Artichoke is a dicotyledone plant of the family (or Compounds) belonging to the genus Cynare. The name artichoke refers to both the whole plant and its edible part, also called artichoke head. Since the post-war period, Italy has remained by far the world’s largest producer of artichokes, with a peak of production in 1972 with 751,000 tons. Today, world production hovers around 1.6 million tonnes per year (including 451,000 tonnes in Italy). Because the artichoke is not resistant to the harsh Canadian winter, the Canadian Department of Agriculture has successfully developed a cultivar that can be forced to produce in the first year.
Its phytonutrients and vitamins
The artichoke has a very high antioxidant power. The antioxidant capacity of its edible parts ranks it ahead of all other vegetables and on par with red berries (cranberry, strawberry, etc.). The main flavonoids of the artichoke are flavones and anthocyanins (cyanidin, peonidine, delphinidin). Flavones were detected in the leaves and head (inflorescence) of the artichoke. Anthocyanins for their part are found only in his head. The latter also contains silymarin and inulin. Its edible parts also contain phenolic compounds (chlorogenic acid, narirutin, apigenin-7-rutinoside, cynarin).
The artichoke also contains a lot of dietary fiber. The heart of the artichoke contains 27% insoluble fiber and 18% soluble fiber.
Its medicinal virtues
The artichoke is very rich in chlorogenic acid, one of the main phenolic compounds in coffee. This acid is known for its antioxidant activities and it may play a role in preventing type II diabetes. Its inulin content does not increase blood sugar levels in diabetics and may help increase their tolerance to sugars. A diet rich in inulin can reduce the incidence of lipoproteins.
Inulin (fructan/water-soluble fiber) is the most effective prebiotic. Inulin has the ability to pass through the small intestine without being attacked by enzymes and thus reaches the colon where it is hydrolyzed by undergoing fermentations by bacteria hence its pre-biotic effect. Inulin increases volume and regulates stool. This regularity decreases constipation and prevents diarrhea.
Liver and gallbladder
The artichoke contains silymarin. These molecules stimulate the regeneration of liver tissues. The artichoke is very popular the day after the day before. In France, the Medicines Agency is of the opinion that artichoke leaves can be used as a choleretic (a drug taken during biliary insufficiency) or cholagogue (a drug that can facilitate the elimination of bile from the gallbladder where it is stored). The Drug Agency is also of the opinion that the artichoke leaf also promotes the renal elimination of water.
The recommendation allowed by Health Canada in this regard is: Used in herbal medicine to help stimulate the secretion of bile (choleretic) (4)
Studies have shown that a high dose of aqueous extract of artichoke leaves is able to inhibit the biosynthesis of liver cell cholesterol in rats.
Its sexual virtues
Many plants are supposed to awaken sexual desire or help the physical side to achieve the expected performance. Some of them are part of our diet such as artichoke, ginger, vanilla and chocolate. Others such as gingko biloba, Asian and American ginseng, rhodiola, and maca that would stimulate pshychic, require some preparation to be consumed. However, with the exception of maca recognized by Health Canada to have certain effects on sexual well-being,Western science has never been able to demonstrate the aphrodisiac effects of these plants. On the other hand, in Asian culture more than a hundred species of plants and also animal substances such as rhino horn and also velvet wood are widely accepted either as aphrodisiacs, as a brain stimulant or as a physical stimulant.
For some fruits and vegetables such as spinach, beetroot, watermelon, pomegranate and broccoli, the explanation is simpler, their nitrate concentration. The cavernous bodies of the penis and clitoris are a small spongy ball of very small nerves surrounded by blood vessels. In men, the cavernous body is located in the penis from its base (much like an inner tube). In women, it surrounds the clitoris. During sexual periods, it becomes engorged with blood and becomes active. Its stimulation depends on the relaxation of the genital muscles. Nitric oxide (NO) and its metabolite cyclic GMP directly influences the erectile mechanism in both men and women. In men its action leads to the relaxation of the smooth muscles of the penis, which has the effect of facilitating the passage of blood from the penile veins and leading to swelling of the penis. The more marked the presence of cGMP, the longer lasting and stronger the erection will be. In women a similar but less strong phenomenon occurs in the clitoris.