Today my friends I would to talk about an herbal remedy that many people consider a weed that has great medicinal qualities. This so-called weed is Chicory.
Let me first give you some facts about Chicory:
- Chicory is a perennial herb that has dark green leaves and pale blue flower
- it belongs to the family of Compositae asteraceae
- The herb has a long white tap root and the plant grows to about 5 feet.
- The key components of chicory are hydrooxycoumarins, flavonoids, inulin, sesquiterpene lactones, vitamins and minerals.
- Chicory is a hardy perennial that was brought to North America from Europe in the 1700s, and is now well-established across the continent
- Though chicory has a variety of uses, it’s best known for its association with coffee. At many points through history, coffee has become unavailable or too costly. During these times, people have often turned to roasted chicory as a substitute.
- There is no caffeine in chicory, and it produces a more ‘roasted’ flavor than coffee does. Many coffee producers offer blends with up to 30% chicory, which cuts down on the caffeine content of your cup. But many folk enjoy a cup of ‘coffee’ made entirely from ground, roasted chicory
- Another benefit of chicory is that it’s more soluble in water than coffee, which means you use a lot less of it when brewing. Very economical for someone on a tight budget.
- The young tender leaves can be used in salads, and the root can also be boiled and eaten like a vegetable (it’s related to endive and radicchio).
- Chicory root may be eaten as a vegetable and is an excellent source of vitamin C which helps boost your immune system.
- It’s also grown for cattle food in Europe.
- The flowers are blue-purple, and will open and close at precisely the same time every day.
Health and Medicinal Benefits from Chicory:
1. Liver Diseases: The root, leaf or flower extract of chicory has a stimulative effect on the liver and helps produce bile production and elimination. It alleviates jaundice like symptoms and control the enlargement of the liver and spleen, removing any stones present in the liver or gall bladder.
2. Diabetes: Chicory is very beneficial to diabetics as it contains Inulin, a fiber that has a low glycemic index and controls blood sugar levels. It can be used as a sweetener and added to beverages. It not only helps with blood sugar, but also helps to reduce the serum LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. It is known to help cleanse the blood and eliminates toxins present in the circulatory system.
3. Constipation: Dried and fresh chicory leaves act as a natural laxative and is useful for chronic constipation. The presence of Inulin, a dietary fiber helps create bulk and pass stools easily.
4. Digestive Health: Chicory supports the kidneys, and intestinal detoxification. Rich in fiber, it gently cleanses the colon while improving digestion.The compounds intybin and chicoriin present in chicory encourage the growth of the helpful lacto bicilli and bifido bacteria in the gut and help stimulate appetite and pave for a smooth digestion. It acts as a natural probiotic. Inulin also promotes the growth of naturally occurring bacteria in your digestive system and helps keep it functioning normally. Click here to order.
5. Anxiety Issues: Chicory consists of two active compounds called lactucoprin and lactucin, they are sedative in nature. A powder of chicory root in milk can treat insomnia and anxiety.
6. Helps with skin and healing: It can be used as a topical poultice to reduce swelling and inflammation of the skin and to promote wound healing.
I hope this information has been helpful to you, but I do want to remind you to check with your doctor or health-care provider before you try any herbal remedy. I always believe it is better to use a natural herbal remedy when possible than a prescription medication that many times can have dangerous side effects. I would also recommend using organic Chicory to avoid any contamination from pesticides or other pollutants.
Let’s treat our bodies with care – try to always eat organic or local harvest.
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Quote of the Day: Physical ills are the taxes laid upon this wretched life; some are taxed higher, and some lower, but all pay something! ~Lord Chesterfield