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Thursday, April 26, 2007


Chicory is the root of Cichorium intybus L. (Family Asteraceae) and has the following properties: tonic, digestive aid, apetizer, cholagogue, diuretic, cardiotonic, mild laxative, and antibacterial. It is commonly and traditionally used to treat digestive problems, lack of apetite, liver and gallbladder ailments (e.g. gallstone, hepatitis, jaundice), and spleen problems.

Chicory root contains large amounts of inulin (up to 58% in fresh cultivated root), bitter principles (lactucin, intybin), coumarin glycosides, triterpenes, choline, and others. Inulin is made up mostly of fructose; although not digested by humans, it can serve as a potential source of commercial fructose after hydrolysis.

With its rich aroma and bitter taste, roasted chicory root is frequently mixed with coffee to enhance flavor and to reduce caffeine content. This practice is especially common in Europe.

Dr. Albert Leung’s book, Better Health with (mostly) Chinese Herbs and Food discusses the use of 60 different herbs as healing foods, including chicory on page 15. For more information about Dr. Leung and his writings, visit www.earthpower.com.

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