Synonyms in a broader sense

Plant synonyms: The artichoke belongs to the composite flower family (Compositae or Asteriacea) and is also called French artichoke, green artichoke and globe artichoke. Latin name: Cynara scolymus English: artichokeThe medicinal plant artichoke is a perennial, thistle-like, vigorous plant with a stem one to two metres high. It belongs to the family of daisies – plants like camomile, coneflower or marigold.

In the first year, the strong rootstock first forms a leaf rosette, from which a strong 1.50 m to 2 m high stem, covered with spiny leaves, grows the following year. The prickly leaves on the artichoke are large, pinnate, thistle-like, greyish green on the upper side and slightly lighter, softly prickly on the underside. They sit directly on the stem without style.

At the tip of the stem they form spherical, spiny, violet-green flower heads, which are harvested before flowering. A delicacy is the fleshy bottom of the flower or the calyx leaves of the artichoke in Mediterranean countries. The dried and fresh leaf rosette leaves and roots of the medicinal plant artichoke, which is native to the Mediterranean and South America, are used for medicinal purposes.

The plant blooms blue-violet in summer and autumn. The medicinal plant artichoke, which belongs to the daisies, is a vigorous plant with an equally vigorous rootstock. Already known in ancient times, the artichoke is now cultivated in Italy, France, Spain, Greece and Morocco.

It loves mild climate and clay soils. The healing properties of the artichoke’s leaves and root were already described in the Middle Ages. Today, the fresh or dried leaves or the root of the artichoke are used medicinally, as they contain a high level of bitter substances such as cynarin. This active ingredient is crucial for the production of bile and thus for fat digestion and cholesterol reduction.


The artichoke is an ancient useful plant from the Mediterranean region. It was used by the Egyptians as long ago as 500 years before Christie. It was later brought to Europe by the Arabs.

Its Arabic name “al-harsuf” means thistle-like plant. In Christian Rome, the garden artichoke was considered a valuable vegetable and medicinal plant. In the 15th century, the plant arrived in England from France and was much sought after by the nobility. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was already described as a medicinal plant for liver and kidney problems. The artichoke was also praised by Goethe as an aphrodisiac.


A high-dose extract of large, annual rosette artichoke leaves is used for medicinal purposes. As the most important pharmacologically active ingredients, artichoke leaves contain caffeic acid derivatives, flavonoids and sesquiterpene lactones. Furthermore, cynarin was discovered in 1952.

Scientific studies have shown that only the total complex of artichoke ingredients has an effect. Dry extract, fresh plant press juices or alcoholic tinctures containing artichoke leaves as ready-to-use preparations are available on the market. The medicinal plant artichoke is used in ready-to-use preparations.

These consist of aqueous dry extracts. In the pharmacy you can get: For medical applications a pressed juice made from the fresh artichoke leaves is also suitable. The artichoke as a vegetable has no medicinal effect.

In order to achieve a therapeutic effect, a daily dose of 6 g of dried leaves is recommended (30 g fresh leaves or 30 ml pressed juice). To make tea, take a teaspoon of chopped artichoke leaves and pour 150 ml of hot water over them. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes and drink one cup before each meal. Artichokes can also be served in delicious drinks. – Dragees

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