- Off The Grid News - https://www.offthegridnews.com -

The Natural Healing Herb of Chicory

Chicory [1] is a somewhat woody, perennial herb. Some varieties can be cultivated as salad greens or grown for their roots – which may be baked and ground as a coffee substitute or additive. In fact, during the Civil War, chicory [1] was adopted as a coffee substitute by the Confederate Army. Chicory [1] can also be grown as livestock food. It lives wild along the roadside of many parts of Europe and has become naturalized across America and in parts of Australia and New Zealand.

Chicory [1] was been cultivated by ancient Egyptians and was raised by medieval monks before coffee was introduced to Europe. Once coffee was introduced, the Dutch used chicory [1] as a lively flavoring in it. In addition, a common meal in Rome, puntarelle, is made of chicory [1] sprouts.

The chicory [1] flower has been seen as a symbol of inspiration. It also stands for love, desire, and a striving for the unreachable. Also, according to European folklore, it was believed to open locked doors.

Some other common names for chicory [1] are blue sailors, succory, coffeeweed and sometimes cornflower – though this name is more commonly applied to Centaurea Cyanus.


When flowering, chicory [1] had a grooved, tough, stem that is somewhat hairy and grows from ten to forty inches tall. The blossoms are from ¾-inch to 1½ inches wide and are usually bright blue in color, although rarely they can be pink or white. The heads grow in two rows of rosette-like bracts; the inner row is long and more erect, while the outer one is shorter and spreading. Chicory [1] flowers from July to October.

Leaf Chicory [1]

Wild leaf chicory [1] tends to be bitter. This bitterness is appreciated in the cuisines of Greece and Turkey and some regions of Italy. Cooking the leaves and then discarding the cooking water can reduce this bitterness. You can then sauté it with garlic and other ingredients of choice to serve with your favorite pasta or alongside meat dishes.

Cultivated leaf chicory [1] is primarily eaten raw as salad greens. These greens are divided into three types, but they have many varieties:

New “Survival Herb Bank” Gives You Access to God’s Amazing Medicine Chest [2]

Root Chicory

Root chicory [1] has been grown in Europe as a coffee substitute for hundreds of years. The roots are baked, ground, and brewed just as you would coffee beans. It has been used as a coffee additive in many parts of India, the Mediterranean region (where it originated), parts of Southeast Asia, South Africa, and the southern United States – particularly New Orleans. In fact, you may have seen it on the shelves of your local grocery or even in your grandparents’ cupboards in a jar labeled “Postum.”

Some brewers have used roasted chicory [1] to add depth and flavor to their stout malt liquors. Others have added it to strong Belgian-style ales to compliment the hops.

In the early 70s root chicory [1] was found to contain 20 percent inulin, a prebiotic that is also found in Jerusalem artichokes and the Dahlia family. It has been used by the food industry as a sugar-free sweetener and as an additive to yogurt and other foods to help feed the good bacterium that live throughout our digestive tracts. As a sweetening agent, it can be converted to fructose and glucose through a process called hydrolysis. Inulin is also becoming a popular food additive as a source of “soluble fiber.”

Medicinal Uses

Root chicory [1] contains volatile oils similar to those in tansy and is likewise useful in elimination of intestinal worms in people and animals from pets to livestock. These oils are found in all parts of the plant, with the majority found in the roots. This has prompted the use of root chicory as a source of organic livestock feed to supplement traditional food sources. Only a few major companies are researching the development and production of chicory varieties, most of which are in New Zealand.

Chicory [1] flowers have long been used in Germany (and natural healing books) as a tonic for gallstones, gastroenteritis, sinus problems, cuts, and bruises. Its inulin can aid in weight loss, constipation, improving bowel function, and general health. Some studies on rats showed it can increased calcium absorption and bone mineral density.

Forage Varieties

©2012 Off the Grid News