Globe artichokes are not only a culinary delight, but also a well-known and very popular herbal medicine. Prescribed for digestive upsets, gallbladder and liver issues, and promotion of healthy serum lipid levels, they also have anti-cancer capabilities.
Research studies have discovered that the globe artichoke has strong anti-oxidant and anti-cancer properties. In one example, liver cancer cells were treated with artichoke extract, it was found that the Globe Artichoke interrupted the functioning of the cancerous liver cells and reduced oxidative stress, which cause DNA mutations and therefore cancer.
Other studies have shown that on exposure to polyphenols from the artichoke, human breast cancer cells showed reduced growth and increased apoptosis (cell death). Interestingly, normal cells showed absolutely no effect from being exposed to the polyphenols, demonstrating that these compounds are selectively toxic to cancerous cells.
Preparation and uses
The globe artichoke can be stuffed, sautéed, barbequed or marinated. They are also a popular addition to antipasto platters, and make a great addition to a Greek or Italian salad. When grilling or barbequing them, cut them in half, remove the choke and brush them with olive oil. They should be cooked until tender (around 30 minutes).
Key words: cancer, globe artichoke, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective
Miccadel, S et al. Antioxidative and apoptotic properties of polyphenolic extracts from edible part of artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) on cultured rat hepatocytes and on human hepatoma cells.Nutr Cancer. 2008;60(2):276-83
Mileo, A. M et al. Artichoke polyphenols induce apoptosis and decrease the invasive potential of the human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB231.J Cell Physiol. 2012 Sep;227(9):3301-9