Cichorium intybus – Chicory
Cichorium intybus; Eng: Chicory; Ita: Cicoria
Habitat: Europe, Asia, North Africa. Grows on fields. Chicory has a blue flowers.
Part used: Flowers, leaves, root.
Constituents: Inulin, sesquiterpene lactones, vitamins, minerals, fat, mannitol and latex.
Actions: Anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, calcium-balancing, laxative, digestive, tonic, hypoglycemic, immuno-stimulant, anti-cholesterol, prebiotic, cleansing.
Medicinal uses: Cichorium intybus is used as liver supportive and cleansing herb. It has been used for jaundice and gallstones. It also alleviates allergic reactions. It has anti-inflammatory properties and has been found to inhibit prostaglandin E. The leaves of chicory maintain a balanced calcium level. Chicory decreases cholesterol. Chicory root helps in the management of obesity and diabetes and promote the appetite regulation. Fermentation of inulin decreases fecal pH and increases fecal volume, hence Cichorium is used as bulk laxative. It also stimulate the growth of bifidobacteria, which are regarded as beneficial strains in the colon. It has been shown cancer protective effects, specially against colon cancer. It is used as support against uterus cancers and tumors. It has a cytochrome P450 activity.
Other uses: The leaves are eaten as vegetables. The root is used sometimes to substitute coffee.