Medicinal properties, Benefits and Uses of Chicory
Chicory is also known as Chakori. It is a kind of perennial plant which is mainly found in the North West regions of India. Chicory is a type of herb which is used as a treatment for problems like arthritis, heart disease, constipation. It tastes like coffee. However, it does not contain caffeine. Apart from this, many such properties are present in chicory due to which it is known to be healthy and for the treatment of many diseases. On the one hand, chicory acts as green fodder for animals, while on the other hand, it acts as a medicine for humans. Consuming chicory helps in curing diseases like cancer. Apart from this, due to its taste like coffee, it is also used in food. Due to all these properties, chicory is considered an important traditional medicine in Ayurveda. Let us talk about the medicinal properties of this herb through this article:
What is Chicory?
Generally, chicory is a type of herb that belongs to the Dandelion family. The botanical name is Cichorium Intybus. Its flowers are white-blue in colour. Its leaves are spherical and bitter in taste. Its flowers have 15 to 20 petals attached together and bloom in the morning and shrink or close during the day. Chicory bears light coloured fruits and has a fleshy root similar to that of a cow's tail. Chicory plants are about one to two meters high.
Nutritional elements of Chicory-
Chicory is rich in natural chemicals. It is rich in vitamins, crystalline nigellone, iron, sodium, potassium and fatty acids. Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, E, K are also found in it. Being rich in these elements, chicory proves to be very beneficial in terms of health. Apart from this, chicory seeds are also a good source of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.
Benefits of Chicory
Beneficial in stress and anxiety-
Consumption of chicory proves beneficial for stress and anxiety. According to the report published on the website of NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information), a good amount of antioxidants are found in chicory which helps in getting rid of mental disorders. Including anxiety, stress and depression.
Various ingredients are present in chicory powder. It mainly has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which help reduce joint pain and swelling caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
For weight loss-
Chicory is known for its anti-obesity properties as it contains a good amount of fibre which helps to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and improve metabolism. Apart from this, along with maintaining energy in the body, fibre also works to control hunger for a long time. It also prevents the accumulation of toxins in the body.
Beneficial for heart health-
Consumption of chicory is considered beneficial for heart health. Chicory is rich in antioxidant properties. Therefore, the consumption of coffee made from it works to improve the balance of blood and plasma in the body due to which the risk of getting heart disease is reduced. Apart from this, there is a lot of insulin in the constriction which works to reduce the level of cholesterol. As a result, the chances of having a heart attack are reduced.
Chicory plays an important role in the digestive system because a good amount of insulin is found in chicory which helps in dealing with many intestinal problems apart from acid reflux (digestive diseases). Apart from this, chicory is also helpful in relieving indigestion and heartburn.
Chicory also works to prevent and protect against breast and colorectal cancer. For this, the polyphenols and photochemical properties found in chicory are helpful. Apart from this, anti-cancer properties are found in chicory roots which help in reducing the symptoms of cancer.
Helpful in relieving constipation-
Consumption of chicory is good to get relief from the problem of constipation. A good amount of vitamins C, E, K, choline and beta carotene are found in chicory root. Apart from this, the insulin present in it helps to protect against intestinal problems. Along with this, it helps to eliminate the problems of digestion and constipation.
Helpful in improving kidney function-
Chicory root extract is used as a diuretic which increases the amount of urine due to which the toxins present in the kidney come out through urine due to which the positive effect of chicory falls on the health of the kidney. Therefore, the consumption of chicory is good for kidney function.
Other benefits and uses of chicory are-
- Grinding chicory leaves with sandalwood and applying it to the forehead provides relief from headaches.
- Gargling after making a decoction of chicory seeds provides relief from mouth and gum pain.
- Taking 10 to 15 ml of its decoction is beneficial in vomiting due to gall bladder.
- Grinding chicory leaves and taking them with cold water provides relief from vomiting of blood.
- To keep the liver healthy, drinking syrup made from chicory flowers is beneficial.
- Make a decoction of chicory root and take 10 to 20 ml daily, it provides relief in problems like menstruation.
- Make a paste of chicory root and apply it to the vagina, it provides relief in vaginal pain and swelling.
Side effects of Chicory
- If a person is allergic to chicory or any other product made with it, then that person should not consume it.
- Pregnant women should not use chicory excessively. Otherwise, it may stimulate menstruation which can lead to miscarriage.
- Lactating mothers should avoid its consumption.
- If a person has a problem with gallstones, then in this situation he should avoid the consumption of chicory.