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Disclaimer: The information on is intended to improve your knowledge about herbs and their benefits. Articles on this website are not intended to replace medical treatment from your doctor. Always consult your doctor before starting a new treatment regimen.

Page Update 06/20/2019

Edible Wild Medicinal Herb
Chicory  (Cichorium intybus L)

By Dr. Ashraf Girgis

Other Names 

Chicory, Cichorium intybus L, Kasni , Achicoria, Wild Endive, Cheveux de Paysans, blue daisy, and blue dandelion, among others.


Chicory contains flavonoids (Phytonutrients and anti oxidants), phenolic acids, and phytochemicals (the chemical compounds in plants responsible for their color) such as tannins, saponins, and flavonoids. Chicory roots contain volatile oils, and are up to 13-23% insulin, 6% protein, 14% sucrose, 5% cellulose, 4% ash and 3% other compounds, in addition to small amounts of fat, mannitol, and latex. As for minerals, chicory contains iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and sodium. It also contains vitamins such as Thiamine B1, B2, B5, Niacin B3, B6, folate (B9) and C, K, E, and A.



Native Americans (Cherokee) used chicory root as a nerve tonic. Historical documents indicate that during the civil war, the imports of coffee were blocked in the United States and New Orleanders started using Chicory root as a coffee substitute. 

Chicory has been used as medicine in Iran (Persia) for thousands of years. In modern day Iran, it is used for a variety of purposes, including blood pressure regulation, lowering blood sugar, fighting cancer, and treating gall bladder stones. In Germany, it has also been used for treating sinuses, as well as cuts and bruises.

It was also used in ancient Egypt and Rome; Romans grew it as a vegetable crop.

   Chicory can be bitter if eaten raw; if you don’t like the bitter taste, you can cook it (this removes many nutrients as well). Because of its bitterness, Italians add chicory to pasta dishes; other countries have also used it as a spice.  In 2002, the United States imported over 2.3 million kilograms of chicons (shoots and leaves) and 1.9 million kilograms of roasted chicory roots for coffee, according to the US Department of Commerce.

Health Benefits

Chicory works as a tonic, and it has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.

According to research done on rate models in 2000, chicory has shown to lower cholesterol. In addition, Chicory has been used as a diuretic, digestive aid, and laxative according to a study published in 2001 in the Journal of the Science of Food.

Research has also demonstrated chicory’s anti-inflammatory properties, according to an article published in the journal of Food Chem Toxicology in July 2007.

Another study published in August of 2003 showed that using chicory seed extract almost totally normalized liver cells, and no fatty cells or necrosis were observed in rats that had induced liver damage. The results were superior in comparison to the standard drug Silymarin (Silybon-70). Additionally, research on rats has shown that chicory increases calcium absorption and bone mineral density.

Chicory has been used to treat irregular heartbeats, works as a laxative, increases bile, acts as a probiotic, and is a good source of beta-carotene. It also is known to stimulate menstruation.

 Chicory leaves can be crushed, made into a paste, and applied directly to the skin to reduce redness and inflammation. In Iran, chicory juice is mixed with cucumber and gargled to reduce swelling of the tonsils. It is also used as a beauty mask by smashing the leaves and mixing them with egg, and applying the mixture to dry skin for 10-15 minutes. Chicory also has sedative effects. Chicory is among the 38 plants used in the Bach Flower Remedy, created by Dr. Bach in the 1920s in England. It was used to restore emotional equilibrium.


Side Effects of Chicory

Chicory is fairly safe. However, you should avoid consuming chicory if you have allergies to plants within the Asteraceae family, or allergies to rage weed. There are more than 1620 genera and 23,600 species of herbs in the asteraceae family. It is a family of flowering plants and shrubs that includes aster, daisy, zinnias, dahlias, chrysanthemums, marigolds, etc. Because its effects on pregnant and breastfeeding women have not been studied, it is best for those women to avoid using it. In general, please contact your health practitioner about the use of any herbs on a regular basis.



There has not been any specific dosage established. Please follow the instructions on the label if you are using the extract. According to, typical doses of the herb are 3-5g a day. 

Thanks for visiting 

 Dr Ashraf Girgis ND

Essential Oils


Ashraf Girgis,ND

Side Effects


Dandelion. (n.d.). Retrieved March 09, 2016, from
Retrieved from (n.d.). Retrieved March 09, 2016, from
Retrieved March 09, 2016, from
Dandelion. (n.d.). Retrieved March 09, 2016, from
Side Effects of Chicory Root Extract. (2015). Retrieved March 09, 2016, from
The Health Benefits of Dandelions. (n.d.). Retrieved March 09, 2016, from
Bark Casni va Ghvas Darmani. Retrieved March 09, 2016, from 

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