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Showing posts with label Chicory Plant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicory Plant. Show all posts

Cichorium intybus Seeds

Chicory plant
Family: Compositae

Chicory is also known as Blue Sailors, Garden Endive, Succory, Wild Succory and Hendibeh. The seeds, leaves and root have carminative and cordial properties and are useful as a brain tonic and for headache, asthma and bilious vomiting. It is an acclaimed hepatoprotective and, is used in hepatic enlargement,  sluggishness, jaundice, fever, vomiting and abdominal pain. Cleanses the urinary tract.

Chicory can lower pulse rate and reduce cholesterol levels. It has cholagogue and antiinflammatory properties and is useful in rheumatic condition and gout. Strengthens the liver and checks bilious enlargements of the spleen with general dropsy. Contains 45-60% inulin, which can lower levels of blood cholesterol.

Women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) may find that regular use of chicory root as a bitter and a liver tonic may assist in maintaining hormone balance and lessening the symptoms of PMS.


Chicory also supports the body’s ability to absorb calcium, a nutrient that helps build and maintain strong teeth and bones.
 
Parts used :Leaves - raw or cooked. The leaves are rather bitter, especially when the plants are flowering. The leaves are often blanched by excluding light, either by removing all the leaves and then earthing up the new growth, or by covering the plant with a bucket or something similar. Whilst this greatly reduces any bitterness, there is also a corresponding loss of vitamins and minerals. The blanched leaves are often used in winter salads (they are known as chicons) and are also cooked. The unblanched leaves are much less bitter in winter and make an excellent addition to salads at this time of year. A nutritional analysis of the leaves is available. Flowers - raw. An attractive addition to the salad bowl, but rather bitter. Root - cooked like parsnip. The boiled young roots form a very palatable vegetable. The root is said to be an ideal food for diabetics because of its inulin content. Inulin is a starch that cannot be digested by humans, it tends to pass straight through the digestive system and is therefore unlikely to be of use to a diabetic. However, the inulin can be used to make a sweetener that is suitable for diabetics to use. Chicory-root is free of harmful ingredients, and is essentially a concentrated combination of three sugars (pentose, levulose and dextrose) along with taraxarcine (the bitter principle of dandelion). It is especially important as source of levulose. Roots are used in seasoning soups, sauces and gravies, and to impart a rich deep colour. The roasted root is used as a caffeine-free coffee adulterant or substitute. Young roots have a slightly bitter caramel flavour when roasted, roots over 2 years old are much more bitter.

Other uses of the herb: The roots have the potential to be used for the production of biomass for industrial use. They are rich in the starch "inulin" which can easily be converted to alcohol. A blue dye has been obtained from the leaves. The flowers are an alternative ingredient of "QR" herbal compost activator. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost.

 
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