Comparative biochemical and histopathological evaluations proved that receptacle is the most effective part of Cynara scolymus against liver and kidney damages.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2020 Mar 1 ;249:112458. Epub 2019 Dec 4. PMID: 31809787
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: The liver and kidney are among the most important organs in the body, where metabolic and elimination functions take place. During this process, liver and kidneys may suffer damage due to ingestion or formation of toxic metabolites leading to organ loss and even death. Artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) leaf has long been recognized as a popular herbal remedy in traditional medicines with beneficial effects on liver.
AIM OF THE STUDY: In phytotherapy leaves are the part used to support the liver functions and for treatment of damage induced by various toxins, while fleshy receptacle is cooked as meal to support liver homeostasis. However, effects of other plant parts on liver such as stems, bracts have not much attracted the attention of scientific community so far. In this study we investigated comparatively the hepatoprotective and nephroprotective effects of different plant parts of artichoke, i.e. receptacles, outer bracts, inner bracts, and stems with that of leaves upon paracetamol-induction in rats.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Aqueous ethanol (80%) extracts obtained from the different parts of artichoke were administered for five consecutive days after paracetamol induction to rats. At the end of experimental period blood samples from the experimental animals were taken for biochemical tests, while livers and kidneys were removed for further histopathological evaluation.
RESULTS: The histopathological examinations of liver and kidney tissues revealed that the receptacle and stem extracts of the artichoke were the most effective parts by improving the experimentally induced pathology in both liver and kidney. Biochemical tests also supported the histopathological data; receptacle, stem and bract extracts reduced serum alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) levels, but not alkaline phosphatase (ALP), creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels.
CONCLUSIONS: Histopathological and biochemical studies have shown that receptacle and stem extracts of artichoke were found to exert higher protective activity on liver and kidney damage induced by paracetamol comparing to its bract and leaf extracts, the latest is officially recognized as herbal remedy.