The health benefits of Artichoke leaf tea have long been known. The medicinal use of an infusion from the leaves dates back to the age of antiquity, when it was used to help promote healthy digestion.
The artichoke is a perennial thistle plant that originated in the Mediterranean areas of Southern Europe and North Africa. It typically grows to a height of 2 meters. It possesses leaves that are arching and are deeply lobed. The flowers of the artichoke develop in a large head from a bud and have lots of triangular scales. The bud has an edible segment that consists of the fleshy lower portions of the bracts and the base, known as the “heart”. Artichoke normally blossoms in the late spring to the middle of summer.
The artichoke is considered as one of the world’s oldest vegetables. People typically consume the fleshy portion of the artichoke leaves, its tender green base and its core.
The artichoke leaf has been found to be rich in alkaline ash. The following are the active constituents of artichoke leaf: cynarin, beta-sitosterol, luteolin, apigenin and stigmasterol. Cynarin is a chemical constituent found in the pulp of the leaf and it is known to help increase the flow of bile.
To make artichoke leaf tea, place a handful of the artichoke leaves in a pot of boiling water. Take it out of boiling point and let the mix stand for about 5 to 8 minutes. The resultant tea will be light green in color and is ideally taken before meals. This tea has a light green color and will have a mild and smooth taste.
The use of artichoke leaf tea is not recommended for individuals with gallstones. In addition, its safety for pregnant and nursing women, as well as for small children, has not been fully established.
The following are the health benefits attributed to artichoke leaf tea:
- Tea may help lower bad cholesterol levels and may thus lower the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
- Tea may help promote good digestion by helping relieve constipation, heartburn, diarrhea and bloating.
- Tea may help support the functions of the liver and may be beneficial against cirrhosis and other ailments of the liver.
- Tea may help lower blood sugar levels and thus help lower the risks for diabetes.
- Tea may help in the treatment of problems affecting the kidney, though it is best to consult your doctors first before taking this.
- Tea may help contribute to strong immune system.
- Tea may help eliminate toxins and may contribute to clearer skin.