Allergies and Artichokes

Artichokes are unusual-looking vegetables commonly eaten in the Mediterranean region and the Middle East. They need to be cooked to make the flesh soft enough to eat and digest. Like most plants, artichokes contain phytonutrients, plant compounds that may trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. If you commonly experience allergies from plants and vegetables, ask your doctor if artichokes are safe for you to eat.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.


Artichokes are indigenous to southern Europe and regions surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, and their cultivation dates back thousands of years. Artichokes are actually the flowers of a variety of related plants that produce edible buds. They grow between 3 and 6 inches in diameter and are covered in numerous triangular scales. The edible portions of the buds are the lower sections, which are fleshy and known as the artichoke heart. Artichokes are nutritious vegetables, with the leaves, stem and roots used to make medicinal extracts.

Potential Remedies

Artichokes have traditionally treated many health ailments. They are exceptionally rich in plant compounds that act as powerful antioxidants, eliminating potentially harmful free radicals from your body. Artichokes are not commonly used to combat allergy symptoms, and in fact may induce allergic reactions in some people.

Allergic Reaction

Artichokes and artichoke extracts are considered safe in moderate amounts, although some people are allergic to plant compounds in artichokes and related species. 2

Allergy Symptoms

A severe allergic reaction can become a medical emergency if it leads to anaphylaxis and shock, so take caution if you have allergies to other plants. Other potential negative reactions to artichokes, although not considered allergic, include intestinal gas, abdominal pain and aggravation of gallstone symptoms due to increased bile flow.