Chicory - The Coffee Weed
Chicory (Cichorium intybus), also known as common Chicory, is a perennial, herbaceous plant belonging to the sunflower and dandelion family. It grows wild on roadsides, pastures and open fields in different parts of Europe and America and is easy to see due to its attractive blue flowers. Chicory's history of cultivation dates back to the time of the early Egyptians when it was grown by the banks of the Nile River.1
Containing a range of vitamins and beneficial plant compounds, extracts of Chicory have been used to boost immunity and as an herbal remedy for centuries. It is a rich and excellent source of inulin, a natural polysaccharide and prebiotic which promotes digestive and heart health.
Continue reading to discover the many benefits of Chicory ...
Chicory is known by names such as blue daisy, blue dandelion, blue sailors, and blue weed because of its bright blue daisy-like flowers. These flowers grow from a hairy and branching main stem that grows to a height of 1.5 meters. Chicory leaves, buds and roots are used for different culinary preparations. The leaves which are stemmed and toothed are mainly used as salad greens. Its long and fleshy tap root may be eaten raw, boiled or dried and ground to use as a caffeine-free coffee substitute or additive. Chicory is also known as coffee weed for this reason.
Nutrients and Benefits
Chicory has been used in traditional medicine across continents to relieve digestive problems, help detoxify the liver and gall bladder, relieve inflammation, joint and muscle pain, calm the nerves and improve heart health and blood sugar levels. Chicory contains many health benefitting plant compounds including:
- Vitamins A, B6, C, E, K and folic acid and the minerals zinc, magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron.
- Potassium which aids immunity and contributes to heart and bone health.
- Inulin, a powerful probiotic, which may help alleviate digestive problems by reducing the body's acidity. Inulin may also help regulate cholesterol which can contribute to improved blood pressure levels and heart health.
- Plant phenols that promote cardiovascular health.
- Oligofructose which combined with inulin helps regulate ghrelin, an amino acid associated with feelings of hunger. Reduced ghrelin results in a feeling of fullness which may contribute to healthy weight management.
- Dietary fiber to improve digestion and weight control.
- Fructans which promote healthy cell growth.
Studies have indicated that Chicory has anti-inflammatory, sedative and diuretic properties. The sedative qualities may help relieve stress2 while the diuretic properties may help detoxify the kidney and promote kidney health.
NP Nutra's Chicory Powder (organic) is a partly soluble, fine brown powder which is certified organic, kosher and food-grade. It is sun-dried and produced in a BRC certified facility. It can be used in herbal blends and coffee substitute products, adding a pleasant coffee-like flavor to functional foods and beverages. It can also be added to health tonics and dietary supplements.
Contact us for a free sample and further product information.