserved what was then a rare plant for consumption in elite circles. In sixteenth-century Europe, artichoke was also considered as a "noble" vegetable meant for consumption, the flower buds are commonly cooked as a vegetable.

 In traditional European medicine, the leaves of the artichoke were used as a diuretic to stimulate the kidneys and as a "choleretic" to stimulate the flow of bile from the liver and gallbladder.

 In the first half of the twentieth century, French scientists began modern research into these traditional medicinal uses of the artichoke plant. Their work suggested that the plant does indeed stimulate the kidney and gallbladder. In the middle of the 20th century, Italian scientists isolated a compound from an artichoke leaf called cynarin, which appeared to duplicate many of the effects of the whole artichoke. Synthetic cynarin preparations were used as a medicine to stimulate the liver and gallbladder, and to treat elevated cholesterol levels from the 1950s to the 1980s.

 Cynara scolymus:artichoke vegetable Characters of herbs: Primarily the leaves of Cynara scolymus are used medicinally, the upper surface of the leaf is bare and light green, and the lower surface is gray and tomentose, it is collected in summer, wash clean, and dried in the sun.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.beneficial to gallbladder and liver protection; ②.anti-fatty liver effect; ③.accelerate the increase of liver weight in rats; ④.Silurin has cytotoxic effect on Helazzq cancer cells; ⑤.choleric; ⑥.analgesic; ⑦.anti-inflammatory effect; ⑧.anti-thrombosis effect.

 Medicinal efficacy: Leaves preparation of Cynara scolymus is used to make granule for hepatitis, hepatobiliary diseases, digestive system diseases, kidney diseases and allergies. The herb can soothe the liver and benefit gallbladder, clearing damp heat. It is indicated for jaundice, the pain of hypochondriac distension, damp-heat diarrhea, and leaves are used to treat hepatitis. It contains a lot of active substances such as cynarin, asparagine, flavonoids, etc. Regular consumption of artichoke can play an important role in protecting the liver and kidney, enhancing the detoxification of the liver, promoting the digestion of the intestinal tract, and protecting the cardiovascular system. Regular consumption has the effects of protecting the liver and kidney, strengthening liver detoxification, promoting digestion, improving blood circulation, preventing arteriosclerosis, and protecting the cardiovascular system. The herb is traditionally used for liver disease, jaundice, indigestion, atherosclerosis, anemia, snakebite, and diuretic, stimulates bile production, lowers cholesterol, and encourages digestion.

 Administration of Artichoke(Cynara scolymus): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Artichoke(Cynara scolymus)
Herbal classic books and TCM Books: Internally, the herb is used as water decoction, 6~15 grams. Capsules standardized with 15 milligrams of caffeoylquinic acids is advised two to three as daily dosage.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: The FDA classified the artichoke leaves as safe for use as a food ingredient. It is not advised to anyone with gallstones or a bile duct obstruction to take cynarian. Allergic contact dermatitis is occured when sensitized individuals touch the fresh plant.




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