Pregnancy Use

Safety has not been scientifically established for the leaf extract. PRACTICE POINTS/PATIENT COUNSELLING

• Artichoke leaf extract has antioxidant, choleretic, diuretic and lipid-lowering activity and possibly hepatoprotective, anti-emetic and spasmolytic effects.

• According to a Cochrane review of two controlled studies, the effect on lipids is modest and further large scale trials are required. ESCOP recommends that a low-fat diet should also be undertaken when artichoke leaf extract is used for mild to moderate hyperlipidaemia.

• Artichoke leaf extract is an effective symptomatic treatment for non-ulcer dyspepsia and shows promise for IBS.

• The extract is well tolerated with few side-effects, but should not be used by people with known allergy to globe artichoke or other members of the Asteraceae/Compositae family of plants and used with caution in bile duct obstruction, acute or severe hepatocellular disease (e.g. cirrhosis), septic cholecystitis, intestinal spasm or ileus, liver cancer or people with unconjugated hyperbilirubinaemia.

ANSWERS TO PATIENTS' FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What will this herb do for me?

Artichoke leaf extract effectively reduces symptoms in non-ulcer dyspepsia and possibly IBS. It may also modestly reduce cholesterol levels and improve digestion, flatulence and nausea. When will it start to work?

Symptomatic relief in dyspepsia and IBS appear after 2-3 weeks of treatment; however, further improvements are possible with longer term use. A reduction in cholesterol may take 4-6 weeks and is best achieved when combined with a low-fat diet.

Are there any safety issues?

The extract is well tolerated with few side-effects, but should not be used by people with known allergy to globe artichoke or other members of the Asteraceae/Compositae family of plants and used with caution in bile duct obstruc- Globe artichoke 595

tion, acute or severe hepatocellular disease (e.g. cirrhosis), septic cholecystitis,

intestinal spasm or ileus, liver cancer or people with unconjugated hyperbilirubinaemia.

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