The common chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a common herbaceous plant belonging to the family of Asteraceae. Its bred variant is the chicory.
This herbaceous plant grows on unreclaimed grounds, along roads. The stems end in a spindle root. The branching stem reaches 50-150 cm height. The leaves are stalked, lanceolate and unlobed. The flowers grow alone or in pairs from the upper armpit of the higher leaves, they are usually bright blue, rarely white or pink. The plant has a milky sap.
One version (cultivar. sativum) is cultivated for its root and it assures the row material for caffeine substitute. The leaf chicory (cultivar. sativum) and the endive (Cichorium endivia) are cultivated as salad plants.
It is already mentioned in the ancient Ebers-rolls as a medicinal plant. Dioscoride recommended common chicory for the stomach. Plinius mentions its refreshing effects, Saint Hildegard as a digestive plant. It seems that ancient people agreed with each other about the cichory as appetite enhancer, digestive, antibilious, diuretic and blood purificator medicinal plant and these are the effects why it is nowadays still used.
The parts above the ground contain lactone, chicory-acid, flavonoids, while the root contains mostly inulin.
Pick the upper 40 cm of the plant with stem leaves (Cichorii herba) when it blooms, from July until September. The roots (Cichorii radix) are collected at late autumn. The dry parts above the soil indicate well the places where the plant grows. Win 1 kg of dry drug from 3 kg of roots or 6 kg of fresh plant.
The flower, the leaves and the roots all have curative effects. Thanks to its inulin content the roots decrease effectively the insulin level, the thirst and sweating diabetes and the large quantity of urination.
Chicory tea can be used as a remedy for rheumatics, gout, and arthritis. It purifies the liver, kidney and spleen, helps clearing completely the gall, excretes urine, enhances the appetite and has positive effects against jaundice. Chicory decreases the level of triglyceride and cholesterol in blood.
Facilitates laxity, does not allow the consumed nutriment to be deposited in our organism. For this reason it is often one component of the weight losing tea mixtures. It might also be able to dissolve smaller gallstones.
The common chicory can be used at sustained treatments, since it does not have harmful side effects.
Boil it for 2-3 minutes to gain a herb infusion. It can be used as an effective treatment to facilitate the function of liver and gall bladder. Drink one cup of tea in the morning on an empty stomach for a week. On the second week drink a cup of tea on every second day and on the third week only at every third morning. Make this cure twice every year.
For diuretic effects drink one cup of tea daily for 2-3 days. In order to purify the gall bladder drink two cups of tea weekly. In order to enhance appetite two cups of tea daily is recommended, before breakfast and before lunch. If you wish to lose weight, mix one part of common chicory with one part of common speedwell and half part of dead-nettles (flower and leaves). Boil one teaspoon of mixture with 3 dl of water for one minute and drink 1 dl before every meal.
Be careful if dissolving gallstone, if a larger stone sets forth it requires immediate surgery. Start with half portion daily (small teaspoon of dried drug boiled in 2,5 dl of water for 2-3 minutes, strain and drink it warmish, otherwise it seems very bitter) for one week. Later you can turn to whole portion (small spoon of drug), then 2 times daily with a maximum of 3 cups.
Laxative syrup: press half a liter juice from fresh plant and add 500 g of sugar. Warm it up on low heat without cooking until it gets thick. Drink 2-4 teaspoons every morning on an empty stomach. Children may also consume it.
Chicory salad: it is a good source of vitamin during wintertime, a good digestive and rich in mineral salts. 100 g salad contains 4,5 mg of carotene, 6–8 mg vitamin C, lime and phosphor. In cool places it can be stored for weeks, though its vitamin C content gets lost.