Infusions of artichoke and milk thistle represent a good source of phenolic acids and flavonoids
Cynara scolymus L. (artichoke) and Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn (milk thistle) are two herbs well-known for their efficiency in the prevention/treatment of liver injuries, among other chronic diseases. Therefore, the aim of this work was to characterize specific bioactive components, phenolic compounds, in hydromethanolic extracts but also in infusions (the most commonly used preparations) obtained from the whole plant of milk thistle and artichoke. The phenolic profiles were accessed using HPLC-DAD-MS/ESI. Infusions of both species presented higher phenolic contents than the hydromethanolic extracts. Milk thistle presented a similar phenolic composition between the two preparations, revealing only differences in the quantities obtained. Nevertheless, artichoke revealed a slightly different profile considering infusion and hydromethanolic extracts. Apigenin-7-O-glucuronide was the major flavonoid found in milk thistle, while luteolin-7-O-glucuronide was the most abundant in artichoke. Therefore, infusions of both artichoke and milk thistle represent a good source of bioactive compounds, especially phenolic acids and flavonoids.