Reliance on herbal antidotes and natural supplements is on the rise. Distrust of the current health system, the cost of prescription drugs, and modern awareness of ancient remedies are all reasons for the rise in these herbal cures. Chicory is just one of these beneficial plants. But how is chicory good for you? It has not only been used for centuries as a coffee substitute but, more importantly, to improve digestion. Today, it is used to improve health in several different ways.
Is Chicory Good for You?
The benefits of chicory have been recognized by generations of our ancestors. This native European plant is most known for its ability to stand in for coffee. The actively used part of the plant is the root in that case, but the tender leaves are also used in salads or lightly sautéed. Chicory herb plants are also chock full of nutrients and offer a host of other attributes. Recent studies have concluded that chicory extract may have beneficial effects in lowering heart rate. For centuries, using chicory herbs as a detoxifying agent, digestive aid, and liver cleanse were common applications. Of course, its most well-known role is as a stand in for coffee. The roots are roasted and emit an aroma similar to coffee. The color is similar as well, but the flavor pales to an actual cup of Joe. In order to combat the lack of flavor, it is often blended with coffee to stretch the more expensive java. There are other chicory plant benefits, such as its high vitamin and mineral content and fiber punch.
Traditional Chicory Plant Benefits
Chicory herb plants have long been used to detoxify the liver and reportedly cleanse the skin. It has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties. Over the years, the plant has been used as a liver tonic, gastronomic soother, detoxifier, nerve tonic, and to treat gout, diabetes, and arthritis. Calming down unbalanced persons was one of the major chicory plant benefits. The soothing effect of the herb lowers blood pressure, quells hysteria, and helps slow heart rate. The crushed leaves were also used to treat skin inflammations and enhance wound healing.
Modern Benefits of Chicory
Scientists have studied chicory for a variety of applications. One of the most promising ways of using chicory herbs is as a bad cholesterol reducer. The resulting lowered rates of LDLs can help prevent heart attacks and stroke. It also reduces blood pressure, which is an additional benefit in cardiovascular health. The herb is still effective in treating constipation, reducing anxiety, enhancing the immune system, and relieving symptoms of arthritis. In Germany, it is approved as an appetite stimulant and digestive aid. There are some studies that relate the herb to weight loss, likely due to the filling effects of the high fiber content. Chicory is more than just a coffee doppelganger and may have beneficial health effects for you. Disclaimer: The contents of this article is for educational and gardening purposes only. Before using or ingesting ANY herb or plant for medicinal purposes or otherwise, please consult a physician or a medical herbalist for advice.
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Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.
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