As a major carrier of toxins from the body, proper bile flow is a critical final step in the metabolic detoxification process. Impairment of bile flow (cholestasis), resulting from dysfunction within the liver or blockage of the bile duct, can result in the buildup of liver toxins and liver injury. Cholestasis can also be the result of the detoxification process itself; there is increasing evidence that the detoxification and excretion of clinical drugs into the bile can produce cholestatic liver disease.
Artichoke has been used for centuries in folk medicine as a liver protectant and to stimulate bile flow (choleresis), and is the best-studied herbal choleretic agent.
Artichoke contains several antioxidants that can protect against oxidative liver damage, as well as caffeoylquinic acids, which have been shown to stimulate bile flow in animal models. ‘
Caffeoylquinic acids may also be responsible for the choleretic properities of yarrow, fennel, and dandelion.
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