Artichoke leaf is an herbal medicine known for a long time. A systematic antioxidant activity-directed fractionation procedure was used to purify antioxidative components from the aqueous methanol extractions of artichoke heads and leaves in this study. Seven active polyphenolic compounds were purified from artichoke, and structural elucidation of each was achieved using MS and NMR. Two of these compounds, apigenin-7-rutinoside and narirutin, were found to be unique to artichoke heads, this represents the first report of these compounds in the edible portion of this plant. The contents of these antioxidants and total phenols in dried artichoke samples from leaves and immature and mature heads of three varieties, Imperial Star, Green Globe, and Violet, were then analyzed and compared by colorimetric and validated HPLC methods. Significant differences by variety and plant organ were observed.
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