Health Benefits from Chicory

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Overview

Chicory is a herb reputed to have numerous curative benefits. The chicory, along with other herbs like calendula, burdock, dandelions and artichokes, belongs to the Asteracea family. Health benefits from chicory have long been documented. For years, chicory has been used by various civilizations for different medical purposes. The ancient Romans, for instance, used chicory to purify their blood. The Egyptians on the other hand used it for liver and gallbladder treatment, aside from blood cleansing. The French used it to substitute for coffee.

Digestive Benefits

Inulin, a major constituent in chicory, breaks down into molecules like oligofructose which feeds the friendly flora in the body. Inulin ingestion results in the nourishment of healthy bacteria in the digestive system for the promotion of a healthy digestive tract and improvement of one’s overall health.

Likewise the disinfectant capability of chicory with its rich levels of tannins can also help in killing parasites and worms residing in the intestines. This can result in cleansing of the colon and promotion of good digestion. Because of the bitter taste of this herb due to the presence of lactucopricin and lactucin, chicory can also help stimulate one’s appetite.

It also assists the body in absorbing calcium which is important in the formation of strong bones and teeth. It has fibers like inulin, raftilin and raftilose which are fermented by the good bacteria present in the large intestine usually resulting in better body absorption of calcium.

Health of Body Organs

Chicory is known as one of the best sources of vitamin A which is a vital nutrient for nourishing the optic nerves. Regular intake of chicory can help in maintaining good eyesight. Chicory is also good for the liver, gallbladder and heart. Chicory also enables stimulation of the bile flow and cure of conditions such as gallstones, gastritis, biliary insufficiency, and splenomegaly, which is the enlargement of the spleen.

Good for the Heart and Joints

Chicory is also good for the heart. The tremendous amounts of tannins in the herb allows for maintenance of the right amount of harmful cholesterol in the body, resulting in a healthier heart. Health benefits from chicory is also associated with treatment of other conditions like rheumatism and gout, being a mild diuretic that causes elimination of excess water in the body.

Other Health Benefits

Good for people with constipation as it also has a laxative property. When given with parsley and celery, it is said to treat anemia, a condition where there is decrease in the red blood cells. Its combination with the juices of celery and carrots, may give relief to hay fever and asthma. A powdered form of its dry root combined with honey may also be used as an expectorant for people with chronic bronchitis.

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References

Home Remedies Guide: Chicory - Medicinal Properties and Benefits

Botanical.com: Chicory

Herbal Extract Plus: Chicory Root