Have you ever taken a chicory root before? This root is commonly known as a coffee substitute or as an additive for coffee. But what most of us don’t know is the amazing benefits it comes with.
Would you like to know more? Please go ahead and read.
Chicory – An Overview
Chicory or cichoriumintybus is a perennial plant with blue flowers. This is a herb with a lot of health benefits. There are many varieties of chicory plants grown – some for leaves and some for roots. The root of chicory is commonly used as a substitute for coffee, but it can also be used for treating conditions like loss of appetite, stomach upset, constipation, rapid heartbeat and many more.
Following are the amazing benefits of chicory root:
1. Digestive Support
The most common benefit of chicory is of digestion.
There are friendly bacteria or symbiotic bacteria such as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria in our intestine, which aid healthy digestion. These bacteria inhibit pathogens like candida and support our immune function.
Chicory also contains inulin, a powerful probiotic and soluble fibre. Inulin is present in all the plants, but chicory contains the highest amount of inulin. Inulin has the power to reduce the body’s acidity and can be helpful to prevent digestive problems like acid reflux and indigestion.
Studies have shown that chicory root increases the flow of bile, and this helps to break down fat, thus helping in digestion.
Chicory root extracts help to reduce digestive discomfort caused due to intestinal gastric problems.
[ Read: Health Benefits Of Dandelion Roots ]
2. Antioxidant Activity
All plants and herbs contain compounds called as phenols, and most of the phenols found in plants have anti-oxidant properties.
Chicory root is rich in polyphenols that make it a good anti-oxidant.
Being an anti-oxidant, it helps to remove toxins from the body, keeping the body clean and free from harmful substances.
3. Fights Against Harmful Organisms
Chicory root extracts are found to have anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties too, due to which it has the power to fight against harmful bacteria.
4. Good For The Liver
Kidneys and liver act as the major detoxifying channels in our body. The health benefits of chicory root include increased detoxification by stimulating diuresis and bile secretion.
Ancient Egyptians have been known to be using chicory to purify liver and blood.
Chicory has been used as a medicine for centuries, especially for detoxifying the liver. The studies conducted by the zoology department in Egypt have concluded that chicory has a promising role for halting oxidative stress and liver injury in certain situations.
Dried chicory roots can be used to prevent liver damage by treating jaundice.
It can also be used in the treatment of stones in gall and the liver. This is done by increasing the secretion of bile from the liver and gallbladder, thus promoting urination and excretion of harmful substances.
[ Read: Health Benefits Of Astragalus Root ]
5. Heart Disease
Chicory root contains inulin, which, along with its digestive benefits, also helps to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the body.
LDL cholesterol is the bad cholesterol that causes blockage of atherosclerosis. The increase in the levels of LDL increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Inulin present in chicory also helps to lower blood pressure that occurs due to an increase in LDL cholesterol.
6. Reduces Arthritis Pain
Chicory root can be an effective remedy for joint problems like arthritis and rheumatism.
Various studies have shown that it contains anti-inflammatory properties, due to which it can reduce the pain caused by osteoarthritis.
It can also be used as a general anti-inflammatory agent for aches, muscle pain and joint soreness.
7. Weight Loss
Chicory contains inulin and oligo-fructose, which can be added to the diet to lose weight.
Chicory contains the highest concentration of inulin in the entire plant kingdom. Inulin, a soluble fibre, acts as an appetite suppressant. Inulin can give you a feeling of fullness, without raising blood sugar levels or increasing calories. These properties have created interest in inulin’s possible use for weight loss.
The presence of fructo-oligosaccharides in the plant encourages the development of beneficial bacteria in the intestine that help to restore the balance of microorganisms in the intestine, thereby leading to the proper functioning of the digestive system. The proper functioning of the digestive system is the key factor in all weight loss diets.
Chicory root is a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin K, choline, and beta-carotene.
It contains soluble dietary fiber, called inulin, which is useful for preventing intestinal disorders and is said to be a great remedy for constipation and other digestive disorders.
Inulin promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestine, thereby promoting digestion and preventing constipation.
9. Immune System
Chicory has anti-bacterial properties and a number of other benefits that make it a powerful immune booster. It acts against various harmful bacteria, and the polyphenol compounds present in chicory act as anti-oxidants. These phenolic compounds are also believed to have the power to prevent cancer, especially breast and colorectal cancers.
10. Anxiety And Stress
Chicory is used as a natural sedative for the nervous system, and can reduce anxiety and ease the mind. This relieves the stress and dangerous effects it can have on the body.
Studies have shown that chicory extract acts as a sedative and an anti-inflammatory agent for the nervous system. For people suffering from nervous system disorders, this can reduce inflammation thereby relieving pain.
Chicory root extract can also be used as a sleep aid due to its sedative quality, and is a much better natural alternative to sleeping pills. Relieving stress and anxiety can be helpful to reduce chances of heart disease, hormonal imbalance, sleeplessness and premature aging.
Though chicory root is safe and well tolerated by many people, it might cause some allergic reactions in a few. If you are allergic to chicory or its products, avoid usage of chicory root products.
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