Artichoke (Cynara scolymus)leaf powder Artichoke Powder

Cynara scolymus

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Artichoke has been used in traditional medicine for centuries as a specific liver and gallbladder remedy.* In Brazilian herbal medicine systems, leaf preparations are used for liver and gallbladder problems, diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, anemia, diarrhea (and elimination in general), fevers, ulcers, and gout.* To see photographs of artichoke, click here. For more information about artichoke (Cynara scolymus), please refer to the Database File for Artichoke in the Tropical Plant Database.

Traditional Uses:* for gallstones and as a liver and gallbladder bile stimulant; for high cholesterol; for digestive disorders; for irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, and other bowel problems; to support liver function


Suggested Use: This plant is best prepared as an infusion (tea): Use one teaspoon of powder for each cup of water. Pour boiling water over herb in cup and allow to steep 10 minutes. Strain tea (or allow settled powder to remain in the bottom of cup) and drink warm. It is traditionally taken 1 cup dosages, 2-3 times daily. For more complete instructions on preparing herbal infusions, see the Methods for Preparing Herbal Remedies Page.

Contraindications: None reported.

Drug Interactions: May enhance the effect of cholesterol-lowering drugs.





Third-Party Published Research*

All available third-party research on artichoke can be found at PubMed. A partial listing of the published research on artichoke is shown below:

Anti-cholesterol Actions:
Qiang, Z., et al. "Artichoke extract lowered plasma cholesterol and increased fecal bile acids in Golden Syrian hamsters." Phytother Res. 2012 Jul;26(7):1048-52.
Küskü-Kiraz, Z., et al. "Artichoke leaf extract reduces oxidative stress and lipoprotein dyshomeostasis in rats fed on high cholesterol diet." Phytother Res. 2010 Apr;24(4):565-70.
Küçükgergin, C., et al. "Effect of artichoke leaf extract on hepatic and cardiac oxidative stress in rats fed on high cholesterol diet." Biol Trace Elem Res. 2010 Jun;135(1-3):264-74.
Wider, B., et al. "Artichoke leaf extract for treating hypercholesterolaemia." Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Oct 7;(4):CD003335.
Bundy, R. et al. "Artichoke leaf extract (Cynara scolymus) reduces plasma cholesterol in otherwise healthy hypercholesterolemic adults: a randomized, double blind placebo controlled trial." Phytomedicine. 2008; 15(9): 668-75.
Lupattelli, G., et al. “Artichoke juice improves endothelial function in hyperlipemia.” Life Sci. 2004 Dec; 76(7):775-82.
Thompson Coon, J. S., et al. “Herbs for serum cholesterol reduction: a systematic view.” J. Fam. Pract. 2003; 52(6): 468-78.
Shimoda, H., et al. “Anti-hyperlipidemic sesquiterpenes and new sesquiterpene glycosides from the leaves of artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.): structure requirement and mode of action.” Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2003; 13(2): 223–28.
Gebhardt, R. “Inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis in HepG2 cells by artichoke extracts is reinforced by glucosidase pretreatment.” Phytother. Res. 2002; 16(4): 368–72.
Wegener, T. “The status of herbal antilipemic agents.” Wien. Med. Wochenschr. 2002; 152(15-16): 412-7.
Englisch, W., et al. “Efficacy of artichoke dry extract in patients with hyperlipoproteinemia.” Arzneimittelforschung 2000; 40(3): 260–65.
Gebhardt, R. “Anticholestatic activity of flavonoids from artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) and of their metabolites.” Med. Sci. Monit. 2001 May; 7 Suppl 1:316-20.
Gebhardt, R. “Inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis in primary cultured rat hepatocytes by artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) extracts.” J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 1998; 286(3): 1122–28.
Brown, J. E., et al. “Luteolin-rich artichoke extract protects low density lipoprotein from oxidation in vitro.Free Radic. Res. 1990; 29(3): 247–55.
Wojcicki, J., et al. “Cynarin and hyperlipidemia” Wiad. Lek. 1977 Oct; 30(19): 1539-41
Pristautz, H., et al. “Cynarin in the modern management of hyperlipemia.” Wien. Med. Wochenschr. 1975; 125(49): 705–9.
Montini, M., et al. “Controlled application of cynarin in the treatment of hyperlipemic syndrome. Observations in 60 cases.” Arzneimittelforschung 1975; 25(8): 1311–14.
Bobnis, W., et al. “Case of primary hyperlipemia treated with cynarin.” Wiad. Lek. 1973; 26(13): 1267–70.
Grogan, J. L., et al. “Potential hypocholesterolemic agents: dicinnamoyl esters as analogs of cynarin.” J. Pharm. Sci. 1972; 61(5): 802–3.

Digestive Actions:
Marteau, P. "Therapy: Probiotic-enriched artichokes for abdominal discomfort." Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Mar 20;9(5):251-2.
Riezzo, G., et al. "Randomised clinical trial: efficacy of Lactobacillus paracasei-enriched artichokes in the treatment of patients with functional constipation--a double-blind, controlled, crossover study." Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Feb;35(4):441-50.
Valerio, F., et al. "Role of the probiotic strain Lactobacillus paracasei LMGP22043 carried by artichokes in influencing faecal bacteria and biochemical parameters in human subjects." J Appl Microbiol. 2011 Jul;111(1):155-64.
Costabile, A., et al. "A double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study to establish the bifidogenic effect of a very-long-chain inulin extracted from globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus) in healthy human subjects." Br J Nutr. 2010 Oct;104(7):1007-17.
Valerio, F., et al. "Effects of probiotic Lactobacillus paracasei-enriched artichokes on constipated patients: a pilot study." J Clin Gastroenterol. 2010 Sep;44 Suppl 1:S49-53.
Sannia, A. "[Phytotherapy with a mixture of dry extracts with hepato-protective effects containing artichoke leaves in the management of functional dyspepsia symptoms]." Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol. 2010 Jun;56(2):93-9.
Ishida, K., et al. "Effects of artichoke leaf extract on acute gastric mucosal injury in rats." Biol Pharm Bull. 2010;33(2):223-9.
Verspohl, E., et al. "Effect of two artichoke extracts (36_U and 36_EB) on rat ileum (with respect to bowel syndrome) and the peristaltic threshold." Phytomedicine. 2008 Apr 16.
Emendorfer, F., et al. “ Antispasmodic activity of fractions and cynaropicrin from Cynara scolymus on guinea-pig ileum.” Biol. Pharm. Bull. 2005; 28(5): 902-4.
Emendorfer, F., et al. “Evaluation of the relaxant action of some Brazilian medicinal plants in isolated guinea-pig ileum and rat duodenum.” J. Pharm. Pharm. Sci. 2005 Mar; 8(1): 63-8.
Wittemer, S. M., et al. “ Bioavailability and pharmacokinetics of caffeoylquinic acids and flavonoids after oral administration of Artichoke leaf extracts in humans.” Phytomedicine. 2005; 12(1-2): 28-38.
Bundy, R., et al. “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.
Holtmann, G., et al. “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.
Walker, A. F., et al. “Artichoke leaf extract reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in a post-marketing surveillance study.” Phytother. Res. 2001; 15(1): 58-61.
Wegener, T., et al. “Pharmacological properties and therapeutic profile of artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.)” Wien. Med. Wochenschr. 1999; 149(8-10): 241-7. 

Actions on Gallstones & the Gallbladder:
Glasl, S., et al. "Choleretic effects of the Mongolian medicinal plant Saussurea amara in the isolated perfused rat liver." Planta Med. 2006 Dec 19;
Benedek, B., et al. "Choleretic effects of yarrow (Achillea millefolium S.L.) in the isolated perfused rat liver." Phytomedicine. 2006 Nov; 13(9-10): 702-6.
Hiner, A. N., et al. “ Kinetic study of the effects of calcium ions on cationic artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) peroxidase: calcium binding, steady-state kinetics and reactions with hydrogen peroxide.” Biochimie. 2004; 86(9-10): 667-76.
Saenz Rodriguez, T., et al. “Choleretic activity and biliary elimination of lipids and bile acids induced by an artichoke leaf extract in rats.” Phytomedicine. 2002 Dec; 9(8): 687-93.
Gebhardt, R. “Anticholestatic activity of flavonoids from artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) and of their metabolites.” Med. Sci. Monit. 2001; (7) Suppl. 1: 316–20.

Liver Protective Actions:
Metwally, N., et al. "The protective effects of fish oil and artichoke on hepatocellular carcinoma in rats." Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2011 Dec;15(12):1429-44.
Juzyszyn, Z., et al. "The effect of artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) extract on respiratory chain system activity in rat liver mitochondria." Phytother Res. 2010 Jun;24 Suppl 2:S123-8.
Huber, R., et al. "Artichoke leave extract for chronic hepatitis C - a pilot study." Phytomedicine. 2009 Sep; 16(9): 801-4.
Tkachenko, E., et al."Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome: equality of pathogenetic mechanisms and therapeutic approaches." Eksp. Klin. Gastroenterol. 2008; (2): 92-6.
Mehmetçik, G., et al. "Effect of pretreatment with artichoke extract on carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury and oxidative stress." Exp. Toxicol. Pathol. 2008 Sep; 60(6): 475-80.
Miccadei, S.,et al., "Antioxidative and apoptotic properties of polyphenolic extracts from edible part of artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) on cultured rat hepatocytes and on human hepatoma cells." Nutr. Cancer. 2008; 60(2): 276-83.
Speroni, E., et al. “Efficacy of different Cynara scolymus preparations on liver complaints.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Jun; 86(2-3): 203-11.
Betancor-Fernandez, A., et al. “Screening pharmaceutical preparations containing extracts of turmeric rhizome, artichoke leaf, devil's claw root and garlic or salmon oil for antioxidant capacity.” J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 2003; 55(7): 981-6.
Gebhardt, R. “Prevention of taurolithate-induced hepatic bile canalicular distortions by HPLC-characterized extracts of artichoke (Cynara scolymus) leaves.” Planta Med. 2002; 68(9): 776–79.
Aktay, G., et al. “Hepatoprotective effects of Turkish folk remedies on experimental liver injury.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Nov; 73(1-2): 121-9.
Adzet, T., et al. “Hepatoprotective activity of polyphenolic compounds from Cynara scolymus against CCl4 toxicity in isolated rat hepatocytes.” J. Nat. Prod. 1987; 50(4): 612–17.
Maros, T., et al. “Effects of Cynara scolymus extracts on the regeneration of rat liver. 1.” Arzneimittelforschung 1966; 16(2): 127–29.

Anti-Diabetic Actions:
Fantini, N., et al. "Evidence of glycemia-lowering effect by a Cynara scolymus L. extract in normal and obese rats." Phytother Res. 2011 Mar;25(3):463-6.

Antioxidant, Anti-Cancerous, & Cellular Protective Actions:
AMileo, A., et al. "Artichoke polyphenols induce apoptosis and decrease the invasive potential of the human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB231." J Cell Physiol. 2012 Sep;227(9):3301-9.
Metwally, N., et al. "The protective effects of fish oil and artichoke on hepatocellular carcinoma in rats." Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2011 Dec;15(12):1429-44.
Menghini, L., et al. "Antiproliferative, protective and antioxidant effects of artichoke, dandelion, turmeric and rosemary extracts and their formulation." Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2010 Apr-Jun;23(2):601-10.
Küçükgergin, C., et al. "Effect of Artichoke Leaf Extract on Hepatic and Cardiac Oxidative Stress in Rats Fed on High Cholesterol Diet." Biol. Trace Elem. Res. 2009 Aug 4.
Juzyszyn, Z., The effect of artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) extract on ROS generation in HUVEC cells. Phytother. Res. 2008; 22(9): 1159-61.
Skarpanska-Stejnborn, A., et al. "The influence of supplementation with artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) extract on selected redox parameters in rowers." Int. J. Sport Nutr. Exerc. Metab. 2008 Jun; 18(3): 313-27.
Juzyszyn, Z., et al. "Effect of artichoke extract (Cynara scolymus L.) on palmitic-1-14C acid oxidation in rats." Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2008; 52(5): 589-94.
Li, H., et al. “Flavonoids from artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) up-regulate endothelial-type nitric-oxide synthase gene expression in human endothelial cells.” J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 2004 Sep; 310(3): 926-32.
Stoev, S. D., et al. “Experimental mycotoxicosis in chickens induced by ochratoxin A and penicillic acid and intervention with natural plant extracts.” Vet. Res. Commun. 2004 Nov; 28(8): 727-46.
Jimenez-Escrig, A., et al. “In vitro antioxidant activities of edible artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) and effect on biomarkers of antioxidants in rats.” J. Agric. Food Chem. 2003 Aug; 51(18): 5540-5.
Wang, M., et al. “Analysis of antioxidative phenolic compounds in artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.).” J. Agric. Food Chem. 2003 Jan; 51(3): 601-8.
Llorach, R., et al. “Artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) byproducts as a potential source of health-promoting antioxidant phenolics.” J. Agric. Food Chem. 2002 Jun; 50(12): 3458-64.
Cervellati, R., et al. “Evaluation of antioxidant activity of some natural polyphenolic compounds using the Briggs-Rauscher reaction method.” J. Agric. Food Chem. 2002 Dec; 50(26): 7504-9.
Zapolska-Downar, D., et al. “Protective properties of artichoke (Cynara scolymus) against oxidative stress induced in cultured endothelial cells and monocytes.” Life Sci. 2002; 71(24): 2897.
Perez-Garcia, F., et al. “Activity of artichoke leaf extract on reactive oxygen in human leukocytes.” Free Rad. Res. 2000; 33(5): 661–65.
Gebhardt, R., et al. “Antioxidative and protective properties of extracts from leaves of the artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) against hydroperoxide-induced oxidative stress in cultured rat hepatocytes.” Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 1997; 144(2): 279–86.

Antimicrobial Actions:
Castillo, S., et al. "Extracts of edible and medicinal plants in inhibition of growth, adherence, and cytotoxin production of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli." J Food Sci. 2011 Aug;76(6):M421-6.
Yang, B., et al. "Metabolic profile of 1,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid in rats, an in vivo and in vitro study." Drug Metab. Dispos. 2005; 33(7): 930-6.
Zhu, X. F., et al. “Antifungal activity of Cynara scolymus L. extracts.” Fitoterapia. 2005 ; 76(1): 108-11.
Zhu, X., et al. “Phenolic compounds from the leaf extract of artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) and their antimicrobial activities.” J. Agric. Food Chem. 2004 Dec; 52(24): 7272-8.

Toxicity Studies:
Jacociunas, L., et al. "Artichoke induces genetic toxicity and decreases ethyl methanesulfonate-related DNA damage in chinese hamster ovary cells." J Med Food. 2012 Oct;15(10):873-8.


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by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is
not intended to treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease.
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Last updated 12-17-2012