The skin and liver are very closely connected and the artichoke is so good for your liver. I have harvested at least 2 cups of seed from several big artichoke heads I left to go to seed in my garden fall of 2013. I’m going to plant one of my side beds connected to the house in just artichokes. I love the plant’s looks and it is so yummy and good for my tummy!
http://www.naturalnews.com/043216_skin_liver_organ_communication.html Skin and Liver Connection
The total antioxidant capacity of artichoke flower heads is one of the highest reported for vegetables. Cynarine is a chemical constituent in Cynara. The majority of the cynarine 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.
Studies have shown artichoke to aid digestion, hepatic and gall bladder function, and raise the ratio of HDL to LDL. This reduces cholesterol levels, which diminishes the risk for arteriosclerosis and coronary heart disease.Aqueous extracts from artichoke leaves have also been shown to reduce cholesterol by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase and having a hypolipidemic influence, lowering blood cholesterol. Artichoke contains the bioactive agents apigenin and luteolin. C. scolymus also seems to have a bifidogenic effect on beneficial gut bacteria. Artichoke leaf extract has proved helpful for patients with functional dyspepsia, and may ameliorate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Wiki
I usually just eat the immature flower buds. I clip off the pointed sharp ends of the leaves that surround the heart, set heads in a steamer and steam until tender. My favorite way to eat these flowers is with melted butter and salt. I can’t wait for summer!