About Chicory for Health

Using chicory as health remedies

(Botanical Name: Chichorium intybus)

Origin, Distribution and Composition
Chicory, or endive, is a perennial herb with a long tap root. It has condensed, round stems, numerous light or dark green leaves and pale blue flowers. The leaves have a bitter taste; flowers open at sunrise and close at dusk.

Chicory is native to the Mediterranean region or, possibly, eastern India. It was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans and was cultivated in Egypt over 2000 years ago. The ancient physicians employed the plant in the treatment of several ailments. Classical writers like Horace, Virgil, Ovid and Pliny mentioned its use as a vegetable and a salad ingredient. Some scholars thought that the name succory came from the Latin succurrene - which means to run under - because of the deep roots. Another suggestion is that succory may be a corruption of chicory, or cichorium, a word of Egyptian origin. Chicory has been mentioned as a special skin nourish by ancient herbalists. A tea made from the pale blue flowers of this plant was said to give glowing skin.

An analysis of chicory or endive leaves shows them to consist of 93.0 per cent moisture, 1.7 per cent protein, 0.1 per cent fat, 0.9 per cent fiber and 4.3 per cent carbohydrate per 100 grams. Its mineral and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C. Its calorific value is 20.

Chicory flowers contain a glucoside chichorin and bitter substances, lactucin and intbin. Seeds contain a bland oil and roots contain nitrate and sulphate of potash, mucilage and some bitter principle.

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