SACoronavirus Resource and News Portal

Plant Information

Scientific Name: Cynara scolymus

Package FormatN/A

Seed Pricing Latest Pricelists

Cynara scolymus
Cynara scolymus


  • Perennial
  • Large and striking perennial vegetable with arching silvery-green deeply toothed leaves.
  • It bears thistle-like flowers, 8-15cm across with numerous triangular scales and green florets.
  • It needs space in full sun and well-drained soil.

Culinary Uses

  • The flower heads are boiled - to check if they are ready, push a knife through the heart, or try a basal leaf to check for tenderness.
  • Eat hot by hand, with the leaves being pulled off one by one and dipped in a variety of sauces, mayonnaise, plain yoghurt or melted butter, before scraping off the fleshy leaf base between your teeth.
  • Pull off the hairy central choke or remove it with a spoon and then eat the fleshy heart.
  • It can also be eaten cold with vinaigrette or used in salads.
  • The hearts can be marinated, baked, fried or they can be garnished for roasts, filled with vegetables or sauces.

Parts Used

  • Culinary: harvest buds when the scales are still tightly closed with 5-7.5cm of stem still intact.
  • Can be stored for up to a week in a polythene bag in the fridge.
  • Medicinal: the leaves and flowering buds are cut just before flowering.

Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • Globe Artichoke is an important medicinal herb - the total antioxidant capacity of artichoke flower heads is one of the highest reported for vegetables.
  • Artichoke buds and leaves are rich in iodine, calcium, iron, protein and vitamins A, B1, and C.
  • They also consist of 85% water.
  • Half its carbohydrate content is indigestible inulin which turns to fructose in storage.
  • Artichokes owe their delicate, tangy taste to the bitter substance "cynarin", a substance that has significant regenerating effects, as well as having diuretic properties.
  • Globe Artichoke contains a wide number of other active constituents like dicaffeoylquinic acid, caffeoylquinic acids, flavonoids, scolymoside and bitters, amino acids, phosphorus, potassium, folic acid, niacin, thiamine, trace minerals and carotenoids.
  • Acts as a liver tonic, brakes down fat, aids digestion, detoxificates, strengthens gall bladder function, improves bile flow and treats jaundice and hepatitis.
  • It raises the HDL/LDL ratio and reduces cholesterol levels, which diminishes the risk for arteriosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
  • Contains bioactive agents that have an effect on beneficial gut bacteria - helpful for patients with functional dyspepsia, indigestion, nausea and flatulence.
  • Kidney tonic - it is diuretic, promoting the flow of urine and appears to be effective in improving kidney function.
  • Artichoke is frequently used to eliminate excess water weight and peripheral edema, a condition in which the peripheral body tissues contain an excessive amount of tissue fluid.
  • Globe Artichoke has hypoglycemic activity that may assist in lowering blood glucose levels.
  • It is a traditional remedy in the Americas and Spain for treating diabetes.
The information contained within this website is for educational purposes only. This site merely recounts the traditional uses of specific plants as recorded through history. Always seek advice from a medical practitioner.

Mountain Herb Estate, and its representatives will not be held responsible for the improper use of any plants or documentation provided. By use of this site and the information contained herein you agree to hold harmless Mountain Herb Estate, its affiliates and staff

Back to Plant List