During the reign of France's good king Henri IV, it was popularly believed that the artichoke possessed aphrodisiac qualities. Merchants would hawk the "warming" benefits of the vegetable.
Excellent for children, athletes, those doing strenuous physical work, etc. In fact, artichokes contain levulose (fructose) which is converted into a sugar that is quickly assimilated by the body.
Artichokes contain cynarine, which stimulates biliary secretions, of insulin, tannins and nitrogenous substances. It is part of the traditional natural pharmacopoeia, used as a febrifuge, anti-rheumatismal remedy, diuretic, etc. No matter how it's used, the recipe is the same: used plain (2 artichokes), or as an infusion (infuse a dozen artichoke leaves for 10 minutes in 1 cup (250 ml) boiling water; strain and drink hot, prefereably on an empty stomach or at the end of a meal.
To learn more about the artichoke, consult The Worldwide Gourmet
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