Botanical Name: Cynara scolymus
- English: Globe artichoke
- Also, known as:
Habitat: Mediterranean area, Sicily
Parts Used: Leaves
At first glance, Artichoke might seem like a strange thing to include in an herb and spice, but Artichoke has long been used as food and medicine. They are among the most antioxidant vegetables available. As lovely as the Artichoke vegetable is, this section is specifically about the leaves. What we typically eat (and see at the grocery store) is the flower bud. Artichoke leaves are lower down on the plant. The herbalist has long used bitter artichoke leaves for different health conditions. New research has been validating these uses and highlighting artichoke leaves.
The globe artichoke also has a tuberous root but is the larger flower buds that from the edible portion of the plant, and it is from a similarity in the flavor of the tuber of the Jerusalem artichoke. It is one of the worldâ€™s oldest cultivated vegetables, grown by the Greeks and the Romans in the heyday of their power. It was introduced into these countries in the early sixteenth century both as a vegetable and an ornamental plant.
One of the secrets to artichoke leafâ€™s benefits lies in its bitter taste. How can it teste be good for digestion? The bitter taste is challenging. It is not only provoking our taste buds but also stimulates our entire digestive systems. Our bodies recognize the bitter teste as being potentially poisonous. As a result, when bitterness is detected our system goes into full alert and digestive juices start flowing to mitigate any poison entering our system. When you taste bitter foods and herbs regularly, your system is revved up and ready to go. Without this strong flavor, digestion can become sluggish and slow. In other words, we need bitterness daily to have good digestion.
How to use:
The basic method for dried herbs and flower is, take 2-3 tablespoons of dried herb in a cup or teapot. Pour hot water over it and cover it with lid for 10-30 minutes. Hot water is needed to draw out the antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, flavonoids, and volatile oils from the botanicals. Strain and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible and enjoy!
- You can sweeten your herbal tea with bit of honey, natural fruit juice, stevia leaves powder and or licorice root powder.
- You can make ice cubes or pops by freezing tea in ice tray or pop molds.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
All information on this website is for educational purpose ONLY
This information has not been evaluated by Health Canada.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.