Chemical constituents and anti-ulcerogenic potential of the scales of Cynara scolymus (artichoke) heads


Correspondence to: Abdelsamed I Elshamy, Department of Natural Compounds Chemistry, National Research Centre, Dokki, 12622, Cairo, Egypt, E-mail:



Cynara scolymus L. (Asteraseae) (artichoke) is commonly eaten as a vegetable; its leaves are frequently used in folk medicine in the treatment of hepatitis, hyperlipidaemia, obesity and dyspeptic disorders. The purpose of this study is to determine the chemical composition of the volatile oil and alcoholic extract of artichoke head scales. In addition, the role of the methanol extract as an anti-ulcer agent against ethanol-induced gastric ulcer in rats was evaluated.


Six flavonoids and one phenolic acid were obtained from the methanol extract. Also, 37 compounds were identified in the volatile oil, the majority including mono- and sesquiterpenes. The artichoke extracts (200 and 400 mg kg−1) significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the ulcer index (55.33% and 72.14% inhibition). Histopathological examination of rat stomachs demonstrated that artichoke induced an increase in gastric mucus production, and a reduction of the depth and severity of mucosal lesions. Artichoke dose-dependently reduced the elevated ethanol gastric malonylaldehyde, and reduced glutathione levels and catalase activity. These results suggest that the head scales of artichoke possess potential anti-ulcer activity.


The present paper describes the identification of volatile oil for the first time along with the isolation and identification of the constituents of the methanol extract. Moreover, the high anti-ulcerogenic potential of scales of C. scolymus heads was established here for the first time. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry