artichokes for hair health

Artichokes are an unusual variety of thistle and one of the oldest known cultivated plants. Its botanical name is Cynara cardunculus and this perennial thistle is native to the Mediterranean region although can be found throughout Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East. They are available year-round but are best from June through November. Most love the heart of the artichoke, but the leaves are actually the source of the vast majority of its health benefits.  

What are the health benefits of artichokes?

Artichoke leaves are packed with phytonutrients, such gallic acid, cynarin, quercetin, and rutin, which all help to protect against many health risks. Artichokes and the leaf extract reduce cholesterol levels and aid in digestive health. It stimulates the production of bile, which enables humans to digest fats and absorb vitamins from food consumption.

This wonder plant will prevent ulcers and although artichoke leaf extract does not decrease acid production by the stomach it does however shows potential as a natural supplement for treating gastritis that can ultimately lead to the development of stomach ulcers. The extract seems to help persons suffering from IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome and dyspepsia or upset stomachs.

What can artichoke leaf extract do for the scalp and hair?

Artichokes have antioxidant compounds like silymarin, caffeic acid, and ferulic acids that help the body protect itself from harmful free-radical agents. This slows the aging process of the skin, scalp, and hair through the blocking of those harmful agents. UV rays inherently damage the melanin and protein constituents of hair follicles, but those changes can be repelled when treated with artichoke leaf extract.

A rich source of minerals like copper, iron, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus are vital to healthy hair. Copper assists in hair growth by increasing the follicle cell proliferation and decreasing programmed follicle cell death. Iron plays an essential role in getting nutrition and oxygenation to the hair roots. A potassium deficiency is one of the major reasons behind hair loss in both men and women and a deficiency of manganese may result in weaker hair. These minerals along with the calcium and phosphorous replenish dry, damaged, dull, and lifeless strands improving the strength, look, feel, and overall quality of the hair. The vitamin C in artichokes is good for scalp inflammation and even some mild infections or scalp ailments like dandruff.

To reap the benefits of artichokes for both your hair and the rest of your body, add them to your grocery list and incorporate them into your diet.  If artichokes are not your favorite, then check out these five products that utilize the goodness of artichokes in their formulas.

Products with artichoke extract