Artichoke Tea Benefits for Cholesterol Reduction and Liver Cleanse
Ah, the artichoke. Perhaps one of the most unusual looking of all vegetables, it has remained an important part of Mediterranean culture and cuisine for centuries. Barely heard of or tasted by many in western culture, the artichoke has been a mainstay of cooking, teas and even liquor in parts of the world for many years. It may come as no surprise that this thistle relative has also been associated with many medicinal uses for possibly as long as it is found its way into main dishes. The artichoke’s medicinal history has included uses in digestive maladies and functions of the gallbladder. Artichoke tea benefits may also include promoting heart health, too.
So how does tea brewed from artichokes help out the heart? Well it may be able to help combat high cholesterol. While necessary for many physiological processes, cholesterol and heart disease are intimately linked, as build ups of the waxy, fatty substance in blood vessels can increase the risk of heart related illnesses. When deposits of these fats get to be too abundant in vessels, it is more difficult for blood to get where it needs to go. This can in turn, lead to the heart not getting as much oxygen as it needs potentially resulting in a heart attack. If you think of blood vessels as the plumbing system of the body, high cholesterol can result in dangerous clogs in the pipes. Artichoke tea benefits may include a way to naturally reduce the amount of cholesterol posing plumbing passage problems.
So how precisely is it that enjoying a piping hot cup of artichoke tea can help reduce cholesterol? Surprisingly enough, Wikipedia explains the process which is not at all unlike the way in which statin medications work. Compounds in artichokes called aqueous extracts may slow the enzyme responsible for cholesterol production, known as HMG-CoA reductase, which in turn can reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the blood. And, artichoke tea benefits may also include a tendency to better the ratio between good (HDL) and bad cholesterol, according to Wikipedia. Good cholesterol serves as a police officer of sorts for the blood vessels, seeking out build ups of LDL cholesterol so that it can be disposed of as waste.
Aside from being a potentially delicious option amongst natural cholesterol lowering remedies, artichoke tea may also help another important organ out – the liver. This organ serves as detox central for the body, and when it is not working up to snuff, feelings of general illness and malaise can ensue. The benefits of artichoke tea may include beefing up the bile production of the liver, which in turn may enhance its overall function and detoxification efforts. LifeExtension.com explains that toxic substances that can harm the body are transported out by bile from the liver via the intestine. The purported ability for artichoke to amplify these efforts lend to its potential to serve as a powerful ally for improved detoxification.
Cholesterol tea may not be the first thing that many people think of when they think about the artichoke. However, the throw away pieces of the plant may indeed be just what the doctor ordered in terms of a cholesterol lowering tea. Harnessing similar mechanisms of action to medicines used every day to treat high LDL levels, beverages brewed from the compound rich parts of artichokes may be able to reduce the risk of heart related conditions when combined with a healthy lifestyle and diets to lower cholesterol. When this capacity to lower bad cholesterol numbers is paired with the plant’s tendency to boost bile production, the harsh reality of the underuse of the vegetable becomes starkly apparent considering its exciting healthful benefits.
Considered nowadays to be primarily a gourmet food, the artichoke has seemingly lost some of the folkloric medicinal qualities that it was known for in the past. However, a newly health conscious generation may be breathing new life into the benefits of artichoke tea. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that the most desirable part of the bud is known as the heart, since our new-found discoveries into the ways that the plant can benefit the very same named human body organ are becoming much better known.