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The artichoke or и Cynara scolymus is a perennial plant that grows in the warm areas of the Mediterranean. It has a taproot root and in Spring the leaves of the plant sprout along the entire length of the stem until ending with a floral rosette.
The edible part of the artichoke is precisely this flower head which is formed by narrow leaves in the shape of gills sometimes spiny.
The plant is spontaneous but given its great demand, it is cultivated in plots of land of small and large dimensions and since each plant, gives about 10 artichokes, even in an urban garden, a good production of these vegetables can be realized.
The artichoke prefers to be cultivated in areas with a temperate climate but adapts to everything even if it does not like night frosts and frost. Before planting it, it must be grown in seedbeds or planted directly in the ground, in May.
The artichoke plant can be productive up to ten years.
Therapeutic virtues of the artichoke
Considered to be a powerful antitumor, the artichoke has several healing properties of a certain importance, especially useful for the liver since this extraordinary vegetable contains insulin inside it which is capable of regenerating some organ cells.
A good cure for the liver, carried out with artichokes, could restore the whole balance of the organism since being liver patients, one can inevitably run into pathologies such as cholesterol, abdominal bloating, poor digestion and even obesity .
Gut ally, the artichoke thanks to the cynarin, becomes of essential importance because it stimulates the production of bile.
The vegetable is very often used to promote diuresis and is also known for the important effects that counteract cellulite.
It also contains vitamin B3 which is a real food supplement and besides helping blood circulation, it is able to transform carbohydrates into energy and is able to stabilize blood glucose levels.
Other basic vitamins contained in the artichoke such as C and E, give it the power to be a very valuable antioxidant.
The artichoke is also used in cosmetics and is used to devitalize the scalp and free the skin from furunculosis and to restore its elasticity and tone.
The decoction, the herbal tea and the infusion and the extract of artichoke leaves to fight cholesterol
The latest studies by physiotherapeutic researchers have shown that the artichoke leaves, prepared and taken in the form of decoctions, herbal teas and infusions, reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the blood.
A test carried out in England, put some people with bad cholesterol (LDL) to the test and every morning they were given 100 grams of artichoke leaf extract.
Exactly after three months, blood tests were carried out on these people that showed a remarkable lowering of cholesterol.
Thus it was realized that it is possible to achieve good results without using traditional drugs which on the one hand lower cholesterol, can have harmful effects on the metabolism.
Researchers have come to the conclusion that thanks to the high content of natural flavonides, mineral salts and vitamins, the artichoke is able to give these results, to say the least, amazing that by lowering the cholesterol level, they also contribute to lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
The silymarin contained in it, also manages to act on the secretion of bile by stimulating the regeneration of new hepatic cells, thus succeeding in lowering the cholesterol level, a double function is obtained which also protects from the terrible liver cirrhosis.
Decoctions, herbal teas, infusions and extracts are very useful not only for cholesterol but also because they are purifying, useful for the liver, gallbladder, detoxifying, hypoglycemic, antibacterial, for digestion, diuretics, for arthritis and for gout.
Artichoke products: How to find the product in herbal medicine
In herbal medicine it is possible to find various types of products deriving from the artichoke both in already packaged sachets and in dried products such as leaves or the heart but when the artichoke is on the market in fresh form, it is possible to take advantage of its virtues, making decoctions household goods.
A handful of fresh leaves should be boiled for an hour in a liter of water and sipped the sweetened decoction because it has a very bitter taste, three times during the day in the quantity of a cup.
The decoction is very useful for hepatitis, gall bladder disorders and is able to stimulate the kidneys and bring back the sense of appetite.
However, the decoction can also be made with the roots of the artichoke and in this way, gout and arthritic diseases are contrasted.
If you want to prepare an excellent diuretic drink, artichoke leaves should be macerated in a liter of good white wines also useful for jaundice, hydropsies and belly jams.
People who suffer from rickets and anemia have to take artichoke preparations, just because they contain basic substances such as iron, manganese and tannin.
In herbal medicine, mother tincture, syrup and injectable solutions can also be found.