Part of the plant used: leaves
Artichoke is an edible plant, up to 1,5 meters high, found in the Mediterranean region. Its very characteristic flower is edible. Artichoke was cultivated by the Greeks and Roman who appreciated its medicinal virtues. Today, it is largely available and prepared in a number of ways. It is considered a delicate dish.
Artichoke contains several polyphenolic substances, flavonoids and glycosides. Its effect on the liver is mainly attributed to its cynarine content. It is regarded as highly effective in the treatment of biliary disorders, nausea and indigestion.
There is no evidence that artichoke is effective in any indication. However it is used to treat certain medical conditions in which it may be of some benefit:
Leaves, stem or root: 1 to 4 grams 3 times a day. A typical dose of artichoke leaves is 6 grams daily.
Standardized (2% to 5% cynarin) leaves extract: 320 to 640 mg 3 times a day
Used doses: 640 mg 3 times a day.
There is insufficient reliable information to conclude that artichoke is effective in any other indication.
In 2004, Canada adopted new regulations that control the manufacturing, packaging, labeling and importing of natural health products. The new regulations also include an adverse reaction reporting system. Products that conform to the regulation's criteria are identified with a natural product number (NPN) and can be legally sold in Canada. This number indicates that the product meets specific criteria for safety and purity, not that it is effective for any indication.
Medicinal plant contents vary naturally from plant to plant - just as fruits from the same package may vary in taste and texture. There is no standard to measure the active content of each plant. Thus, efficacy of natural products should be expected to vary from brand to brand as well as from bottle to bottle of the same brand.
For more information about the Natural Health Products Regulations, or to check if a product has been assessed, visit the Health Canada website at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/index-eng.php.
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