The leaf, stem, and root are used to make “extracts” which contain a high concentration of certain chemicals found in the plant. These extracts are used as medicine.People love to eat artichokes. What’s not to love? From the leaves to the heart, artichokes are simply delicious. However, you might not be aware of the humble artichoke’s position as a nutrient powerhouse and the amazing health benefits you can have simply by adding this veggie to your diet.
Anthocyanins, quercetin, rutin, and many other antioxidants contained in fresh artichokes offer a range of health benefits ranging from cancer prevention and immune support to protection against heart disease.
Artichoke is used to stimulate the flow of bile from the liver, and this is thought to help reduce the symptoms of heartburn and alcohol “hangover.” Artichoke is also used for high cholesterol, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), kidney problems, anemia, fluid retention (edema), arthritis, bladder infections, and liver problems.
The longer, serrated, “true” leaves found along the stem of the plant are dried to make artichoke tea. Artichoke tea has a grassy, vegetal flavor and can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. In general, however, the health benefits of artichoke tea require further long-term, human study.
Making Artichoke Tea
You can purchase artichoke leaf tea in ethnic and health food stores, where the tea is often sold in bags. Use one bag for every 8 ounces of boiling water. With loose-leaf tea, use 1 1/2 teaspoons for every 8 ounces. Because artichoke leaf tea has a natural bitterness, adding some honey or other sugar to sweeten the tea is common. You can also mix the leaves with loose leaf green tea to temper the taste. Iced artichoke tea is common in Southeast Asian diets, especially in Vietnamese culture where the tea is sometimes prepared with other herbs, sweetened and then served chilled.