Alcachofa, Alcaucil, ALE, Artichaut, Artichaut Commun, Artichoke Extract, Artichoke Fruit, Artichoke Leaf, Artichoke Leaf Extract, Artischocke, Cardo, Cardo de Comer, Cardon d'Espagne, Cardoon, Cynara, Cynara cardunculus, Cynara scolymus, Garden Artichoke, Gemuseartischocke, Globe Artichoke, Kardone, Tyosen-Azami, Wild Egyptian Artichoke.
Overview InformationArtichoke is a plant. The leaf, stem, and root are used to make "extracts." "Extracts" contain a higher concentration of certain chemicals that are found naturally in the plant. These extracts are used as medicine.
Artichoke is most commonly used for indigestion (dyspepsia) and high levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia). It is also used for high blood pressure, hepatitis C, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
In foods, artichoke leaves and extracts are used to flavor beverages. Cynarin and chlorogenic acid, which are chemicals found in artichoke, are sometimes used as sweeteners.
Don't confuse artichoke with Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus).
How does it work?Artichoke has chemicals that can reduce nausea and vomiting, spasms, and intestinal gas. These chemicals have also been shown to lower cholesterol and protect the liver.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- Indigestion (dyspepsia). Research shows that taking artichoke extract by mouth can reduce symptoms of indigestion such as nausea, vomiting, flatulence, and stomach pain. Improvement seems to occur after 2 to 8 weeks of treatment.
- High levels of cholesterol and other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia). Research shows that taking artichoke extract by mouth can slightly reduce total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol in people with high cholesterol. Improvements seem to occur after 6 to 12 weeks of treatment. Studies using cynarin, a specific chemical found in artichoke, have shown conflicting results. Drinking artichoke juice does not seem to lower cholesterol levels. In fact, artichoke juice might increase levels of blood fats called triglycerides.
Possibly Ineffective for
- Hangover. Research shows that taking artichoke extract by mouth does not prevent a hangover after drinking alcohol.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Swelling (inflammation) of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus (hepatitis C). Some early research shows that taking artichoke extract by mouth for 12 weeks improves liver health in people with hepatitis C. But not all research agrees.
- High blood pressure. Early research shows that taking concentrated artichoke juice in capsule form for 12 weeks slightly lowers blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. But other early research shows that taking artichoke leaf powder for 8 weeks does not lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
- A long-term disorder of the large intestines that causes stomach pain (irritable bowel syndrome or IBS). Early research shows that taking artichoke extract by mouth can reduce symptoms of IBS such as stomach pain, cramping, bloating, gas, constipation, and heartburn.
- A grouping of symptoms that increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke (metabolic syndrome). Early research shows that taking artichoke extract by mouth can help to lower triglycerides in people with metabolic syndrome. But it does not lower blood sugar, blood pressure, or other lipid levels.
- Build up of fat in the liver in people who drink little or no alcohol (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD). Early research shows that taking artichoke extract by mouth can improve the severity of liver disease and decrease levels of fat (lipids) in the blood in people with NAFLD.
- Obesity. Early research shows that taking artichoke leaf powder lowers body mass index (BMI) but not body weight in people who are overweight.
- Heart failure and fluid build up in the body (congestive heart failure or CHF).
- Liver disease.
- Long-term kidney disease (chronic kidney disease or CKD).
- Low levels of red blood cells in people with a long-term illness (anemia of chronic disease).
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Painful bladder syndrome (interstitial cystitis).
- Reduced or blocked flow of bile from the liver (cholestasis).
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyWhen taken by mouth: Artichoke is LIKELY SAFE when taken in amounts used in foods. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken as a medicine. It has been used safely in research for up to 12 weeks.
In some people, artichoke can cause side effects such as gas, upset stomach, and diarrhea. Artichoke might also cause allergic reactions. People at the greatest risk of allergic reactions are those who are allergic to plants such as marigolds, daisies, and other similar herbs.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if artichoke is safe to use as a medicine when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.
Bile duct obstruction: There is concern that artichoke might worsen bile duct obstruction by increasing bile flow. If you have this condition, don't use artichoke without first talking with your healthcare provider.
Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Artichoke may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking artichoke.
Gallstones: Artichoke might make gallstones worse by increasing bile flow.
We currently have no information for ARTICHOKE Interactions.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For indigestion (dyspepsia): 320-640 mg of artichoke leaf extract has been used three times daily for up to 8 weeks.
- For high levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia): 500-1920 mg of artichoke extract has been taken daily in divided doses. Also, 60 mg per day of the active ingredient, cynarin, has been used.
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