The leaves of artichoke have a well-established reputation for stimulating bile flow, restoring the liver and lowering cholesterol. There is a unrelated ‘artichoke’, Jerusalem artichoke, Helianthus tuberosus, a species of sunflower, whose tuber is eaten as a vegetable and has notable prebiotic properties.
Nausea and indigestion
Bile and gallbladder problems
As a detox remedy
High cholesterol and metabolic syndrome
You could find globe artichoke growing in gardens in the summer, or acquire a artichoke supplement. Chew a bit of the leaf, nibble at a tablet or sip a liquid dose. The fresh leaf is clearly a vegetable, with warm earthy tones, almost tasting like a root. However there is a lingering, almost comforting bitter aftertaste which feels like where the action is: quietly effective. The bitter taste becomes concentrated on drying.
So artichoke is one of the bitter remedies, not as strong as some of the classic bitters but with a broad effect on liver and digestion.
All around the world the actions of traditional medicines were understood by their immediate sensory impacts. Click on each of artichoke’s key qualities below to learn more:
Artichoke is first a liver and bile remedy, the natural antidote to what in English are referred to as ‘liverish’ conditions, or in the French ‘crise de foie’.
As with other traditional moderate bitter liver remedies like dandelion there is a simultaneous diuretic effect. So the overall effect is as a most impressive detox remedy.
Artichoke leaf is widely favoured as one of the most effective treatments for hangovers.
Artichoke leaf is very safe.
Traditional Galenic and western traditions classified artichoke leaf as ‘cooling and drying’ and indicated for damp heat syndromes, such as liver problems, intolerance to fats and alcohol, digestive upset which may merge into bowel inflammation or infections.
The Ayurvedic interpretation of these qualities is as follows