Chicory root Cichorium intybus granules
Traditionally, the root of the plant was used to treat jaundice and other liver ailments. The French and Europeans believe that Chicory, when added to coffee, counteracts the coffee’s acidic quality and its adverse effect on the stomach. This herb has tonic, laxative, and diuretic properties similar to dandelion. Egyptian scientific studies have shown that Chicory root can slow a rapid heartbeat, and that it has a mild heart stimulating benefit similar to digitalis. In folk medicine, Chicory root is valued primarily as a mild non-irritating tonic with diuretic and laxative effects. In Egyptian folk medicine, it is used for tachycardia (rapid heartbeat). In Pakistan, the root has been used as a folk medicine for liver disease. A decoction of the dried root is a noted treatment for stomach acidity. The tonic property of Chicory makes it an excellent mild bitter tonic for the liver, gallbladder, and digestive tract. This herb is also used for rheumatic conditions and gout. The leaves and flowers can aid in digestion. The bruised leaves are used externally as a poultice for the relief of swellings, skin lacerations, and inflammations, but are also used as a leafy green vegetable in salads.
Chicory helps support the body’s ability to absorb Calcium. Calcium is a nutrient that helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth. The fibers that are extracted from Chicory root called Raftilin Inulin and Raftilose Oligofructose are fibers that cannot be digested by the small intestine. Instead, they are fermented by bacteria in the large intestine, leading to the increased absorption of Calcium and other minerals. Oligofructose is an example of prebiotic or non-digestible food ingredient that benefits health by supporting the growth of one or several types of bacteria in the colon. A study done in 2002 indicates that Inulin appears to lower the risk of Colon Cancer, of course more research needs to be done. Please do not confuse Inulin with Insulin for they are two different things.
The German Commission E, in 1990 published that the dried parts, above ground or below, of the Chicory can be used for loss of appetite and dyspepsia. Also stated that this herb contains bitter principles, Inulin and pentosans.