Artichokes and liver health

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Louise Hay

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Who remembers the old advertisement "Against the wear and tear of modern life ..."? He said he was drinking a famous amaro based on Cynara Scolymus, or the artichokes.

Apart from commercial advertisements - among other things, the alcohol content of the drink in question is excessive for the health of the liver itself - it is known in many traditions that artichokes can have beneficial effects on the liver. But is there any scientific evidence regarding the effect of artichokes on liver health?


Artichokes and liver health: what connection?

Of the artichokes it is said that "You eat the fruit, but you take care of it with the leaves". 

In fact, the officinal substances - that is, with positive effects on the human body - of the artichoke are found in the leaves and in the plant, while in the preparation of food the fruit is used, after removing the fibrous and pointed external leaves. The method of administration of the artichoke effective for liver health will therefore be lartichoke extract.

In the plant and in the artichoke leaves there are substances - such as sesquiterpenes, hydroxycinnamic acid and flavonoids contained in the leaves of the plant - with several functions: for example, the caffeilquinic compounds that are able to stimulate appetite and increase stomach acid secretion, promoting digestive processes.

Here are the main effects of artichoke extracts on liver health:

> functions choleretics: stimulate the liver a produce bile, that is the substance necessary to digest fats;

> functions cholagogues: stimulate the movement of bile from the liver towards the gallbladder and towards the gastrointestinal system. They are used as a remedy to prevent the reappearance of gallstones in patients who have already suffered from it;

> ownership hypocholesterolemics: inhibit the synthesis of endogenous cholesterol in the liver and stimulate the elimination of the same cholesterol through the bile.

But pay attention to the side effects and contraindications of artichokes for liver health:

> reactions may occur in sensitive individuals di awareness raising;

> the intake of artichoke should be avoided in case dhypersensitivity ascertained towards one or more components;

> avoid the intake of artichoke in patients with obstruction of the biliary tract;

> avoid the intake of artichoke in patients suffering from cholelithiasis (gallstones);

> given the abundant presence of inulin, the use of artichoke should be avoided in case of abundant intestinal fermentations;

> the use of artichoke extracts must be also avoided during breastfeeding, due to possible reductions in milk flow;

> we do not recommend the intake of artichoke also in pregnancy;

> avoid taking artichoke extracts together with stomach-damaging drugs or other bitters, to avoid possible irritation of the gastrointestinal mucosa.


Read also Artichokes, cultivation and uses in the kitchen >>


Artichokes and liver health: how to use them

Scientific studies have highlighted the potential activity of artichokes in their form of phytotherapeutic extract, demonstrating the effect on the protection of liver function and on the reduction of fats (triglycerides and cholesterol).  

It is good to know that the therapeutic action of artichokes on the liver is not so much determined by the edible part of the artichokes, but by the substances extracted from artichoke leaves and present in artichoke herbal extracts.

When using artichoke-based preparations, the doses of product to be taken may vary according to the quantity of caffeilquinic compounds contained. This quantity is usually shown on the package or on the package leaflet of the same product, therefore, it is very important to follow the instructions present.

In any case, before taking any type of preparation containing artichoke for therapeutic purposes, it is advisable to contact your doctor in advance.

Let's see in what forms the artichokes become liver health benefits:

> standardized extracts in flavonoids and caffeic acid derivatives. As an indication, it is recommended to take 500 mg of dry extract per day.

> formulations homeopathic: it can be found in the form of granules, oral drops and mother tincture. The artichoke is used in case of liver problems, jaundice, cirrhosis of the liver, stomach discomfort, flatulence, abdominal swelling and stomach pain. The amount to be taken may differ from individual to individual, also depending on the type of disorder and the type of preparation.


Read also 

> Foods to cleanse the liver
> How to make Roman-style artichokes


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