Chicory is one of the medicinal plants with the oldest uses. The ancient Egyptians used chicory in large quantities because they knew that its diuretic properties will help purify the blood and eliminate the toxins from the liver.
Chicory Equals Clean Blood
In the ancient Egypt, chicory was grown and used as a powerful remedy for the kidney and liver diseases. The Europeans have been using it for a long time as food and more precisely as a substitute for coffee. They used to grow chicory for its root that they used to grind and utilize as an energy drink that strengthens the stomach. It is similar in taste and effect to coffee.
Chicory Coffee. After they are extracted from the soil, you must wash the chicory roots with water and let them air dry. Keep them away from the sunlight. Keep them in small cloth bags. To prepare the coffee, you must roast the roots and grind them in the coffee grinder. Add 2 or 3 teaspoons of powder to 1 cup of water. Boil it for about 3 minutes or let it steep. You can add some milk to your chicory coffee.
Chicory Concoction. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of chicory (aerial parts and / or roots) to 750 ml of boiling water and let them simmer for about 15 minutes or until the water is down to 1/3 of the initial quantity.
Chicory Infusion. Add 3 grams of chicory (dried flowers and leaves) and let them infuse in a cup of boiling water. Drink 2 cups of tea per day for detoxification, hepatic conditions, stomach aches, rheumatic pain or fever.
Properties and Indications
Chicory is rich in cichoric acid, a compound similar to the cynarin in the artichoke leaves. It has a bitter taste and great benefits on liver. It stimulates the bile secretion and increase diuresis. Besides this, chicory contains iron, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper and vitamins A, B1, B2, C, K and PP.
Chicory is a great cholagogue and has intestinal and respiratory antiseptic, expectorant, hypoglycemic and anti-diabetic properties. The plant stimulates the hepatic, digestive and renal functions. The most important aspect is that chicory helps in detoxifying the body and eliminating the toxic substances.
– Stimulates digestion (laxative effect) and pancreatic secretion.
– Increases (when consumed between meals) or reduces (when consumed during meals) appetite.
– Purifies the blood and detoxifies the body.
– Combats anorexia and obesity (the chicory root concoction).
– Cleans the liver and spleen.
– It has a calming effect on the nervous system.
– Reduces cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
The remedies made of chicory are also beneficial for those in convalescence and for those who suffer from insomnia, melancholy and neurosis.
When to Harvest Chicory
Chicory is a wild plant that grows almost everywhere in the local flora. You can easily recognize it by the blue flowers and the barren, tall and branched stems. For medicinal purposes, you can use the aerial parts (leaves and sometimes the flowers) and the roots that you can use to prepare infusions, concoctions or maceration extracts.
The chicory leaves and flowers can be harvested from July to August during flowering time. You must harvest them in the morning after the dew. The roots should be harvested in the spring (March – April) or autumn (September – October).