The artichoke is a beautiful, unique vegetable that looks rather alien but tastes fantastic. It is a member of the thistle family and offers a wealth of health benefits as a food, a medicine and a drink. It’s the latter we are focusing on here as we peel apart the layers of artichoke tea to discover how it can benefit you and if you should be drinking it or not.
Benefits of Artichoke Tea
This is a healthy vegetable, and while it might provide you with more health benefits when you eat it, the tea does offer something a little different as it is often made from the leaves, stalk and the root of the plant. An infusion will never provide as many nutrients as eating it whole, but it can be very healthy in its own right.
You can make artichoke tea at home, but it is a very labour intensive process, requiring many hours of prepping, boiling and waiting. It is much easier to just buy some preprepared artichoke tea from your local health food store. Once you do, it’s just a case of adding hot water, a dollop of honey and then drinking.
But before you rush off to buy, first you need to learn just why you should be consuming artichoke tea on a regular basis. The supposed health benefits of artichoke tea have been listed below.
Artichoke Tea for Detox
There are two types of detox tea. There are those that basically act as diuretics or laxatives, and then there are those that support the liver in some way. Artichoke tea is in the second category, helping the liver to fulfill its role of expelling toxins from the body.
This is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, it will help you to eradicate those unwanted chemicals and environmental toxins from your body. If you are detoxing from a diet of processed foods, refined sugars, caffeine and even drugs or alcohol, this is important. Artichoke tea won’t force all of these damaging chemicals out of your body with a single cup, but it will support your liver as it does something similar.
The second reason this is important is that it will reduce the strain on your immune system, and that could reduce your exposure to all kinds of diseases and infections. Regular consumption of artichoke tea can therefore be very beneficial as part of a detox, and because it does not contain any harsh diuretic or laxative compounds it should be safe to consume over a prolonged period of time.
Artichoke Tea for Heart Health
Heart disease is one of the biggest killers in the United States and even though we’re all more aware than ever, those numbers are not coming down. We eat too many foods that are bad for us and we do too little of the things that are good for us. A cup of artichoke tea is no substitute for a healthy lifestyle and it will not reverse the effects of heart disease on its own, but it can be part of the solution.
Research has shown that artichoke tea reduces cholesterol levels and lowers blood pressure. It can reduce your chances of having a heart attack or a stroke, but as we said before, it should be used as part of a healthy lifestyle and should not be seen as the definitive answer.
Antioxidants and Nutrients in Artichoke Tea
There are a lot of healthy antioxidants in this tea. These include the compounds rutein and quercetin, which can help to reduce your chances of developing a long list of chronic diseases when consumed regularly. They can also help to reduce oxidative stress, which is the main cause of everything from wrinkles to cancer.
That’s jot to say that artichoke tea can cure or prevent cancer, but by consuming teas like this on a regular basis and getting as many of those antioxidants as you can you are reducing your chances of getting this disease in the future.
Artichoke tea also contains an abundance of vitamin C, which in itself is an antioxidant, but is also used by the body to support healthy skin and hair and to strengthen the immune system.
Artichoke Tea for Weight Loss
There is nothing in artichoke tea that will have a direct impact on the level of fat in your body. And unlike dandelion root tea and senna leaf tea, it will not rid your body of a lot of excess water or waste. However, it has shown some promise as a weight loss tea and it is consumed regularly for this reason.
It may help to play a role in a ketogenic diet and it seems to contain some minerals that can suppress the appetite. This will make carb cycling easier, which in turn will speed-up the process of ketosis.
However, these minerals can be found in trace amounts only and you will likely need to consume a lot of artichoke tea in order to feel any real benefits. If you consume your artichoke tea with a generous serving of sugar or honey then you may also be offsetting those weight loss benefits
Side Effects of Artichoke Tea
There are few, if any, side effects to artichoke tea. However, if you are allergic to it then you should stay clear as it can trigger allergic reactions ranging from mild rashes and other skin complaints, to breathing difficulties and even convulsions. It is also not recommended in people who have gallstones or kidney stones, and anyone with a preexisting health condition or concerns about their health should consult their doctor first. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding then you should also avoid this drink.
There are more common side effects of artichoke tea, such as flatulence and stomach complaints, but these are rare and they are not life threatening. If you experience these side effects then you may need to reduce the dose. It may also be that your body is just getting used to the tea and will eventually settle when you have consumed more of it.
If those side effects are particularly unpleasant, however, then you should avoid consuming it altogether.