Natural Healing Herbs
Artichoke leaf has been used by folk healers in southern Europe and northern Africa the stimulate the production of bile. The herb is now most commonly used to improve cholesterol levels.
This herb is also called Cynara scolymus.
This thistle plant grows to be 1 to 2 meters tall with long silvery green leaves. It grows purple flowers on the top of a large bulb.
It is native to southern Europe and northern Africa in the Mediterranean areas.
An extract or tincture from the leaves is most commonly used.
This diuretic is used to promote liver function and healthy digestion, but it is mainly used to lower cholesterol. It is rich in antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A and C, and iron.
In 2008 researchers at the University of Reading found that artichoke leaf extract lowers cholesterol. They studied 75 volunteers against a placebo group. The volunteers taking the herbal supplement took 1280mg of the herb everyday for 12 weeks. The people taking the herbs showed a significant decrease in cholesterol levels at the end of the study.
It's also used to treat:
- coronary heart disease
- acid reflux
You can buy this herb and many others at Mountain Rose Herbs.
Side Effects and Warnings
There are no known side effects for the use of this herb, but it is best to avoid it if you have gall stones. As usual you should talk to your doctor before starting any herbal treatment, especially if you are on prescription medication.
Its safety for pregnant and nursing women is unknown.
If you found this information useful, check out my complete listing of herbs at my Herb Index.