Artichoke is a winter season edible flower bud of the Mediterranean region known since ancient times for its medicinal and health benefiting qualities. Botanically it belongs to the thistle family of Asteraceae, of the genus; Cynara. The scientific name is Cyanara scolymus.
Artichoke contains the flavanoid Cynarin, which reduces cholesterol production by the liver and expels sluggish cholesterol out of the liver and gallbladder, thus stimulating liver bile production and flow, which in turn is used to breakdown fat. It lowers elevated blood lipids (fats) such as serum cholesterol and triglycerides. It raises good HDL cholesterol level and protects the liver and enhances liver function. Cynarin is reputed to be a powerful aphrodisiac. - Nutrition & You