Cichorium intybus L. (Asteraceae/Compositae)

(Syns.: C. balearicum Porta; C. byzantinum Clementi; C. cicorea Dumort.; C. glabratum C. Presl; C. glaucum Hoffmanns. & Link; C. officinale Gueldenst. ex Ledeb.)
  • Shahid AkbarEmail author


An erect fairly woody perennial herb, native to Europe, it is now naturalized all over the world, and found in India, China, Iran, North and South Africa, North America, and Australia. The plant has been used since earlier times as it was known to ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. It is a typical Mediterranean vegetable, and widely used medicinally to treat various ailments ranging from wounds to diabetes in Europe and Asia, and used as a winter vegetable in Chile. Aqueous root extract contains large amounts of carbohydrates and is safe for human consumption. Dioscorides described two kinds of it, the wild and the cultivated, and described both as astringent, cooling and stomachic, and stated that due to its cooling property, it is also applied externally in inflammatory affections. Chicory root dried, roasted and powdered was extensively used as a substitute for coffee, and is now added to certain brands of coffee. From roots, triterpenic constituents, an aliphatic δ-lactone, 11–15% polysaccharide, 10–22% of fructose, bitter principles lactucin and lactucopicrin, tannin, both a fatty and a volatile oil, and small amounts of several other compounds have been isolated. Ethanol and aqueous root extracts produced significant anti-inflammatory effect in carrageenan-induced paw edema, increased CAT and GPx activities in paw tissue and decreased serum TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1 levels; however, one report stated that ethanol root extract increased (59%) carrageenan-induced inflammation in rats. Ethanol extract of whole plant lowered serum glucose by 20%, TGs by 91% and TC by 16% of diabetic rats with no change in serum insulin levels. Intestinal absorption of glucose is reduced in chicory water extract or inulin perfused rat gut. A proprietary bioactive extract of chicory root showed potential role in the management of osteoarthritis in a phase I placebo-controlled trial.


Almeirão Bazarula Chicorei  Cichorienkraut Cikorie Hindiba Horseweed Kasni Kãsani Ku-tsai 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.StocktonUSA

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