FUN FACTS 

BN: (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus) AKA 洋蓟  (yángjì).   In China, it's common practice to boil artichoke for the juice, but throw out the parts.  Castroville, California claims to be the Artichoke Capital of the World. In 1947 Marilyn Monroe, then still going by her given name Norma Jean, was crowned Castroville’s first Artichoke Queen.¹ Artichoke is one of the most popular flavors in bubble tea shops.  Artichoke is the main flavor in the 33-proof Italian liqueur called Cynar.

CONSTITUENTS  

Contains cynaris, inulin, sesquiterpene, lactone, cynaropicrin

USES/BENEFITS 

Diabetes, gallbladder, indigestion, lowers blood sugar.  Artichokes helps to increase digestive bile and nourish the digestive tract. Artichoke leaf can relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, bloating and constipation.  Artichoke leaves extracts are used in Europe for dyspepsia and indigestion from a greasy meal.  Protects the liver from toxicity.

CAUTION

Artichoke is often eaten regularly as a vegetable.

PRODUCTS

Fresh is best!  Fresh artichokes are available at many grocery stores during peak season. In the Austin area, it's available at Sprouts year round.  Wholefoods often carries them too.  Google "artichoke" with any of the following categories to find the variety of products.  Below are links to a few examples - not a comprehensive list.

TYPES

There are two main types of archichokes -  Round ‘Globe’ and elongated "violetta".

 

GROWING

Artichoke plants are only reliably hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 7 - 11.  Prefers full sun.

Artichokes can grow from seed or from crown.  It's quicker to grow from crown than from seed.  And you won't need the pre-chilling period. Atichokes can be planted in either the spring or fall in zones 9-11.

TCM NOTES

This information is for education purposes only.  Seek the advice of your physician before taking any home remedies, herbs, or supplements.

PropertiesTreatmentsUsageCautionsFormulas
Temp Taste Ent. Meridians Photo
Cool
 

Name

洋蓟

yángjì

Sweet
Bitter

Heart
Liver
Stomach

Indications/Issues Description / Symptoms Usefulness(1-10)
High blood sugar ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
Indigestion ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
High cholesterol ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
Bloating and gas  ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

DOSAGE information found online

 

PARTS USED

• Leaves

• Flower buds

 

***Always consult your doctor before taking any herbal supplements.***

Contraindications

Considered safe to eat.

Drugs Interactions

Considered safe

Herb Interactions

Xiang Fan/ Incompatibility:

Xiang Wei/ Counteraction:

Xiang Sha/ Suppression:

Xiang Wu / Antagonism:

Xiang Xu/ Accentuation:

Xiang Shi/ Enhancement:

 

This herb is an ingredient in the following formulas:

EDITOR NOTES

I've enjoyed artichokes for as long as I can remember - mostly as a delivery mechanism for delicious salty garlic butter.  I've steamed, baked, and boiled them with many recipes over the years -never knew its medicinal benefits until recently.  I've always eaten the artichoke and discards the liquid I cooked it in.  Funny story: A month ago, an aunt was visiting from China.  While having dinner at her house, she served a clear broth that she touted as some special American plant having multiple health benefits, especially for diabetes.  She claimed to have boiled them for a couple of hours in low heat.  I took a sip and realized that she was talking about artichokes (can't miss the flavor of artichokes).  I looked at the clear broth and asked "where's the artichoke?"  She gave me a quizzical look and said, "the leaves are not edible.  They're in the pot.  The broth is the what's important."  So they've been preparing artichoke soup for years, but never eating the artichoke!

Tonight, I made artichoke soup, where I drank the soup and dined on the yummy artichokes.  The soup was totally tasty.  Here's the gist of my recipe.  It's more like artichoke vegetable stew.

— Recipe Artichoke soup:

2 artichokes (cut in quarters, remove choke -fuzzy part)

6 left over chicken leg bones (or 32 oz chicken broth)

1 apple

1 cup onion

1/4 teaspoon of Italian seasoning or other herbs

Salt to taste

Toss them all in a pot and bring to boil, reduce to low heat for an hour.

      

 

Other recipes:

Simply roasted artichokes,    Ultimate stuffed artichoke,  Artichoke Soup 

 

Preparation Methods

Chinese preparation

Martha Stewart preparation

REFERENCES

  1. Topfoodfacts.com 

This information in this post came from many sources, including class notes, practitioners, websites, webinars, books, magazines, and editor's personal experience.   Always consult a doctor prior to using herbal medicine.  The information here is strictly for educational purposes.

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