Chicory (Juju Gen)
Botanical Name: Cichorium intybus
Want to cut down your daily caffeine consumption? Ground chicory root may be for you. Not only is the root a coffee substitute but the root, leaves and flowers have a long history for their medicinal properties as well. Chicory is used as a liver tonic, to moderate your heart rate, increase bile production, ease constipation and kill parasites.
Below is an overview of Chicory (Juju Gen), combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Chicory (Juju Gen).
Western Name: Chicory
Also Known As: Blue Daisy, Blue Dandelion, Blue Sailors, Blue Weed, Bunk, Coffeeweed, Cornflower, Horseweed, Succory, Wild Endive and Wild Bachelor’s Buttons
Organs/Systems: Liver, Digestion, Bones
Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Sedative, Laxative, Liver Tonic, Anti-inflammatory, Diuretic. Parasites (worms too), moderates heart rate, lowers cholesterol levels, increases bile production, constipation, helps prevent osteoporosis, jaundice, enlarged liver, gout, rheumatism, diabetes, increases flow of urine.
Pin Yin: Juju Gen
Also Known As: Juju
Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Cools Liver Heat/Drains Damp: jaundice, gallstones, constipation, gout, enlarged liver, headaches, palpitations. Kills Parasites: intestinal parasites and worms.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Root, Leaf, Flower
Flavors/Temps: Bitter, Aromatic, Slightly Sweet
History/Folklore: Many varieties of chicory are cultivated for salad leaves, roots (which are ground and used as a coffee substitute) and as forage for livestock. It has been cultivated as early as 5,000 years ago by Egyptians as a medicinal plant used to support liver function, stimulate an appetite and to sedate an anxious person.
Wild chicory leaves are bitter and popular in many regional cuisines, including Italian, Greek, Albanian and Turkish. In Albania, the greens are used as a substitute for spinach. Cooking helps to reduce the bitter quality of the greens. They can then be sauteed with garlic, anchovies and other popular ingredients, depending on the chef and the region. The leaves can be eaten like celery and the roots and leaf buds can be boiled and eaten as well.
The Native American Cherokee tribes used an infusion of the root as a tonic for nerves and the Iroquois used a decoction of the root as a wash and poultice for fever sores.
The famous 17th century English herbalist, Nicholas Culpepper, described chicory as, “more dry and less cold than endive, so it opens up more. A draught made of a handful of the leaves or roots boiled in wine or water, drives our choleric and phleghmatic humours.”
Root chicory (Cichorium intybus) is cultivated in Europe as a coffee substitute. The roots are baked, roasted, ground and used as an additive or substitute to coffee. During the Great Depression and WWII, chicory was often used as a coffee substitute. In America, in New Orleans, chicory is a drink of choice, and not merely a substitute. Chicory root has none of the caffeine associated with regular coffee. Besides chicory, beets, acorns, parsnips and burnt sugar have all also been blended with coffee to make the coffee go further during times of hardship.
Some beer brewers use roasted chicory to add flavor to their stouts.
Chicory root extract is used as a dietary supplement and food additive. The constituent, inulin, found in chicory, is a popular prebiotic added to yogurts, a soluble dietary fiber and a functional food.
The flower has been popularly used in German folk medicine for treating many common ailments and as a tonic for gallstones, stomach disorders and sinus problems. Records show it was used to treat constipation, weight loss, improve bowel movements and support general health.
Chicory is one of the 38 plants used to prepare Bach Flower Remedies.
Inulin (68%), Sucrose, Cellulose, Protein, Ash, Volatile oils, Beta-carotene.
In America, curly, escarole or true endive (Cichorium endivia) is often also called “chicory.” The plants are closely related but not the same.
Three Types of Chicory
Chicory is generally divided into three types: raddicchio, sugarloaf and Belgian endive (not to be confused with curly or true endive (Cichorium endivia).
Substitute for Oats
Chicory is an excellent substitute for oats for horses, due to the plant’s protein and fat content.
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