Today, there are still a big number of common plants that are misunderstood and one of them is Chicory. This fascinating organic superfood has been around the last four thousand years and has been known for its medicinal quality for treating a range of illnesses. During the Roman empire, Pliny one of Rome’s greatest writers mentioned that chicory is one of important part of his diet. In ancient Egypt, chicory was mentioned in a medical text called Eber papyrus stating the use of the plant extract to treat liver problems and in purifying the blood.
Cichorium intybus, the botanical name of chicory, is a member of asteraceae plant family that includes daisy and sunflower. Some of its close cousins are dandelion and lettuces. An organic superfood that is native to several European countries and has been used as a vegetable and added to salads. Chicory is a perennial plant that is grown from seed. During harvest the whole plant is dug out and where the different parts are used as ingredients in cooking or as medication. The leaves are crisp, juicy and refreshing. The taste differs depending on the variety, could be sweet, pleasant or mildly bitter.
In terms of nutritional contents, chicory holds a whole range of important vitamins and essential minerals, amino acids, fiber, cellulose and water. This organic superfood is also an excellent source of a certain antioxidant compound called phenolics that can provide a protective effect on your cardiovascular system.
As for health benefits, chicory is one organic superfood that effectively provide functional support for your digestive system and more importantly to your liver. Its ability to increase the flow of bile in the digestive system breaks down fats to optimize your blood composition resulting to a healthy gall bladder and liver. It is a natural diuretic, laxative, anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic with a potential ability to manage osteoarthritis, as well as treating diabetes, gout and upset stomach.
Being rich in vitamin and antioxidant, this organic superfood is used in spring and curative diets. Chicory has today become a popular caffeine free substitute for coffee, which is a good news for some coffee lovers.
Safety concern. It’s best to be avoided by pregnant and nursing mothers, there’s not much safety information to use during such stage. Chicory may also trigger menstruation and cause miscarriage in pregnant women. As for individuals with gallstone problem, it is recommended to first consult with your health providers before using chicory. May cause skin irritation during handling, so take extra precaution.
Chicory trivia: It is said that Napoleon’s soldiers concocted the first ‘coffee’ out of chicory roots.
Live a healthy lifestyle. Eat more organic superfood.
The article written here is for educational purpose only and is not meant to provide any medical advice. If you have an illness or medical condition, it would be best to consult first with your health care provider or family physician before undertaking any course of treatment.
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