The use of plants, in order to extract the medicinal benefits, has been done for a long time. In order to facilitate their consumption, supplements in capsules, powder and even liquids begin to appear in order to obtain purer and higher concentrations of beneficial properties.
This is the case of the artichoke , which has gained ground in the herbal supplements market due to promises to help with digestion, liver health and weight loss.
Learn more about the artichoke, how to use it and what benefits it can offer:
- 1 What is artichoke?
- 2 What is compound artichoke and what is it for?
- 3 What are the properties of artichoke food?
- 4 What are the benefits of artichoke powder and capsules?
- 5 Does artichoke in capsules lose weight?
- 6 How to take artichoke powder or capsules?
- 7 Dry artichoke belly?
- 8 Usage and contraindication care
- 9 Price and where to buy
What is artichoke?
Artichoke is an edible plant and has been part of some dishes for a long time. In addition to flavor, its consumption is made because of its nutritional and health-promoting properties.
Thus, there are several studies indicating the presence of compounds such as polyphenols, fibers, minerals and inulin, for example – these are compounds capable of bringing benefits to the body.
In addition, there is research and uses of the artichoke as an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal agent and with the potential to protect against cancer , liver problems and cholesterol irregularity problems.
The artichoke’s scientific name is Cynara scolymus L. , Originating in Egypt and Ethiopia, belonging to the Asteraceae family – this is the same family as the sunflowers and daisy.
The artichoke can be divided into 6 parts, which are:
- External petals: not edible
- Intermediate petals or “silks”: not edible;
- Heart or background: edible;
- Base of internal petals: edible;
- Stalk: edible with the removal of thorns;
- Buttons: not edible.
In cooking, the part usually used is called the heart or bottoms. But petals and stems are also widely used in the preparation of dishes.
But, in addition to the kitchen, the artichoke can be consumed as tea, especially to take advantage of its health benefits. In this sense, capsule, powder and even syrup versions have become popular, aiming to obtain higher concentrations of beneficial compounds.
The artichoke powder uses the dehydrated leaves, being indicated to assist in weight loss and to assist in the treatment of some conditions. Its indicated use is in the form of tea, being a practical way to prepare the drink.
Among those commonly indicated by brands and manufacturers are:
- Assist in the reduction of high cholesterol;
- Assist in the treatment of anemia;
- Assist in reducing high blood glucose;
- Promote good digestion;
- Assist in reducing inflammation from rheumatic conditions.
In addition to these, artichoke powder is widely consumed by those who want to deflate and lose weight as soon as it has a diuretic action.
Capsules or tablets
Artichokes in capsules or tablets are used by those who want to enjoy the benefits and compounds of the plant, but find it difficult to ingest tea, for example.
The form of use and the quantity should be consulted with professionals and in the product packaging, but it is usually between 1 and 2 capsules / tablets a day.
Artichoke tea is used to help treat some health conditions, such as high cholesterol, but also by those who want to deflate and help the weight loss process.
The drink can be made with fresh leaves, harvested from the plant, or through dry leaves, bought already dehydrated.
Read more: Desinchá: what is it for? Really works?
Artichoke syrup is a concentrated liquid version of the product. There are versions of the pure artichoke, but there are options with borututo, boldo, eggplant and dandelion, for example.
The indication is to use the product pure or diluted in water, between 1 and 2 times a day.
What is compound artichoke and what is it for?
The compound artichoke is a combined product, which can be found in capsules, extracts and syrup. In addition to Cynara scolymus L (artichoke), the combinations usually have at least one more of these plants:
- Boldo (Peumus boldus Mol);
- Jurubeba (Solanum paniculatum);
- Berinjela (Solanun melongena L.);
- Silimarina (Cardo Mariano);
- Dandelion ( Taraxacum officinale );
- Borututu ( Cochlospermum angolense ).
The purpose of consuming supplements or compound artichoke products is to optimize the beneficial effects of the plant. As they are concentrated and combined extracts, the diuretic, nutritional and medicinal action is increased.
It is important to check the indications for each combination, as well as the correct way to use the product. But, in general, the combined artichoke can be oriented to promote actions:
- Reduce cholesterol;
- Promover a diurese;
- Improve liver health;
- Optimize digestion;
- Reduce blood glucose;
- Control blood pressure;
What are the properties of artichoke food?
The chemical composition of the artichoke plant has medicinal and nutritional properties – that is, it is rich in some nutrients and has health benefits. Thus, it is considered a functional food by the European Commission for Functional Foods.
The presence of nutrients can vary depending on the presentation of the artichoke, with capsules and extracts, for example, usually being more concentrated and, if they are combinations, they may include other nutritional aspects.
But in relation to the edible part of the plant, some studies present the following composition in 100g:
Thus, consumption of the plant can be a way to include nutrients in the meal in a healthy way.
Because it is rich in fiber and low in calories, artichoke is a great option for preparing a healthy meal.
Regarding the medicinal properties, the artichoke contains polyphenols, chlorogenic acid, cryptochlorogenic acid, neochlorogenic acid, 1,5-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, cinarin, 3,4-di-O-caffeoylquinic acid, 3,5-di -O-caffeoylquinic acid and 4,5-di-Ocafeoylquinic acid, in addition to caffeic acid.
In addition, it contains flavonoids (especially flavones) and anthocyanins.
What are the benefits of artichoke powder and capsules?
Many studies are dedicated to the analysis of the artichoke and its action on the body. It is worth mentioning that, although used for years for some of these effects, not all are scientifically proven in humans – that is, they have potential for action in the laboratory or in animal studies.
However, popular uses resort to the plant for many of these purposes. Among the benefits of consuming artichoke are:
Has antimicrobial action
Studies indicate that the artichoke has antimicrobial and antifungal potential.
In this way, it is able to act against organisms such as:
- Candida albicans;
- Portugal fair;
- Agrobacterium tumefaciens;
- Micrococcus luteus;
- Escherichia coli;
- Salmonella typhimurium;
- Pseudomnonas aeruginosa;
- Bacillus subtili.
The antifungal action occurs against:
- Staphylococcus aureus;
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae;
- Saccharomyces carlsbergensis;
- Aspergillus niger;
- Penicillium oxalicum;
- Mucor mucedo;
- Cladosporium cucumerinum.
Helps in gastrointestinal activity
The artichoke has an antidispeptic and choleric effect, so it aids in the digestion process. The consumption of the plant promotes an increase in the bile flow (collagogue action), so that it can reflect in the reduction of cholesterol. In addition, its antispasmodic action helps with cramps and pain due to the formation of gases .
Protects the liver
Some studies point out that the presence of a substance called cinarina (responsible for the bitter taste of the plant) can have beneficial effects on the liver, producing hepatoprotection.
In folk medicine, the artichoke is used for treatments of hepatitis and hyperlipidemia, hepatobiliary disorders and digestive problems.
Help in the cardiac system
As the artichoke can have cholesterol-lowering effects, there are benefits for heart health, with the substances being cinaroside and aglycone luteolin the main ones involved in this process.
Promotes diuretic action
Artichokes are highly sought after by those who want to reduce measures. However, it is worth mentioning that it does not have a slimming effect, but a diuretic – that is, it reduces the accumulation of fluids in the body, promoting swelling.
Has antioxidant action
Reviews Artichoke indicate that it has antioxidant properties similar to vitamin C and vitamin E . Laboratory studies have indicated that it was able to protect liver cell cultures by reducing oxidative stress .
Helps control blood sugar
The artichoke can help control blood sugar (glycemia), through the hypoglycemic action. It is worth noting, however, that the glycemic reduction occurred in people with pre- diabetes , so that in some cases (such as type 1 diabetes), the consumption of the plant has no effect.
Does artichoke in capsules lose weight?
Artichokes have been sought after by people who want to reduce some numbers on the scale. However, there are no studies that prove that it has a potential for weight loss – that is, a body fat reducer.
What can happen, however, is that the plant (in tea, extract or derivatives) can stimulate diuresis, that is, cause the accumulated liquid to be eliminated. This will then reduce body swelling.
In addition, the consumption of the plant as a meal is low in calories and gives high amounts of fiber, so that it stimulates intestinal functioning and also helps in satiety. Thus, it is common for regular consumption of the artichoke to result in less food intake, aiding in weight loss indirectly.
How to take artichoke powder or capsules?
Before using any supplement or tea (no matter how natural it is), it is important to seek medical or nutritional guidance, so that the correct and healthy way of using it is guided.
If there is no restriction on consumption, it is possible to choose the form that best suits consumption – capsule, tea, powder or syrup, for example.
It is important to always consult the package insert or product packaging, checking the form of use, concentrations and general guidelines, especially considering that there may be different dosages or dosages.
Artichoke capsules are generally sold between 200mg and 400mg. The guideline is to consume between 1 and 3 capsules a day, along with the main meals. The form of use and the initial dosage should be guided by health professionals.
Tea (leaves or powder)
Artichoke tea can be made with dry extract or fresh leaves. To do this, just boil 1 liter of water to infuse 3 tablespoons (45g) of herb.
After about 10 minutes, just strain and drink. The ideal is to consume about 3 cups of tea a day, before the main meals (being able to divide the intake throughout the day).
Syrups can be consumed before meals, pure or diluted. That way, just take between 1 and 2 spoons (15mL or 30mL) a day before a meal.
Dry artichoke belly?
Just like the promise of weight loss, the artichoke is used to obtain the “tummy dry” effect, which in fact is due to body swelling. Thus, due to the diuretic effect, the consumption of the supplement promotes the elimination of accumulated liquids, helping to reduce measures.
Usage and contraindication care
In general, the artichoke infusion (tea) and the extracts have a good tolerance, as long as consumed according to the orientation. There are few side effects as well, most of which are due to the sensitivity to the plant or another component used such as the capsule or syrup.
People with any health problem or undergoing drug treatment should consult specialists before consuming any version of the artichoke.
Still, it is contraindicated for use by people with obstruction of the bile duct, gallstones, as well as pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Price and where to buy
The artichoke plant can be found in markets, varying the price according to the region of the country.
Supplements can be found in physical and online pharmacies, health food stores and supplement stores.
Some brands and prices are:
- Artichoke Natulab (30 tablets) : R $ 30;
- Artichoke Aspen Pharma (30 tablets) : R $ 15;
- Vitamed Artichoke (50 tablets) : R $ 30;
- Multilab Artichoke (30 tablets) : R $ 8;
- Artichoke Bionatus (60 capsules): 34;
- Herbarium Artichoke (45 capsules) : R $ 30.
* Prices consulted in September 2020. Prices may change.
The consumption of herbal supplements is quite common to bring several health benefits. Artichokes, for example, have been used for years because of their nutritional and medicinal properties.
Now, it is possible to find the product in pharmacies and stores, in versions such as capsules, syrups and even in special formulations, combining other plants.
In Minute Healthy you against more information about supplements and herbal medicines!