Artichoke is delicious as cheese dip and dipped in garlic butter, but even more divine is its digestive properties. Artichoke taken as an extract can stimulate bile production from the liver and supports toxin excretion. Bile production is enhanced by cynarin a substance found in the artichoke.
A 2003 study looked at the effects of artichoke extract on digestion. The subjects reported significant relief from their symptoms (1). Artichoke extract has also been shown to reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In a trial of 208 patients were given artichoke extract for 6 month and at the end of the study 26.4% showed a reduction in IBS symptoms (2).
Artichokes also contain inulin which is a prebiotic that helps feed gut microbes. Gut microbes are important to maintaining gut and immune health.
Sinlininin is also found in artichokes and is known for its ability to protect the liver from poison and toxins.
- Holtmann G, Adam B, Haag S, Collet W, Grünewald E, Windeck T. Efficacy of artichoke leaf extract in the treatment of patients with functional dyspepsia: a six-week placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicentre trial. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2003 Dec;18(11-12):1099-105.
- Bundy R, Walker AF, Middleton RW, Marakis G, Booth JC. Artichoke leaf extract reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and improves quality of life in otherwise healthy volunteers suffering from concomitant dyspepsia: a subset analysis. J Altern Complement Med. 2004 Aug;10(4):667-9.