Chicory is a wild edible perennial that reaches out from the dandelion family, Asteraceae. This underrated plant has its hands submerged in both medicinal and culinary creations. Chicory is marked by the presence of flowers with a wide range of colors, including lavender, light blue, white, and sometimes pink. Its erect stem is hairy that can be 40 inches tall with stalked leaves.
For millennia, the leaves, buds, and roots of this plant are employed in the medicinal field. The young leaves impart quite a bitter taste but are used anyway in salads to absorb its goodness. The older leaves are cooked or incorporated in cooked dishes to diminish its bitterness. In various parts of the world, the roots of chicory serve as a substitute for coffee. Chicory is also used as forage, particularly in livestock inflicted with parasitic worms.
Chicory flowers are used to spark the appetite, dissolve gallstones, treat gastroenteritis, heal minor cuts and abrasions, and ameliorate sinus related problems. Some individuals might portray bloating, flatulence, belching, and skin irritation. So a brief consultation with doctor/pharmacist before starting chicory therapy wouldn’t harm.
Chicory plants are brimmed with inulin, mannitol, sesquiterpene lactones, vitamins, fats, and trace minerals.