Over the last decade, it has become increasingly evident that artichoke has numerous health benefits, including its ability to aid the digestive system.
Artichoke, botanical name Cynara scolymus, is a perennial thistle native to the Mediterranean region best known for its heart, the bottom part of its spiky flower bud which some of us appreciate as a nutritious vegetable. Whilst we consume artichoke hearts, it is the artichoke leaves that have been scientifically studied and shown to be of great benefit.
Artichoke plant as a whole was used as a food and as a medicinal remedy as early as 400 BC. The Greeks, Romans and Egyptians consumed the vegetable for its nutritious value. The aristocracy of the Roman Empire used artichoke as a delicacy, appetiser and as a digestive aid however the vegetable appeared to fall into oblivion until the 1500’s when the medicinal use of artichoke was recorded for helping to treat jaundice and liver problems.