Herb of the week – Cynara

Welcome to the Herb of the week! Here you can find short presentations of favorite herbs, common uses and some extra information related to the Chinese and the Greek herbal medicine.

All the information provided is informative, if someone has health problems or wants to follow a specific treatment, it is good to refer to an herbalist and even with the supervision of his doctor in cases of prescription medicine. In cases of herbal therapy, an herb is rarely used by itself and is needed to be monitored by a trained herbalist for the right combination.

Since we introduced the first herb for liver detoxification, which was nettle leaves, the artichoke could not be left out. It is consumed both in edible form and as a decoction, tincture or capsules from its leaves.

This is our common artichoke (Cynara cardunculus), very famous in Greek cuisine during the spring period, which is also artichoke’s season. From ancient Greece and Rome it was treated as a food for good health. It is very antioxidant, even more than dark chocolate, blueberries and cranberries.

Traditionally but also in Chinese herbal medicine is used:

  • For digestive issues
  • To tonify liver function
  • For liver detoxification
  • For irritable bowel syndrome
  • For hepatoprotection

Artichoke is neutral herb in nature and its taste is bitter and sweet. It acts on the meridians of the liver, heart and stomach.

It is generally a common and safe herb. Do not consume it if you are allergic to artichokes, if gallstones are suspected, and during pregnancy and lactation there should be guidance from a doctor. There are no known side effects or contraindications for combination with drugs.

Suggested combinations for decoction:

Artichoke leaves with taraxacum and thistle seeds as a nutrient for the liver and gallbladder.

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