Chicory herb or (Cichorium intybus) is a plant that has been known for its medicinal benefits since the first century A.D. It is a member of the Asteraceae family. A woody stem plant generally identified by it’s stalked crisp leaves, blue flower heads and bitter taste. When flowering, chicory has a tough, grooved, and more or less hairy stem from 10 to 40 inches tall. Chicory flourishes in the wild, as well as in gardens across the globe. It may be found in Europe, the Near East, northern and southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and North and South America.
Although Chicory Root is best known for it’s combination with coffee but it is also effective in disorders of the kidneys, liver, urinary organs, stomach and the spleen. Uses include the treatment of gallstones, gout, rheumatism and jaundice. In addition, it has been used to settle upset stomachs and eliminating morbid matter from the body while acting as a tonic for the whole system.
Chicory herb is available at grocery outlets as green leaves or dried roots. To prepare the herb as a tea steep 1 tsp rootstock or dried herb with 0.5 cup water and strain after 10 minutes. To treat jaundice, spleen problems, gallstones, or gastritis, drink 8-12 oz (225-350 ml) of chicory tea per day.
Chicory leaves of the common garden endive are most often enjoyed in salads.Chicory has shown to be safe for a variety of medicinal uses and as a food source. There are no known precautions to observe when including the herb in one’s diet.
Other Common names of chicory include: Succory, wild chicory, garden edive, garden chicory and endive.