The thistle-like artichoke is known as a royal vegetable and a valuable medicinal plant. Their powers were already valued by the ancient Greeks. The artichoke is grown because of the edible budded inflorescences that are then consumed as vegetables.
The artichoke originates from northern Africa and from there has spread throughout the Mediterranean. The flowering artichoke, which belongs to the daisy family, shines in magnificent purple-blue tones.
The artichoke comes from northern Africa and from there has spread throughout the Mediterranean. The flowering artichoke, which belongs to the daisy family, shines in magnificent purple-blue tones. First a so-called rosette of leaves grows on the ground. The plant then forms branched stems that can reach heights of 1.50 to 2 meters.
Thanks to the earlier flowering period, several harvests a year are possible. The main growing areas nowadays are Italy, the USA, Spain, France, Egypt and Argentina. The plant needs about 1 m² of space in the garden. She prefers warm and sunny places. Fist-sized, closed flower heads are harvested. The outer scales stick out slightly.
If this point in time is missed, a large, purple flower will appear. The very fleshy and cup-shaped petals are harvested as a vegetable, which provides the body with numerous valuable vitamins and minerals. The leaves are smooth on top and hairy on the underside.
Some of them have thorns. The pod leaves have been used medicinally for decades due to their healing powers. The king's artichoke in particular has highly concentrated active ingredients and numerous valuable extracts obtained from it. The artichoke is an extremely well-tolerated medicinal plant.
Artichoke tea is recommended. This has an effective effect on the fat metabolism and detoxifies the body. A teaspoon of the dried artichoke leaves is poured over 150 milliliters of boiling water. After ten minutes, the tea is filled through a sieve. For good digestion, it should be drunk immediately after a meal.
The artichoke is also a part of some digestive tea blends. To prepare artichoke juice, the juice is pressed from fresh leaves to drink 25 milliliters of it. This drink helps with indigestion, abdominal pain and increases general well-being. To use artichokes as a vegetable, the fleshy parts of the flower are boiled in hot, salted water with a little lemon for about 30 minutes.
A garlic sauce goes well with it. The artichoke has a pleasantly bitter taste. The somewhat tart taste is attributed to the substance cynarin, which is very effective for digestive problems. The edible inflorescences of the artichoke are a real treat that is very popular with gourmets. The whole artichokes can be filled with egg, ham or shrimp salad.
To do this, the leaves are unfolded and the straw is cut away. Very small artichokes can also be eaten whole, for example baked in the oven or grilled for a barbecue. Whether pickled in oil or freshly prepared, the artichoke leaves and hearts also go well with salads or pasta dishes. As a vegetable, the artichoke is not medicinally effective, but rather a pleasure.
With around 30 Kcal per 100 grams, the artichoke is one of the low-calorie foods. Artichokes should feel firm and plump when purchased and should not have any dried or brown spots. The same goes for the stem. The processing should take place promptly so that as few ingredients as possible are lost. If the artichoke is prepared a day or two later, it should be wrapped in a damp cloth and stored in the refrigerator as it dries out quickly.
The artichoke extracts are components of numerous mono- and combination preparations. These are available in the form of tablets, capsules, drops, coated tablets and much more. The preparations are used for digestive disorders such as bloating, flatulence, nausea, vomiting, non-specific abdominal pain, loss of appetite or intolerance to high-fat meals.
The digestive effect results from the bitter sesquiterpene lactones and the coffeoylquinic acids. Taking artichoke supplements helps digest fatty foods. Flatulence and a feeling of fullness are avoided. People with indigestion should consume 1.5 grams of artichoke extract daily to see a reduction in symptoms. The artichoke also has a diuretic effect. Symptoms can also be improved if you have irritable bowel syndrome.
The leaves also have a protective effect on the liver. It is better supplied with blood, strengthened and detoxified. The artichoke stimulates the gallbladder to release more bile acid into the intestines to make it easier for fats to be digested. The artichoke leaves also act for dehydration and promote the production and excretion of cholesterol, which lowers the cholesterol level.
Therefore, the prepared artichoke leaves are also used to prevent arteriosclerosis. In cell cultures, the artichoke extract was found to stimulate the production of an enzyme that produces nitric oxide. This dilates the vessels, protects the blood vessels from thrombosis, and controls blood pressure. In addition, the artichoke is said to contribute to general physical strength.
There are currently no known side effects that can occur from taking the artichoke supplements. In any case, the artichoke preparation should consist of a high-quality extract. The use of artichokes as a medicine is based on a long tradition. Anyone who is allergic to the artichoke must not ingest the extracts. The same goes for people who have gallstones or a blockage of the biliary tract.