A perennial herb with a fleshy fusiform root. The stem is straight and branched. Basal leaves are notched-pinnate, rough, with a colored main vein. Stem leaves are lanceolate, sharp-toothed, stalk-embracing. Flower baskets are beautiful, blue, and consist of reed flowers. Fruits-achenes. Height 30 – 120 cm. Flowering time-June-August. It is found almost everywhere, growing near roads and ditches, on barren slopes and wastelands, in meadows, along the banks of rivers, in shrubs. The part used is roots, grass (stems, leaves, and flower baskets), and achenes.
The roots contain the carbohydrate inulin (up to 49%), soluble in hot water, bitter glycoside intibin, protein substances, sugar, resin and other substances. The flowers contain the glucoside chicory. The milky juice of stems and leaves contains the bitter substances lactucin and lactucopicrin.
A decoction of wild chicory has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and astringent effects. According to experimental data, infusion of wild chicory inflorescences with parenteral administration has a calming effect on the Central nervous system and increases the activity of the heart, increasing the amplitude and slowing down the heart rate. In addition, chicory improves appetite, increases digestion, increases the excretion of urine and bile, and stops diarrhea. Decoction of seeds has analgesic, antipyretic and diaphoretic effects.
Chicory was highly valued by ancient doctors as a versatile remedy. It was a part of numerous complex medicines used for diseases of the liver (acute and chronic hepatitis, cholecystitis, cholelithiasis, cholangitis), gastrointestinal tract (acute and chronic gastritis, enterocolitis), mucous membranes (stomatitis, conjunctivitis), wounds, joint and muscle pain (gout, sciatica, myositis), bites of poisonous insects and animals (Abu Mansur, IX-X centuries.; Ibn Sina, x-XI centuries; Muhammad Hussein Sherazi, XVIII century, etc.). Ibn Sina used the preparations of chicory for the treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, nausea, inflammation of the eyes, gout, and also as a means of quenching one's thirst. A decoction of the root in the form of a bandage was recommended to be applied to the joints for gout and to the places of bites of Scorpions, snakes and lizards.
In Russia, since the beginning of the XIX century, chicory was cultivated mainly for the purpose of obtaining roots, to a lesser extent, lettuce chicory - for using leaves. Kant (1913) recommended chicory for catarrh of the throat, diseases of the digestive tract, constipation, liver congestion, jaundice, asthenia, as a blood purifier, with scorbut, bloody urine. Externally - for lotions for boils and carbuncles.
In folk medicine, a decoction of roots and an infusion of chicory grass is used internally as a means of increasing appetite and improving metabolism, with General loss of strength, jaundice, hepatitis, cholelithiasis, hypoacid gastritis, stomach ulcers, diarrhea, urinary incontinence, allergies, eczema, furunculosis, nephritis, diabetes.
A decoction of the roots is used in a warm form for rinsing the oral cavity, for toothache, stomatitis, for gargling with sore throats, and is applied to sore joints for gout. The ash of the chicory herb mixed with sour cream is rubbed in for eczema. Fresh juice and gruel made from the aboveground part of the plant are also used in the treatment of wet eczema, skin rashes, acne and boils.
In modern medicine, simple galenic and neohellenic preparations from various parts of chicory are widely used as a choleretic, wound-healing, anti-inflammatory agent, and a stimulant of gastric secretion. The choleretic effect of the plant is associated with the presence of phenolic compounds. A comparative study of choleretic effect of total crude preparation from the aerial parts of the plant, the amount of purified phenolic compounds aerial parts of the plant and the total product of the roots showed that all three drugs increase the secretion of bile, contents of the pair of bile acids, and the most active is the total crude drug the aboveground parts of the plant (valid for 3 hours with increased bile secretion by 40%). The purified drug acts for 3 hours, and the total drug from the roots increases bile secretion within 5% for a short time.
Chicory in France is considered an official plant and is used as a gastric and tonic. In Bulgaria, chicory root is used as an infusion of 2 teaspoons of crushed root per 1 cup of boiling water (daily dose) for liver diseases, jaundice, enlarged spleen, gallstones, and kidney diseases; externally - for skin rashes, boils carbuncles. In folk medicine in Bulgaria, chicory roots are used as a decoction as a means to stimulate the function of the digestive system, against malaria, liver diseases, jaundice, stomach ulcers, as a softening agent for sore throats, inflammation of the respiratory organs, with difficulty urinating, and externally - for the treatment of boils and edema.
Austrian medicine uses roots as a diuretic that increases appetite, promotes better digestion of food, for gastritis, in the form of decoction, extract and pressed tablets. In Germany, herbal infusions treat gastritis, gastroenteritis, and cholelithiasis. Used for nephritis, urinary incontinence, hemorrhoids.
Chicory roots and leaves have nutritional value. Basal leaves of cultivated chicory are used for salads with high taste quality and are valuable in the diet of diabetic patients. Young shoots can be boiled, stewed, fried and baked in a dough. In addition to ordinary chicory, lettuce chicory is also cultivated, from which chicory roots are grown. Chicory rhizome grown in culture is mainly used as a coffee substitute. The advantage of chicory as a coffee substitute is that it does not have an exciting effect on the nervous and cardiovascular systems due to the lack of caffeine. Therefore, drinks with chicory, including instant chicory, are recommended for those who are contraindicated natural coffee or strong tea, namely: for cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, insomnia, allergies and some other diseases. Chicory inulin is consumed as a syrup or fruit sugar.
1. 1 tablespoon of crushed root per 1 cup of boiling water infuses for 2 hours, strain. Take 1/2 cup 3-4 times a day before meals to improve appetite, for gastritis, enterocolitis, stomach ulcers, and as a diuretic.
2. 4 tablespoons of a mixture of crushed rhizomes and aboveground parts per 1 Cup of boiling water, boil for 5 minutes, insist for 1 hour, strain. Use externally for the treatment of skin rashes, acne, boils, purulent wounds and eczema. Use for baths with diathesis in children, lotions and washings. The procedure is repeated 2-3 times a day. Take a bath at night.
3. 2 tablespoons in equal amounts of a mixture of herbs of sand immortelle flowers, St. John's wort grass, shepherd's bag, corn stigmas, medicinal letters, chicory ordinary 0.5 liters of boiling water to insist for 2 hours, strain. Take 1/3-1/2 Cup 3 times a day before meals for hepatitis, cholecystitis, cholelithiasis.
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