The Globe Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) is a perennial thistle originating in southern Europe around the Mediterranean.
It grows to 1.5-2 m tall, with arching, deeply lobed, silvery glaucous-green leaves 50–80 cm long. The flowers develop in a large head from an edible bud about 8–15 cm diameter with numerous triangular scales; the individual florets are purple.
The edible portion of the buds consists primarily of the fleshy lower portions of the involucral bracts and the base, known as the "heart"; the mass of immature florets in the center of the bud is called the "choke". These are inedible in older larger flowers.
Artichoke Supplements and Artichoke Vitamins Recommended by Dr. Oz
More Artichoke Uses and Information under the Best Vitamins available
Dried or fresh leaves and/or stems of Cynara are used to increase bile production. Cynarin, an active constituent in Cynara, causes an increase in bile flow.
The artichoke supplements are one of the world’s oldest medicinal plants. The ancient Egyptians placed great value on the plant—it is clearly seen in drawings involving fertility and sacrifice. Moreover, this plant was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans as a digestive aid.
The primary use for artichoke Vitamins and Supplements is to aid high cholesterol, indigestion and lack of appetite, as a digestive aid
Its secondary use is for liver protection
A final use would be for Gallstones.
Artichoke originated in the Mediterranean countries and was a popular delicacy at Roman feasts. It is now grown in many hot areas and is an important crop in parts of California. A good artichoke will have a nice color, well closed centre leaves and be without bruises or blemishes.
The base should be without any tendency to woodiness. Artichoke is often eaten raw as well as cooked, but cooking artichokes in an aluminum pot causes discoloration and blackening. Like other plants in the thistle family, to which it belong, the artichoke contains some therapeutically valuable oils which have a strong stabilizing effect on the human metabolism.
It is used to aid liver complaints and is also a very important diuretic for those suffering from the retention of water. In some parts artichoke forms the basis for several drinks which are fortified with alcohol. You can try one yourself with by juicing 20z (50g) of the artichoke leaves and adding both artichoke juice and the residual pulp to a bottle of white wine.