This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Cinara; Pharm. Lond. Cinara hortensis Pharm. Edinb. Scolymus. Cinara hortensis foliis non aculeatis C. B. Cynara Scolymus Linn. Artichoke: a rough plant, with large greyish leaves, divided almost to the rib into irregularly indented segments: among these arises a thick stalk, bearing a large scaly head, which, opening at top, fends out a number of purplish blue flofculi, followed by whitish seeds winged with down. It is perennial, a native of the southern parts of Europe, and cultivated in our culinary gardens.
(a) Vol. i. p. 326.
Extract. fe-min. cicutae Ph. Ed.
The bottoms of the heads, and the fleshy part of the scales, are supposed to be of easy digestion; but gross, flatulent, and of little nourishment. The leaves are bitter, and give out their bitterness, along with their juice, on being bruised and pressed. The expressed juice is given in dropsies, and in some instances has proved successful after the medicines more commonly made use of in that disorder had failed: for this purpose, the juice, not depurated, or freed only from its grosser seculency by passing it through a coarse drainer, is mixed with equal its quantity of white wine, and three or four spoonfuls or more of the mixture taken every morning and evening. Its operation is chiefly by urine.