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Artichoke 100γρ

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Artichoke 100γρ

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Quick Overview

Artichoke is considered to posses diuretic, bile secretory, ypolipidaemic and liver stimulating attributes. The modern use of artichoke has been focused in her therapeutic action as long as yperlipidaemia, yperlipoproteinaemia, non-ulcerous indigestion is concerned and in situations that require an increase in bile excretion.

Kouvatsos Philippos Clinical dietician nutritionist

Product Description

The scientific name of the plant is Cynara scolymnus and it belongs to Asteraceae family. It's about a perennial herbaceous and bush- shaped plant. It grows to a height of about 1,5 meter, with a standing branched stem appeared in the center of the plant. The flower heads are appeared at the top of the branches and each of them is constituted by a fleshy part that looks like a flat stalk.

It is surrounded either by prickly or not prickly leaves. Artichoke's leaves are collected at the beginning of winter and the flower heads from spring to the begging of the summer. In ancient years, Greeks did not cultivate artichoke, while in Sicily artichoke cultivation was widespread. However, Ancient Greeks loved wild artichoke which was considered to be a kind of vegetable. Ptolemaeus the Benefactor, the king of Egypt, refers that artichokes sprouted along the riversides of a river in Libya. Soldiers used to eat them by removing the thorns.

From antiquity, artichoke had been used for therapeutic purposes. It was thought to be a medicine for liver diseases, and in general appropriate to cure gastrointestinal disorders ( hepatic insuffiency, jaundice, indigestion). It is used as diuretic and also it is recommended for cutaneous problems, anaemia, arterioscelerosis and diabetus. Artichoke as a food is very precious. It contains 84% water, 3% proteins, 11% carbohydrates and less than 1% fatty acids. It is rich in calcium and also in many vitamins. (A, B1, B2, C).

When we remove the thorns, we can eat the leaves and the fleshy parts of the flower head. We eat them raw with lemon or as a side plate for raki. We can also cook artichoke with many ways; boiled in a salad, with fish, meat, snails, beans, rice, pea, fennel. We can also prepare artichoke pickles or we can make a pie.

As we have mentioned, ancient Greeks loved wild artichoke whose scientific name is Cynara comigera. It looks like the common artichoke but it has smaller and more prickly leaves and smaller flower heads. Wild artichoke was used from antiquity to cure livery problems, to give energy, as a cholagogue or as an aphrodisiac elixir.

Wild artichokes are cooked like common artichokes. According Athinaeus who lived in 2nd century, its leaves can be cleaned and they are edible. However, because of their bitterish taste, they used to preserve them in brine. Since then until nowadays, we use to store artichokes in brine, in vinegar or olive oil.

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