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Natural and Alternative Treatments Index Page | Herbs & Supplements:


Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:
  • Cynara scolymus



Artichoke is a common plant that has been used to help lower cholesterol. It can be cooked and eaten. It can also be taken as an extract, pill, or powder.


300 milligrams of extract, 2 to 3 times per day


What Research Shows

Likely Effective

  • High Cholesterol—likely to ease symptoms and raise HDL “good” cholesterol when used with standard treatmentA1-A4 

May Be Effective

  • Indigestion—may improve symptoms when taken with gingerB1 
  • Metabolic syndrome—may ease symptomsC1 
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease—may improve symptoms and quality of lifeD1 

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.


Safety Notes

It is likely safe to eat artichoke. Artichoke may cause allergic reactions in people with certain plant allergies. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to eat large amounts for a long period.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Artichoke supplements can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:

  • People with gallstones should talk to their doctors before taking artichoke. It could trigger an attack.

References [ + ]

A. High Cholesterol

A1. Rondanelli M, Giacosa A, et al. Beneficial effects of artichoke leaf extract supplementation on increasing HDL-cholesterol in subjects with primary mild hypercholesterolaemia: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2013;64(1):7-15.

A2. Wider B, Pittler MH, et al. Artichoke leaf extract for treating hypercholesterolemia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;28(3):CD003335.

A3. Rondanelli M, Giacosa A, et al. MediterrAsian Diet Products That Could Raise HDL-Cholesterol: A Systematic Review. Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:2025687. Epub 2016 Nov 1.

A4. Sahebkar A, Pirro M, et al. Lipid-lowering activity of artichoke extracts: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017:1-8.

B. Indigestion

B1. Giacosa A, Guido D, et al. The Effect of Ginger (Zingiber officinalis) and Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) Extract Supplementation on Functional Dyspepsia: A Randomised, Double-Blind, and Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;915087.

C. Metabolic Syndrome

C1. Ebrahimi-Mameghani M, Asghari-Jafarabadi M, et al. TCF7L2-rs7903146 polymorphism modulates the effect of artichoke leaf extract supplementation on insulin resistance in metabolic syndrome: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Integr Med. 2018;16(5):329-334.

D. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

D1. Panahi Y, Kianpour P, et al. Efficacy of artichoke leaf extract in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: A pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial. Phytother Res. 2018;32(7):1382-1387.

Last reviewed March 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 3/2/2019

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