Fruits Vegetables
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Artichoke, Cynara scolymus / Compositae (Asteraceae)
Benefits for the health
The artichoke is rich in fibre and low in calories. It supplies calcium and phosphorus, along with vitamins B1, C, B3, B5 and B6. It contains insulin, that produces fructose in the organism, that is assimilated by diabetics. It is also rich in cynarin, a compound that protects the liver and stimulates the bile secretion.

Among the carbohydrates that the artichokes contain stands out the insulin, that produces fructose in the organism. This sugar is assimilated with no need of insulin, reason why the artichoke is recommended in the diabetics diet. It contains few proteins, and even less lipids, so they are suitable for people who follow a diet. It is rich in fiber. It satiates and favours bowel transit, preventing constipation.

It has a somewhat high sodium content, so it is not very appropriate for people who suffer from hypertension. It is an excellent source of calcium and phosphorus, along with potassium, iron, magnesium and zinc. It supplies vitamins such as B1, C, B3, B5 and B6.

The artichoke has several therapeutic properties: it regulates the bile production and the functioning of the kidneys, favouring the elimination of liquids. It is recommended for liver diseases and the gall bladder. These benefits are due to a substance called cynarin, that artichokes contain in high percentage.
Popular tradition
The artichoke is highly appreciated for its medicinal properties. It has been recommended by the doctors since the very old times, because their diuretic and hepatogenous protecting properties were already known. It is easily digested. It is stimulating, an hepatic and cardiac tonic, a blood depurative, antitoxic, and diuretic. Furthermore, it eliminates the urea and the ureic acid, and helps to lower the levels of cholesterol.

It is recommended in case of asthenia, hepatic failure, kidney failure, rheumatism, gout, arthritis, poisoning and intestinal infections.

Apart from consuming the flower head, other parts of the plant are used as medicine. The leaves are consumed in infusions, juice or tincture and the roots are boiled in water.
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