What is Chicory and What are the Benefits of Cichorium Intybus? How to Use Kasni? Side Effects of Chicory. Chicory Recipes

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Ayurvedic properties
3. Health Benefits
4. Uses
5. Side Effects
6. Chicory Recipes

1. Introduction

Chicory botanical name is Cichorium Intybus, and other common names are kasni, blue daisy, blueweed, blue sailor, bunk, coffee weed, blue dandelion, & wild endive. It is mainly found in India and almost grows on all types of soil and occurs throughout North-West India up to 6000 feet, particularly in Punjab, Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra.

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Chicory is native to the Mediterranean region or possibly eastern India. It was well-known to the ancient Greeks and Romans and was cultivated in Egypt over 2000 years ago. Classical writers like Horace, Virgil, Ovid, and Pliny mention it as a vegetable and a salad ingredient.

The flowers contain glucoside chichorin and bitter substance, lactucin, and intybin. Seeds contain bland oil and roots contain nitrate and sulphate of potash, mucilage, and some bitter principle.

According to the analysis, leaves contain 93.0 percent moisture, 1.7 percent protein, 0.1 percent fiber, and 4.3 percent carbohydrates. It’s mineral and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C, the calorific value is 20.

2. Ayurvedic properties of Chicory

1. Rasa (Taste): Chicory is primarily bitter (Tikta) in taste.

2. Virya (Potency): It is cooling in nature (Sheeta Virya).

3. Vipaka (Post-digestive taste): The post-digestive taste is pungent (Katu Vipaka).

4. Dosha Effects: Chicory primarily balances Pitta dosha and Kapha dosha. Due to its cooling nature, it may increase Vata dosha in excess.

Ayurvedic Uses:

  1. Digestive Health: Chicory is well-known for its beneficial effects on the digestive system. Its bitter taste stimulates the secretion of digestive juices, supporting healthy digestion and liver function.

  2. Liver Support: It is believed to have hepatoprotective properties, which can support the health and function of the liver.

  3. Blood Sugar Management: Chicory is used in Ayurveda to help manage blood sugar levels and support overall metabolic health.

  4. Detoxification: It is considered to have detoxifying properties, aiding in the elimination of toxins from the body.

  5. Anti-inflammatory: Chicory possesses anti-inflammatory effects and can be beneficial in managing inflammatory conditions.

  6. Urinary Health: In Ayurveda, chicory is used to support urinary health and manage conditions like urinary tract infections.

  7. Antioxidant: It is rich in antioxidants, which help neutralize free radicals and protect the body from oxidative stress.

  8. Skin Health: Chicory is used in certain skincare preparations for its potential benefits in managing skin conditions like acne and promoting healthy skin.

3. What are the Benefits of Cichorium Intybus?

Chicory is an herbal tonic; it increases the secretion and discharge of urine. It is also a stimulant and a mild laxative. It helps to balance Pitta and increase the metabolism of the body. It is also a rich source of iron which helps in anemia and help in blood circulation.

Here are some Benefits of Cichorium Intybus / Chicory

In Anaemia

As mentioned above it contains rich elements of iron which helps to treat anemia and better blood circulation.

In Constipation

Chicory has a laxative property which helps to treat chronic constipation and helps in bowel movements.

In Eye Defects

Chicory contains elements that are constantly needed by the eye optic system. It is one of the richest sources of vitamin A, which is very useful for the eyes. It can bring amazing results in correcting eye defects.

In Liver and Gall Bladder Dysfunctions

Chicory flowers, seeds, and roots are medically used in the treatment of liver disorder, chicory juice in any combination promotes the secretion of bile and is good for both liver and gall bladder dysfunction.

In obstructed Menstruation

Chicory seeds are beneficial in the treatment of obstructed Menstruation.

In Respiratory Disorder

Chicory leaves and seeds are useful in the treatment of chronic bronchitis, asthma, and hay fever.

For Diabetes

Chicory seeds help to improve insulin sensitivity, which helps to lower blood glucose levels.

For Aging 

Chicory is rich in antioxidants, including flavonoids and polyphenols, which can help combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. These compounds have been associated with various health benefits, including reduced risk of chronic diseases and support for healthy aging.

For Appetite 

Chicory root contains inulin, a type of soluble fiber that can help increase feelings of fullness and satiety, which may indirectly affect appetite by reducing hunger and promoting a sense of satisfaction after eating.

For Immunity 

Chicory is rich in antioxidants, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body and reduce oxidative stress. It is a good source of dietary fiber, particularly inulin, which acts as a prebiotic. Prebiotics provide fuel for beneficial bacteria in the gut, which play a crucial role in supporting immune function.

For Cholesterol 

It contains soluble fiber and antioxidants that can help lower cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol in the digestive tract and preventing its absorption into the bloodstream. This can lead to reduced levels of LDL cholesterol, often referred to as "bad" cholesterol.

Anti-Inflammatory 

It contains various bioactive compounds such as polyphenols, flavonoids, and inulin. Polyphenols and flavonoids are well-known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They help neutralize free radicals in the body and reduce oxidative stress, which is a key contributor to inflammation.

4. How to Use Kasni / Chicory seeds?

Dosage and uses depend upon the health problems and conditions or as an Ayurvedic doctor recommends. The general recommended dosage is 5-10 grams of Kasni / Chicory seeds twice a day before an hour of a meal. You can mix it with coffee or make a tea of the chicory seed powder.

Here are the uses of the Kasni / Chicory seeds

  • Take 5 grams of powder of each herb, chicory seeds, celery, and parsley, and mix them all. Taking this mixture twice a day helps to treat anemia.
  • Take 5 grams powder of chicory seed with water twice after the meal, helps to cure constipation.
  • Make a juice of celery, carrot, parsley, and chicory is highly nourishing for the optic nerve and the muscular system.
  • Taking 30-60 ml of decoction of the flowers, seeds, or roots took three times daily is beneficial in the treatment of torpidity or sluggishness of the liver, biliary stasis, or stoppage of bile, jaundice, and enlargement of the spleen.
  • A decoction of chicory seeds is beneficial in mensuration problems.
  • Take 10 grams of chicory root powder and mix with half tsp of honey, take this mixture thrice a day on daily basis, gives relief from chronic bronchitis.
  • You can make a salad of young leaves by blanching the leaves and chopping them. Mix it in a salad.
  • Green mature leaves are good for making vegetables.
  • Roasted seeds are used as an ingredient in coffee or as a beverage on their own.

5. Side Effects 

All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based, and they don’ have any side effects but they may react with some allopathy or homeopathy medicine. It is better to consult the doctor if you are on any medications or have special health issues.

While chicory is generally considered safe and is well-tolerated by most people, there are some potential side effects to be aware of. Consuming large amounts of chicory may cause stomach upset, including bloating, gas, and diarrhea. In some cases, it may also cause allergic reactions, particularly in people who are sensitive to plants in the daisy family. Additionally, chicory may interact with certain medications, particularly blood thinners, and should be used with caution in people with certain medical conditions, such as gallstones or kidney stones. As always, it's best to consult with your healthcare provider before adding chicory or any other new supplement or ingredient to your diet.

Some side effects are mentioned below.

  • Consult the doctor if you are breastfeeding.
  • Do not take without a doctor’s prescription if you are pregnant.
  • If you are on diabetes or on hypertension medication. Consult first the doctor before consuming.
  • If you are suffering from kidney disease, consult the doctor first before consuming Chicory
  • Do not take Chicory with liquor, it may interact with it and cause drowsiness.

6. Chicory Recipes

Here is a simple and easy recipe for chicory coffee, I have used on chicory, you can also add ground coffee.

Chicory Mint Coffee

Ingredients

  • Chicory Roasted Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Sugar – ½ cup
  • Mint Leaves or powder – ¼ tsp

Method

  • Take a tea pan and add water to boil.
  • Add all the items and boil them for 2 minutes.
  • Strain the coffee in a cup and enjoy the taste.
Buy Mint Leaves Powder

Chicory Green Tea

Ingredients

  • Chicory Root Powder – 1 tsp
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Honey – ½ cup
  • Green Tea – ½ tsp
  • Cinnamon powder – ¼ tsp

Method

  • Take a tea pan and add water to boil.
  • Add all the items and boil them for 2 minutes.
  • Strain the green tea in a cup and enjoy the tea, you can also add lemon juice.


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