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The artichoke plant and its extract
There are several species of artichokes that are distinguished according to the color of the flower head, the presence of more or less robust thorns and according to the cycle of cultivation, divided between autumn and spring varieties. The artichoke plant was already known by ancient peoples as a wild plant; it took centuries to reach the domestic cultivation of the artichoke and it seems that it began in Italy, especially in Sicily around the first century. Still, Sicily is one of Italy's most artichoke producing regions, along with Sardinia and Puglia. The most widespread and known use of the artichoke is the culinary one but its extract has beneficial effects on the organism and is also used in the pharmacological field. As for its use in the kitchen, the artichoke is highly valued for its low calorie content, which makes it a perfect food in slimming diets, and for the multiplicity of types of cooking to which it lends itself. In the pharmacological field, on the other hand, it is widely used artichoke extract which has numerous effects on the organism, especially on the liver. The artichoke extracts can be obtained from different parts of the plant but the most used is the dry one, obtained from the cauline leaves. The dried artichoke extract is, among all the extracts extracted from the artichoke, the one that boasts the greatest number of beneficial effects. Normally, this type of extract is sold in the form of capsules and it is easy to find them in herbal medicine or in homeopathic pharmacies.
The active ingredients of dry artichoke extract
All the substances contained by the artichoke are present in high concentration in the plant extract. The main substances that make up the artichoke are water, carbohydrates and fibers, whose positive action acts especially on the intestine. The artichoke contains various minerals, such as potassium, sodium, calcium and phosphorus. The vitamin content of the artichoke is very important. In fact, the plant contains vitamins B1, B3 and C. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is essential for metabolism as it takes part in the process of transforming sugars into energy and vitamin B3 (niacin) plays an important role in its functioning. of the gastrointestinal system, while vitamin C (ascorbic acid) carries out various functions related to the immune system and the strengthening of blood vessels, bones and muscles because it is involved in the synthesis of collagen. The therapeutic effects of the artichoke extract, however, are due in particular to the presence of secondary metabolites such as cynarin and flavonoids.
Beneficial effects of dry artichoke extract
The artichoke contains numerous substances that act positively on the body, also having numerous therapeutic effects. Among the beneficial effects of the dry artichoke extract it is necessary to remember, first of all, those hepatoprotective and antioxidants. The cynarin contained in the artichoke, in fact, stimulates the secretion of bile and acts as a substance that not only protects liver functions but also acts to combat liver disorders. Compared to the antioxidant effect, however, the artichoke extract is an excellent ally to fight against free radicals and protect your body from serious diseases thanks to the high concentration of flavonoids. Another effect of the dry artichoke extract is the diuretic one. The high percentage of water that makes up the artichoke, in fact, favors the elimination of toxins and excess liquids; doing so, the extract also has a purifying power on the whole organism. The dry artichoke extract also has hypoglycemic effects, acting positively on the balance between insulin and glucagon. Another therapeutic effect of the substance concerns the gastric apparatus, especially digestion, and intestinal; very often, in fact, the artichoke dry extract capsules are used for the homeopathic treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, as well as for the treatment of dyspepsia. Not to forget, it is the help that the artichoke extract can give to those suffering from high cholesterol, acting on the elimination of excess cholesterol. Thanks to all the abilities listed, the artichoke extract is widely used in homeopathy for the treatment of dyspepsia, hyperglycemia, constipation and fluteness, nausea, vomiting and food poisoning. Finally, thanks to its purifying effects, it is also used for the treatment of particular types of dermatitis and rheumatism.
Use dry artichoke extract
Normally, homeopathic medicines based on artichoke extracts are taken a couple of times a day for a rather long period, which can reach up to two months. The artichoke dry extract capsules, however, must be used following the instructions of the doctor or pharmacist and with great care and moderation because all the positive effects can turn into negatives where the body suffers from particular pathologies. It is important to know, for example, that for those suffering from calculations it would be better to avoid taking them, especially if they are small biliary calculi. In this case, in fact, taking the dry artichoke extract may have the side effect of developing a biliary colic.