Cichorium intybus or Chicory as it is commonly known is a native of Europe, but also grows in Australia and North America. It is also known as blue weed, blue dandelion, blue daisy and coffee weed among others.
The plant has been eaten as a salad vegetable from the times of the Romans. It is also commonly used as fodder and for its root which adds a special flavour to the coffee.
Medicinally, Cichorium intybus has refrigerant, laxative, hepatic, diuretic, depurative cholagogue, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is used for detoxification, eliminating intestinal parasites, helps in eliminating uric acid build up without depleting useful minerals and helps the heart and liver (as a tonic).
It is also used for treating gout and rheumatism – almost the same way dandelion does. Taken regularly Chicory will provide protection against jaundice, gout, and rheumatic pains.
Cichorium intybus contains inulin (a complex sugar), which is a probiotic that boosts the immune system. Inulin relieves constipation, aids weight loss and improves bowel function.
It combines well with coffee, which is why it is most often used in this form and it does good for every-day ailments, such as sinus, digestive problems, constipation and for cuts and bruises.
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