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- artichokes">Beneficial properties and use of infusions
Herbal teas, infusions, decoctions ... it is easy to think that one is as good as the other or that they are in fact the same thing. In reality they are not all the same, nor do they prepare the same way. Indeed ... the differences between one and the other depend precisely on the parts of the plants that are used and on the time of maceration of the same in water. As for the infusions, for example, the parts of the plant that are used are the tender ones such as flowers and leaves, not woody, and the infusion times must be at least 10 minutes while to prepare an herbal tea it cannot exceed 5 minutes. of permanence of plants in water.
Infusions are very simple drinks to prepare that allow you to take advantage of the beneficial properties of medicinal plants and fruits in a simple and natural way. They are also a valid and healthy alternative to tea, which they come close to in terms of preparation, but from which they differ substantially as they do not contain theine and caffeine, which are potentially harmful to our body if taken too much.
The infusions can be consumed both hot and cold, depending on the season in which you are and your personal taste.
To avoid the dispersion of the beneficial properties of the plants, the preparation of the infusion should be daily, in sufficient quantity for three doses, to be consumed throughout the day.
The artichoke infusion: use and applications
Like the vegetable with which it is produced, also the artichoke infusion has detoxifying and purifying properties of the body, with beneficial actions especially on the liver and intestine. Thanks to the conspicuous presence of a substance called "cynarin", which is released from the leaves during the infusion, the artichoke infusion has laxative effects, thus helping to combat constipation and abdominal swelling that can occur after periods of overeating. , for example during holidays.
For the same reason, this infusion facilitates digestion while, thanks to its beneficial action on the liver, it can help to keep excess cholesterol in the blood under control.
The action of the artichoke can be enhanced by combining it with other herbs such as dandelion and milk thistle: in this case there will be a beneficial effect of cleaning the body from all waste, thanks to the diuretic action of these two herbs combined with those purifying the artichoke. For this reason, herbal teas and artichoke infusions can also have a slimming effect, if consumed in moderation and consistently for long periods of time (approximately at least 3 to 6 months).
The basically bitter taste of the artichoke can be mitigated by adding a little honey or fructose to the infusion when it is still hot, while the use of refined sugar is not recommended, as it would nullify the purifying action of the infusion.
How to prepare homemade artichoke infusion
The preparation of the artichoke infusion is very simple and similar to the preparation of a good tea. The required quantity of dried artichoke leaves is about 25 g per 120 ml of water. Dried artichoke leaves can easily be found in any herbalist's shop or be prepared at home by drying the leaves and then mincing them with the help of a food processor. If you decide to prepare the leaves yourself, take care to carefully check the origin of the vegetables you use in order to make sure that no harmful chemicals have been used during cultivation. Naturally, the ideal would be to use vegetables from organic crops with integrated control (ie grown without the use of pesticides and chemicals).
The procedure is simple and quick: put the artichoke leaves in a cup or in an infusion pot; bring the water to boiling temperature, taking care not to let it boil (when you start to see that the water "swells" and starts to simmer, turn off the heat). Pour the water over the artichoke leaves and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Filter carefully using a narrow mesh sieve, let it cool and consume the infusion throughout the day.
To filter the infusion it is possible to use, as an alternative to the colander, a "piston" or "plunger" herbal tea maker, which allow not only to filter the leaves more easily, but also to crush them better to make the most of the active ingredients of the plants and infused herbs. This very practical and handy tool can be found on sale in home improvement stores and hypermarkets for a few euros.
Precautions and warnings
Many people can be sensitive to artichoke, which can cause allergic reactions that also manifest themselves as rather annoying rashes. For this reason it would be better to consume the infusion of this vegetable in moderation and progressively, trying nevertheless to never drink more than three cups a day.
In any case, and especially when taking it for a long time, it is good to ask your doctor or health professionals such as herbalists, pharmacists with specializations in naturopathy and homeopathy, dieticians and nutritionists for advice.
The artichoke infusion in summary
The artichoke infusion performs purifying, laxative, digestive, slimming and blood cholesterol control functions. It enhances its properties when associated with dandelion or milk thistle.
The recommended doses are 25 grams of dried leaves per 120 ml of water, to be left to infuse in water for 10-15 minutes and then filtered.
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