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Herbs > Ayurvedic Herbs and their Healing Power > Chicory
By Dr. Satish Kulkarni

The colloquial name for chicory is kasni and its botanical name is chicorium intybus. Chicory is known to the western world as a hot beverage. The root of the plant is roasted, powdered and added to coffee. When mixed with coffee it adds to the taste and flavor of coffee in addition to its stimulating effect. In combination, both of them give instant energy and help in reducing fatigue. In addition they help in maintaining body temperature in cold weather or at high altitudes.

Chicory is a perennial herb with long roots, which, along with the deep green leaves and bluish flowers are the useful parts of this plant having medicinal value as well. All these parts are bitter but when this particular taste is cultivated, chicory and coffee lead to addiction. This taste has created a wave of coffee lovers in modern society. It is known as a fantasizing drink to thinkers and artists.

Chicory is considered a tonic when consumed in moderate amounts. It is a proven stimulant. It has laxative and diuretic effects. Chicory has proved its merit in the treatment of chronic constipation. In addition, it improves functioning of the liver. A decoction of flowers, seeds and/or roots can be tried in case of impaired functioning of the liver. It has proven its merit in liver as well as gall bladder dysfunction.

It increases basal metabolism, which must be the reason why it is a favorite drink amongst students and hard workers. It acts on the central nervous system and  heavy doses can generate giddiness and sleep. It is proven to be an instant energizer, which is why it is recommended in the convalescence stage i.e. the period of recovery after the termination of a disease or an operation.

Substances like chicory do not have any food value but are helpful in the assimilation of food material. They seem to stimulate the stomach and intestines, perhaps by chemical action, although this is often questioned. They irritate the digestive tract if taken in large quantities. To some extent, they are appetizers and through psychological influences stimulate secretions in the digestive tract.

A certain scientific research has also explained its antiseptic property in addition to the conditioning of the digestive tract when taken in moderate doses. However, over consumption defeats this purpose.

Chicory is a rich source of Vitamin A. This vitamin plays a great role in vision. Added to fresh carrot juice, tomato juice and a few other substances like celery, etc., chicory is found useful for the optic as well as muscular system. This property is worth using for cases of night blindness and more clinical trials are needed for achieving full proof results. It is an effective hemoglobin supporting tonic. When combined with celery and a few other substances it makes an effective heart stimulant which has nervine, carminative as well as diuretic properties.

Chicory is recommended in chronic or asthamatic bronchitis and here it is used as a cough expectorant. A powdered form of medicine prepared from the root of the plant is taken orally, preferably with honey, which is to be followed by plenty of hot beverages by mouth for effective and productive expectoration.

In short, chicory is blended with coffee to give instant energy and relaxation. It also has very good effects on the digestive, nervous and optic systems although overdose may harm the body system.

For further information on Ayurveda and/or questions please
For further information on Ayurveda and/or questions please Visit India Herbs For Genuine Ayurvedic Medicines and Nutritional Supplements or contact Dr. Satish Kulkarni




Index
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Alfalfa
Aloe Vera
Arnica
Asafoetida
Betel Leaves
Bishop’s Weed
Blessed Thistle
Burcock
Cascara Sagrada
Cardamom
Chamomile
Chaparral
Chicory
Cinnamon
Comfrey
Coriander
Curry Leaves
Dandelion
Damiana
Echinacea
Euphrasia
Fenugreek
Garlic
Ayurvedic Garlic
Ginger
Aurvedic Ginger
Ginko Biloba
Ginseng
Gotu Kola
Guarana
Henna
Holy Basil
Hoodia Gordonii
Horny Goat Weed
Hyssop
Isapghula
Kalonji
Kava
Lavender
Liquorice
Mullien
Sage
Sandalwood
Sarsaparilla
St Johns Wort
Tee Tree
Thyme
Tribulus
Turmeric

 
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