The Health Benefits of Chicory Root
The Health Benefits of Chicory Root: Chicory Root (Cicorium intybus) is a larger relative of the dandelion (both plants are in the sunflower family). The plant has small blue flowers, and can be found in woody areas. Growing up to 5’ in height with strong taproots, this weed thrives in light.
Chicory is used as a medicinal herb and can also be found within the kitchen. The leaves of this plant are similar to dandelion, therefore can be used in salads. The leaves are high in thiamin, niacin, and zinc. It’s also an excellent source of Vitamin A, C, E and K. Raw chicory greens have also been shown to increase insulin sensitivity. Hence, an excellent dietary source for diabetics.
The root is a good source of Vitamin C, B6, potassium and manganese. Individuals have been found to be chewing on chicory root endlessly, and with good reason. Chicory root has been used as a caffeine-free coffee substitute for hundreds of years. This style of coffee has become quite popular in New Orleans, due to lack of coffee bean availability at specific points in US history.
Chicory root contains inulin. Inulin is a fiber that improves bowel movements, relieves constipation, and removes the build up of toxins in the digestive tracts. The root is also a prebiotic that promotes friendly bacteria within the gut.
Chicory root also has the ability to detox the liver. The root is able to significantly reduce oxidative stress, and has been found to prevent cell damage and improve conditions within the liver.
Chicory root may increase levels of adiponectin, a protein that regulates glucose levels.
Being a coffee substitute, chicory reduces anxiety and stress. Heavy caffeine consumption has been found to significantly elevate cortisol levels. Hence being a coffee substitute. This style of coffee has been found to have anti-inflammatory effects. With the reduced stress of inflammation, and the lowered risk of clotting in blood vessels, this coffee proves to be beneficial for lowering your risk of cardiovascular health.
- Do not take this herb if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Chicory may stimulate menstruation and possibly lead to a miscarriage.
- Chicory is closely related to ragweed, marigold and daisies, so if you are allergic to these plants, you may have issues.
- If you suffer from gallstones, consult a physician before consuming this herb.