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Chicory Health Benefits

Posted at December 11, 2014 | By : | Categories : Team | Comments Off on Chicory Health Benefits

Chicory continues to be a popular remedy due to its healing effects on numerous ailments.

Cardiovascular Conditions

According to website Drugs.com, chicory extract may be helpful in the treatment of arrhythmias, fibrillation and tachycardia, a condition in which the heart beat too fast. It also may be highly effective in treating thrombosis, which is the formation of a clot in a blood vessel. In a study published in the March 2011 issue of “Phytotherapy Research,” clinicians found that chicory, which is rich in plant phenolics, has anti-thrombotic and anti-inflammatory properties that act as a protective agent against cardiovascular diseases and conditions. In the study, 27 healthy participants were given 300 mL of chicory coffee every day for 1 week. At the end of this period, the participants’ whole blood and plasma viscosities significantly decreased and their red blood cell deformability significantly improved, demonstrating that chicory has some ability to protect the cardiovascular system.

Digestion improvement

Raftilin inulin and raftilose oligofructose are fibers extracted from chicory root that cannot be digested by the small intestine. Instead, they are fermented by bacteria in the large intestine, leading to the increased absorption of calcium and other minerals. Oligofructose is an example of a prebiotic, or non digestible food ingredient that benefits health by supporting the growth of one or several types of bacteria in the colon. A study published in 2002 indicates that inulin appears to lower the risk of colon cancer . In addition to enhancing digestive processes, chicory helps to keep the liver healthy. The inclusion of chicory root supplements in the diet supports the proper metabolism of cholesterol

Constipation

Chicory acts as a natural laxative. It contains inulin, a type of plant fiber that can ease the discomfort of constipation. In a study published in the March 2011 issue of “International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition,” researchers concluded that just 15 g of inulin-rich chicory, taken daily, helped elderly constipated individuals to obtain relief. During this double-blind study, participants were given either a chicory supplement or a placebo. Those who used the supplement found increased digestion, reduced defecation difficulty and a better overall quality of life

Osteoarthritis

Chicory’s anti-inflammatory properties may make it helpful in treating joint issues, such as osteoarthritis. According to the July 2010 issue of “BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders,” chicory extract can be used to manage the pain of osteoarthritis. During this placebo-controlled study, 13 of the 18 participants who received the chicory extract reported at least a 20 percent improvement in pain, stiffness and other symptoms associated with osteoarthritis. The treatment seemed to be tolerable, and no adverse effects were observed. Chicory also supports the body’s ability to absorb calcium , a nutrient that helps build and maintain strong teeth and bones.

PMS syndrome relief

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. In addition, altering the diet by eating a “bitter” salad that includes fresh dandelion , chicory, and sorrel is believed to strengthen the liver and discourage the growth of candida.

External use

A strong tea made from the roots, flowers, and leaves is reputed to be a good wash for skin irritations including athlete’s foot. You can apply a compress of the boiled leaves and flowers, wrapped in a clean cotton cloth, to minor inflammations, swellings, and boils.

Sources

Edible and Medicinal Plants of Canada. MacKinnon et al. LonePine Publishing 2009

Instant Chicory, Instant Barley, Coffee Substitutes, Morganville, NJ