The origin of artichokes is unknown, though they are said to have come from the Maghreb (North Africa), where they are still found in the wild state; the seeds of artichokes, probably cultivated, were found during the excavation of Roman-period Mons Claudianus in Egypt.
The total antioxidant capacity of artichoke flower heads is one of the highest reported for vegetables. Cynarin, an active chemical constituent in Cynara, causes an increased bile flow. The majority of the cynarin found in artichoke is located in the pulp of the leaves, though dried leaves and stems of artichoke also contain it.
It inhibits taste receptors, making water (and other foods and drinks) seem sweet. This diuretic vegetable is of nutritional value because of its exhibiting an aid to digestion, strengthening of the liver function and gall bladder function. This reduces cholesterol levels, which diminishes the risk for arteriosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Artichoke leaf extract has proved helpful for patients with functional dyspepsia