Artichoke is a herbaceous plant of the Compositae family
with large inflorescences, the lower fleshy parts of which
are used for food. An artichoke is an unblown flower
bud of a plant, consisting of large fleshy scales.
The homeland of the artichoke is the Mediterranean. Currently, the
vegetable is very popular in America (especially in California),
where it was brought by French and Spanish settlers.
In cooking, very young buds are also used – flowers,
and later – cones.
Small buds are ideal for appetizers,
medium-sized artichokes for sautéing and frying. The fresh
artichoke core is cut into thin slices and added to
salads. They go wonderfully with rice dishes, for example, with Italian risotto.
When raw, the artichoke tastes like an unripe walnut
When choosing artichokes, pay attention to the fact that they are uniformly
green, not lethargic or too dry, while the size of the artichokes
may not worry you, as a vegetable of any size will find its
place on the dinner table.
Useful properties of artichoke
Fresh artichoke contains (per 100 g):
Calories 47 Kcal
B4 34.4 Potassium, K 370 C 11,7 Sodium Vitamin,
Na 94 Vitamin
B3 1,046 Phosphorus,
In addition to its pleasant taste, the artichoke has a rich, balanced
set of nutritional elements.
Artichoke inflorescences contain carbohydrates (up to 15%), proteins
(up to 3%), fats (0.1%), calcium and
gland salts ,
phosphates. Artichokes are rich in vitamin C,
carotene and inulin. They contain organic acids –
caffeic, quinic, chlorgenic, glycolic and glyceric.
The outer leaves of the wrapper contain essential oils that
give the artichoke a pleasant taste.
In the inflorescences and other parts of the plant there are very
valuable substances: a biologically active glycoside – cynarin
and a polysaccharide – inulin. The artichoke is used in food
fresh, boiled and canned.
Sauces and mashed potatoes are prepared from it . Its blue blossoming flowers
can be used to decorate the festive table.
Artichoke is considered a dietary product that is well
absorbed and is recommended as a starch substitute
with diabetes mellitus.
Even under Catherine II, doctors recommended artichoke to patients
with gout and jaundice. Modern medicine has confirmed the
diuretic and choleretic effect of the plant. It has now
been found that artichoke extract is good at draining the
liver and kidneys, which play a key role in cleansing the body
of various toxic substances.
From the leaves and roots of the artichoke, preparations are prepared in the form of
tinctures, juices and decoctions.
Decoctions of leaves and petioles reduce the content of cholesterol
and uric acid in the blood, activate the activity of the
central nervous system. In ancient Greece,
artichoke juice was rubbed into the head for baldness. In folk medicine,
fresh juice squeezed from plants is used to increase
sexual strength (1/4 of a glass in the morning and in the evening).
It is also useful for alkaloids,
urinary retention and dropsy, and reduces sweat odor.
Artichoke juice mixed with honey is used to rinse the
mouth for stomatitis, thrush, cracks in the tongue in children.
The Vietnamese make portioned bags of
dietary teas from the aerial parts , which have a pleasant aroma, quickly
relieve inflammation from the
gastrointestinal tract mucous membrane .
Preparations obtained from artichoke are used to
treat urolithiasis and gallstones, jaundice,
hepatitis, atherosclerosis, sometimes. allergies, various
forms of psoriasis, eczema, lower cholesterol levels in the
In folk medicine, the artichoke is also used to treat
gallstones, urticaria, some forms of psoriasis
and eczema. The artichoke is very useful for elderly people with
It is known that artichoke extract reduces the toxic
effect on the liver of certain drugs.
Artichoke dishes should always be eaten on the day of preparation.
When stored, fresh artichoke darkens, but you can
avoid this by immersing the peeled vegetable in water with
vinegar or lemon juice. Peeling artichokes requires
some skill. To do this, first break off the outer,
coarse leaves and trim the inner tender ones, scrape off the
villi remaining under the leaves, and you will have the
most delicious thing in your hands – the fleshy core. Of course, the
cleaning procedure can be avoided by using pre-made
canned artichokes from cans.
Artichoke dishes are useful for people with high acidity of
gastric juice, since it contains a significant
amount of potassium and
sodium salts ,
which have a strong alkaline effect. However, with
gastritis with low acidity of gastric juice
and with low blood pressure, the artichoke should not be eaten.
It is also recommended as a means of preventing the
development of atherosclerosis. A decoction of leaves and artichoke juice
are taken for diseases of the liver and biliary tract. For
the same purpose, sometimes they use a decoction of baskets with fresh egg
Dangerous properties of artichoke
It is known that the harm of an artichoke can be due to the fact that it
contains polyphenol, which increases the secretion of
bile. This, in turn, suggests that it should be used with caution
by those who are sick with cholecystitis or disorders of the bile-excreting
Also, the harm of an artichoke may depend on its size. A small
young vegetable can be eaten raw, but a large one must
be heat treated, because with age, the fibers of the plant become
more rigid and difficult for the stomach to digest. If the basket of the
vegetable has already opened, and the leaves have acquired a brown tint, this is a signal
that the vegetable is not suitable for consumption. It is worth remembering that an artichoke
retains its beneficial properties and a pleasant smell for no more than a week,
after which it begins to absorb an unpleasant odor
and moisture from the environment .
The artichoke can help lower blood pressure, so people with low
blood pressure are advised to refrain from consuming it.