Artichoke Cynara scolymus L.- Compositae is a plant from the cephalopod family. It is grown as a vegetable in Western Europe, and grows mostly in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands.
Artichoke has large flower heads with a fleshy succulent inflorescence and also fleshy sheath leaves with a succulent base. These juicy parts are used as vegetables. There are forty species of this plant, and it was first mentioned in writings from Egyptian tombs from 2500 years ago, so it is considered one of the oldest foods. The Greeks and Romans considered it an aphrodisiac and a means of obtaining male offspring.
Catherine de ‘Medici introduced the French to this vegetable and contributed to the promotion of this plant. At the beginning of the 20th century, the mayor of New York banned the sale of this vegetable because artichokes could only be purchased from mobsters. But the ban did not last long because it was a very tasty vegetable.
Artichoke contains bitter substances that increase appetite, help digestion, act as a mild diuretic, choleretic and cholagogue, have a beneficial effect on the liver, reduce the level urea in the blood , help digest fats, etc.
Artichoke is a good source of folic acid and vitamins C, K and B and minerals: Fe (iron), K (potassium), Mg (magnesium) and P (phosphorus) Cu (copper), Ca (calcium). In its fresh state, it is the food of choice for people who are planning a pregnancy due to the high content of folic acid, which prevents damage to the neural tube of the fetus. It also contains the antioxidant caffeine cinnarine, silymarin , and ferulic acid, beta carotene , lutein and zeaxanthin.
The least medicinal part of this plant is the one that is eaten as a vegetable, but the rest of the plant is bitter but with a higher content of medicinal components.
Medicinal properties of artichoke:
• Artichoke is considered a protector of the heart and blood vessels because cinnarine and sesquiterpene-lactone from artichoke have a beneficial effect on heart health and blood vessels. They prevent the appearance of angina pectoris, heart attack and stroke
• dietary foods, rich in inulin, and suitable for diabetics
• due to modern lifestyle and irregular diet, fast food, artichoke is a plant that should be included in the diet because it solves the problems of bloating, cramps, pain and heaviness in the stomach
• reduces the level of bad cholesterol and raises the level of good LDL cholesterol, by increasing the breakdown of cholesterol
• is considered a natural remedy for dissolving gallstones
• affects liver health by reducing the level of fat and toxins, prevents liver cancer and diseases caused by excessive alcohol consumption
• also has a mild laxative effect
• detoxification of the organism
• suitable for the diet of obese people due to its low calorie content
The use of this vegetable is very popular in Western Europe. It is prepared by frying, or grilling, with beans or pasta. It is not eaten raw, because it is difficult to digest.
The edible part is the heart of artichoke in older plants, and stems can be eaten in young plants.
Preparation: The prickly leaves of artichoke, which people usually throw away when preparing vegetables, contain the most medicinal substances, so it is best to prepare tea from these parts. Mash the fresh leaves of one artichoke, then pour 200 ml of water and cook for 15 minutes. Then proceed, ie. squeeze as much tea as possible, separating the large leaves. Cool the artichoke tea that is ready to use in this way.
If you need more tea during the day, you can prepare it as follows:
Pour 100 g of artichoke (leaf, stalk, root) with 1 liter of cold water, heat to boiling, let it boil for 5 minutes, and then leave to cool. Strain and use the obtained light green tea 3 times a day for 200 ml or differently, depending on the problem.
This tea improves the general condition of the body because it affects the immune system, strengthens the body’s defenses against infections and diseases. In addition, the use of this tea has other healing effects: it prevents infection of the bile, liver and kidneys, maintains muscle tone, reduces blood sugar levels, prevents the appearance of birth defects, is good against atherosclerosis and stomach problems, etc.
If you are allergic to chamomile and dandelion , check with an expert if you may be allergic to artichokes.
Preparation of artichokes with beans
Needed: 400g beans, 10 – 12 artichoke heads, garlic heads, olive oil, parsley, pretzels.
Preparation: Soak the artichoke head in water before use, wait 1-2 hours for the bitter components to come out. Cook the beans and mix them with the other ingredients (garlic, olive oil (maybe sunflower oil), pretzels and primrose). Fill the artichokes with the obtained laughter and arrange them in the sherpa as when filling zucchini. Add a little water and spices and cook on low heat for an hour or more (depending on the strength of the fire).