Chicory (Cichorium intybus
) is an erect, woody perennial herb, that is historically known for its use as a coffee substitute in many countries. Different preparations of chicory are used to treat various symptoms and ailments in traditional medicines. Over 100 individual compounds have been isolated from C. intybus
. The roots contain up to 40% inulin, a natural food component used to increase dietary fiber, replace fats or carbohydrates, and acts as a useful prebiotic to stimulate beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal (GI) system.
Chicory also contains chicoric acid, which is a major compound in methanolic extracts. Chicoric acid has shown vasorelaxant activity against nor-epinephrine-induced contractions in isolated rat aorta strips. The flowers of chicory contain saccharides, methoxycoumarin cichorine, flavonoids, essential oils, and anthocyanins contributing to the blue color of the perianth.
: A study conducted in rats administered extracts of dried chicory demonstrated that it might possess significant protection for the liver.
: A study conducted on young broiler chickens revealed that adding 60-120 g/kg of chicory forage to their diet was beneficial for their gastrointestinal system.
: Different parts of chicory were found to be active against different pathogenic microorganisms.
- Seed extract: Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Candida albicans
- Root extracts: Bacillus subtilis, S. aureus, Salmonella typhi, Micrococcus luteus, and E. coli
- Leaf extract: S. typhi