Pharmacological Studies of Artichoke Leaf Extract and Their Health Benefits

Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2015 Dec;70(4):441-53. doi: 10.1007/s11130-015-0503-8.


Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) leaf extract was one of the few herbal remedies which the clinical and experimental trials have complemented each other. Both experimental and clinical effects have been verified through extensive biomedical herbal remedy research. Specifically, antioxidant, choleretic, hepatoprotective, bile-enhancing and lipid-lowering effects have been demonstrated, which corresponded with its historical use. Ongoing research seems to indicate that artichoke indeed have medicinal qualities. Most significant appears to be its beneficial effect on the liver. In animal studies, liquid extracts of the roots and leaves of artichoke have demonstrated an ability to protect the liver, with possibly even to help liver cells regenerate. Although research is not yet conclusive, scientists were optimistic that its long-standing use in humans for digestive and bowel problems was indeed justified. It may also play a role in lowering cholesterol and thus help to prevent heart disease. Boiled wild artichoke reduced postprandial glycemic and insulinemic responses in normal subjects but has no effect on metabolic syndrome patients. This article intended to review the wide ranging pharmacological effects of artichoke leaf extract.

Keywords: Antioxidant; Artichoke leaves extract; Cardiovascular disorders; Hepato-protective.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cynara scolymus / chemistry*
  • Digestive System Diseases / drug therapy
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin / blood
  • Intestinal Diseases / drug therapy
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver Diseases / prevention & control
  • Liver Regeneration / drug effects
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacokinetics
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry*
  • Postprandial Period


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Plant Extracts