Historical studies show that the ancient Egyptians cultivated chicory for medicinal purposes 5 thousand years ago. Young leaves were used for food, from which salads and side dishes were prepared. Horace, Virgil, Pliny, Ovid studied the effects of chicory on humans, the benefits and harms to the health of the body. The ancient Roman physician Galen called the herb "the friend of the liver" because of its beneficial effect on this organ. As an additive and substitute for coffee, chicory began to be used in France in the 19th century.
General information about chicory, what it is
Chicory is a genus of herbaceous biennial or perennial plants, from the Aster family. It includes 10 species: 8 wild and 2 cultivated. It is common in temperate and tropical climatic zones.
The growing environment is forest edges, meadows, the outskirts of roads and arable lands. Separate fields are allocated for cultivated species.
The grass has a long taproot that can extend 15 m into the soil.
Young leaves are rich in ascorbic acid, natural carotene, potassium salts. The calorie content of the product is 21 kcal per 100 g, which makes it a dietary one.
The root contains:
vitamins B and C;
trace elements - Na, K, Ca, Mg, P, Fe;
Chicory contains inulin, fructose and carotene.
For use in cooking, 2 types are cultivated - ordinary and salad. From the latter, young leaves are eaten.
radicchio, or red;
witluf (white) - grown without access to light, as a result of which the leaves get rid of the characteristic bitterness.
Depending on the method of processing the root, 3 forms of the product are distinguished:
Liquid. The extract from it is used in medicine and cooking as a flavoring agent and an additive to sauces.
I grind. The rhizome is washed, dried, fried in a special oven and ground into powder. Drink from it after steeping in hot or cold water.
Soluble. It is obtained after spraying in a special drying apparatus. The powder does not need to be insisted for a long time before taking it, as it is ground, and its shelf life is longer than that of a liquid extract.
Indications for use
It is recommended to use the plant for food or externally when:
depression, low mood, fatigue;
high blood sugar;
dysbiosis or constipation;
atherosclerosis, ischemia, hypertension, tachycardia;
diseases of the pancreas.
The use of chicory is recommended for depression and fatigue.
Chicory is used as a general tonic. It has a beneficial effect on the liver, digestive organs, nervous and cardiovascular systems, has a wound healing effect, and when using a decoction for compresses, relieves abdominal pain associated with diseases of the stomach and intestines.
Means from the plant strengthen the structure of the hair, promote its growth.
Possessing bactericidal and anti-inflammatory properties, they fight eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis.
Depending on the mechanism of influence on the body, plant-based preparations have:
direct action - satisfying hunger, lowering blood sugar levels;
secondary - a decrease in tissue edema in those suffering from cardiovascular diseases;
indirectly - strengthening immunity through improving the digestive tract, active assimilation of vitamins and microelements.
For diabetics and obesity
The root contains a large amount of inulin, a vegetable sweetener. It helps to reduce the proportion of "bad" cholesterol, which has a beneficial effect on the body in the treatment of diabetes. When consumed regularly, the drink improves digestion and makes you feel full. Therefore, the remedy is recommended for obesity.
Chicory contains insulin, which is used to treat diabetes.
For the cardiovascular system
Herbal drinks and dishes dilate blood vessels and increase the amplitude of the heart. To enhance the medicinal properties, they are used with other products, such as ginger.
Due to the taste similarity, the drink is recommended for patients with cardiovascular diseases as a substitute for coffee.
For the digestive system
Herbal decoctions have a beneficial effect on the intestinal microflora and prevent the development of inflammatory processes in it. Inulin promotes the multiplication of bifidobacteria and the absorption of calcium. non stick cookware spray
For the nervous system
The beneficial substances of the plant have a calming effect on the body. It contains riboflavin, thiamine and biotin, which energize but do not excite the nervous system (unlike caffeine ).
Inulin helps to cleanse the choleretic tract of the organ. Thiamine and riboflavin regulate the release of histamines. Ascorbic acid strengthens the blood vessels through which blood enters the liver. Resins and essential oils protect the cells of the organ, making their membranes stronger.
Chicory helps cleanse the liver.
The product affects the normalization of hormonal levels. The selenium present in its composition promotes the production of testosterone in the male body. That, in turn, increases potency. Vitamin B5 stimulates the production of corticosteroids and adrenal cortex hormones.
Carotene is responsible for this effect on the body. It prevents skin aging, decreases its elasticity, acts as an immunomodulator, stimulating the response of cells to the appearance of pathogens.
Preventing Chronic Disease and Cancer
The plant prevents the occurrence of gastritis or colitis. The latter often cause liver congestion.
Inulin stimulates the production of butyrate in the intestine, a substance that protects cells from any harmful effects. By eliminating damaging factors, it contributes to the prevention of colon cancer. Studies have shown that adding a product to the diet for 2 years reduces the overall risk of malignant tumors.
The natural polysaccharide inulin accelerates metabolic processes, which leads to the dissolution of cholesterol plaques on the walls of blood vessels. Trace elements - potassium, sodium, magnesium - have a beneficial effect on the work of the heart, increasing blood flow. This in turn contributes to the destruction of plaque. By preventing obesity and hypertension, chicory also helps lower cholesterol levels.
Chicory prevents obesity.
Supports Kidney Health
The plant enhances the diuretic effect by improving kidney function. The beneficial substances contained in it cleanse them of toxins.
Influence on the human body
The effect of plant products on the human body may depend on gender or age.
For pregnant women, the drink allows you to relieve puffiness due to its diuretic effect. In addition, chicory prevents toxicosis and improves appetite. Doctors recommend consuming 1 cup a day. The same rate is considered acceptable for nursing mothers.
In pregnant women, chicory removes toxicosis.
The substances contained in the drink have a beneficial effect on the skin and its elasticity.
By stimulating testosterone production, chicory has a positive effect on potency. The diuretic effect helps to cope with urological diseases.
In addition, it removes toxins from the body and cleanses it after intoxication caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
In many kindergartens, a drink is given to children in the morning. It has a mild tonic effect on the body, stimulates appetite and helps the absorption of dairy products.
Areas and methods of application
In official medicine, the use of the plant is not yet very common. However, pharmacies sell medicinal preparations in the form of dried leaves, stems and flowers. The herb was used more widely in folk recipes to combat various diseases.
Medicinal collection of chicory helps fight various diseases.
Chicory is used in cooking (as an additive or as a standalone drink) and in cosmetology.
Decoctions, tinctures are prepared from the dried parts of the plant, and they are used in compresses. Special masks for the skin are created from its components.
Slimming and anti-cellulite
The ground parts of the root of the plant help with weight loss. Studies show that regular consumption of the drink sheds 4 kg of excess weight per month, even without grueling exercise and dieting. In this case, the daily calorie content of food should be reduced to 1500 kcal.
By promoting normal stool and better absorption of fast carbohydrates, chicory fights excess fat and cellulite.
Use in cosmetology
For cosmetic purposes, chicory is used externally. For this, both dried ground parts of the grass and the rhizome are used.
To strengthen hair
To improve the structure of the hair and stimulate their growth, an infusion is used.
Chicory is used to strengthen hair.
5 tbsp. l. a mixture of roots and herbs of the plant is poured into 1 liter of boiling water and insisted for 8 hours in a closed container. After the tincture is filtered.
The resulting liquid is first thoroughly rubbed into the hair roots, and only then - they are moistened along the entire length. In this case, you can not use shampoo or rinse the tincture with water. After 10 minutes, the hair is wrung out thoroughly and allowed to dry naturally.
For the prevention of inflammatory skin diseases, dermatologists recommend taking baths with chicory. For this, 4 tbsp. l. herbs are poured with 2 tbsp. boiling water and insist for 1 hour. The resulting infusion is filtered and added to the bath, which is taken for at least 15 minutes.
To enhance the cosmetological effect, you can take a course of 21 procedures with a frequency of 1-2 days.
A purifying and rejuvenating mask is prepared from the root. Powdered raw materials are poured with boiling water in such an amount to bring the mixture to a mushy state. The substances are allowed to cool slightly and are applied to the skin. After 20-25 minutes, the gruel is washed off with warm water.
Traditional medicine recipes
In folk medicine, this herb is used both for the treatment of diseases and for their prevention. The plant is consumed alone or in combination with others.
Influenza and ARVI
For colds, an infusion of 5 g of chicory herb and the same amount of motherwort is prepared. The mixture is poured into 1 tbsp. boiling water, adding 1 tbsp. l. honey. The medicine is insisted for at least 30 minutes. Take 80 ml 2 times a day.
For acute respiratory viral infections, an infusion of chicory is prepared.
For its treatment, a mixture is prepared from an infusion of chamomile flowers, to which 1 tsp is added. powder. Take the remedy 3 times a day for 1/3 tbsp. before eating.
For the treatment of gastritis, an infusion is prepared from the powder. 5 tbsp are poured into a tightly closing container. l. chopped root and pour all 500 ml of boiling water. The dishes are tightly corked, and the mixture is left to infuse for several hours. Take an infusion of 1/4 tbsp. before every meal.
10 g of dry herbs are brewed in 400 ml of water and boiled for 10 minutes. The liquid is filtered and cooled. The tool is taken in 100 ml 3 times a day before meals.
15 g of dry or fresh ground part of the plant is poured with 400 ml of boiling water and the mixture is allowed to brew. To eliminate skin problems with the resulting liquid, the affected areas are washed.
The affected skin is washed with chicory infusion.
20 g of chicory root is poured with water and let it brew. Squeezed juice from 1 head of garlic is added to the liquid. The resulting mixture is gargled with pain.
With dyskinesia of the biliary tract
Dry grass is crushed, poured into a thermos, 1 tbsp. boiling water and let it brew for 40-60 minutes. In the morning and in the evening, 30 minutes before a meal, drink 1/2 the volume of the resulting infusion.
With gallstone and urolithiasis
1 tbsp. l. chicory root and herbs are poured with 2 tbsp. boiling water and insist for 4 hours in a tightly sealed container. Take the remedy for 1/2 tbsp. 3 times a day 20 minutes before meals. The recommended course duration is 21 days.
With urinary incontinence
Pour 1 tbsp into an enamel bowl. l. chopped root and pour 200 ml of boiling water. The container is placed in a water bath. The contents are boiled for 10 minutes. The product is cooled and brought to a volume of 1 tbsp., Adding water. Accepted in the course of 21 days. 1/4 tbsp. the funds are drunk 20 minutes before meals.
For urinary incontinence, chicory root is used.
With fatty degeneration of the liver, cirrhosis of the liver, chronic hepatitis
Pour 2 tbsp into enameled dishes. l. chopped roots and 1 tbsp. l. herbs. Pour in 3 tbsp. boiling water. Cook the mass in a water bath, remove it 15 minutes after boiling, and then insist for half an hour. Filter the broth and take 1/2 tbsp. hot drink with honey 3 times a day in a course of 3 months.
Cooking Uses: Delicious Chicory Recipes
In cooking, it is used to prepare not only a healthy drink that tastes like coffee. The plant is used to create original desserts, added to sauces.
Lean raspberry cake
To prepare the dough, take 3 tbsp. wheat flour, 2.5 tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. soda, a pinch of salt and 2 tsp. baking powder. Separately mix 200 ml of vegetable oil, 1 tbsp. l. vinegar, 400 ml of soda. The liquid is poured into a mixture of flour and sugar, and then beat until smooth.
Lean raspberry cake is a delicious dessert.
2-3 st. l. the resulting dough is separated, mixed with 3 tsp. chicory and returned to the bulk.
The oven mold is lined with baking paper. The dough is evenly distributed over the container. The cakes are baked at a temperature of 180 ° C.
The resulting base is cooled and cut into 2 equal parts. The first cake is laid out on a plate, poured with a layer of berries or jam, whole raspberries or blackberries are placed around the edges. For the filling, you will need about 100 g of fruit. For the layer, 3-4 tbsp is enough. l. jam or jam.
The second cake is placed on top. It is also smeared with jam or a mixture of berries, if desired, garnished with almonds.
Cocktail "Super Energizer"
6 dried apricots are poured with juice from 1 orange and infused for 30 minutes. 1 tsp chicory is brewed in 3 tbsp. l. boiling water, add 4 tbsp. l. condensed milk and a pinch of cinnamon. The mixtures are combined, whipped in a blender until smooth and poured into glasses, if desired, decorated with fruit slices.
200 g of spelled flour is combined with the same amount of oatmeal, add 4 tbsp. l. rye. Pour 3 tbsp into the mixture. l. chicory, 2 tsp turmeric, 1 tbsp. l. fennel, a pinch of salt, 2 tsp. baking powder. Add 3 tbsp. l. olive oil, 1/3 tbsp. water and 4 tbsp. l. honey. Knead the dough. Then small gingerbread cookies are formed, which are baked in the oven for 25 minutes at 180 ° C.
Chocolate gingerbread is baked in the oven.
Tips and tricks for choosing instant chicory
When choosing a product, you need to pay attention to the information on the package. It should indicate that the product is made from a plant. Companies often produce powder with natural additives - rose hips, hazelnuts, blueberries, hawthorn, ginseng, stevia. The presence of chemical flavors or food additives is not allowed in an environmentally friendly product.
The package must have a hologram and state GOST R 55512-2013.
How to properly prepare a drink: brew and drink
There is no separate brewing technology for a drink. The first time it is worth pouring 1-2 tsp. powder with boiled water. As you become familiar with the taste, everyone independently determines the dose of the product necessary for themselves.
The drink has a small amount of astringency and bitterness. Sugar or honey is added to sweeten it. This should not be done if the product is being consumed for weight loss.
Add 1 tsp to 250 ml of milk. powder, boil the mixture and let it brew for 5 minutes. Strain it, you can drink it.
Chicory is added to the milk and drunk.
With rose hips
Chicory with rosehip is used for insomnia and irritability. Boil 200 ml of water, add 1 tsp there. powder of the root of the plant and after half a minute is removed from the fire. Add 5-6 rosehip berries to the container, insist for 1 hour, filter and drink the broth.
For the treatment of colds or for weight loss, a decoction with ginger is prepared. In 200 ml of boiling water add 2 tsp. powder, and after 30 seconds - a pinch of ground ginger. After another half a minute, the drink is removed from the heat and let it brew.
Ground chicory root, fried grains of barley and oats, rowan fruits are mixed in proportions of 5: 7: 4: 4, respectively. The substance is poured into 1 tbsp. boiling water and let it brew.
Rowan berries and chicory are mixed.
With dried apricots
By 3 tsp. powder add 1 tsp. chopped dried apricots and 3 tsp. ground roasted grains of rye and barley. To enhance the healing effect, add 1 tsp. dried carrots. The mixture is poured with boiling water and insisted.
For the drink, a substance is prepared from acorns, chicory and dried carrots in proportions of 1: 2: 1. The product is brewed with boiled water.
A drink with almonds is prepared from 1 part powder, 2 - nuts and 4 - roasted ground barley grains. The mixture is poured with boiling water, insisted, filtered and drunk.
You can make a delicious drink with almonds.
The minimum required dose of inulin for an adult is 2.5 g of the substance per day. At the root it contains at least 30%, therefore, 2 cups of a drink from an instant product per day is considered a sufficient consumption rate.
The powder should be stored in an airtight container. Due to its high hygroscopicity, it is collected only with a dry spoon. The ingress of even a small amount of moisture strongly holds the product together, turning it into a kind of stone. The shelf life is indicated on the packaging by the manufacturer. A self-prepared product is saved for no more than 2 years.
The dry (ground) part of the plant is stored in paper or cloth bags in a dark and dry place. Such a product should be used within a year.
Possible harm and contraindications
The drink is prohibited for people suffering from:
It is not recommended for children under 3 years of age.
The drink gained popularity in Europe in the 19th century. thanks to the efforts of Napoleon Bonaparte. By that time, coffee ceased to be a product of only aristocrats - ordinary citizens also joined in its consumption. But invigorating grain was brought to Europe from the colonies by sea, and due to numerous wars and pirate attacks, its supplies were often disrupted. Then the emperor of France ordered to dilute coffee with roasted chicory root powder.