Native to Africa, Asia and Europe, chicory is known to treat various diseases since ages. Read on to know some nutrition and health benefits of eating chicory & also explore its nutritional value.

Benefits Of Chicory

Scientifically known as Chihorium intybus, chicory is an edible perennial herb with a long tap root. It has condensed, round stems and the leaves are light or dark green in color, having a bitter taste. The flowers are pale blue. Though the herb is native to North Africa, Asia and Europe, it is cultivated all across the world today. The ancient Egyptians are believed to have consumed chicory in large amounts, to purify blood and eliminate toxins from the liver. The roots of chicory are used as a coffee substitute, while other parts are used in cooking or as a medicine. Read on further to know the nutritional value of chicory and explore its nutrition and health benefits as well.
Nutritional Value of Chicory
Amount of Chicory (raw): 1 cup
Total Weight of Chicory (raw): 29 g
Basic Components
26.7 g
0.4 g
0.5 g
Total Calories
Calories From Carbohydrate
Calories From Fat
Calories From Protein
Total Carbohydrate
1.4 g
Dietary Fiber
1.2 g
0.2 g
Fats & Fatty Acids
Total Fat
0.1 g
Total Omega-3 Fatty Acids
5.5 mg
Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids
32.5 mg
Vitamin A
1658 IU
Vitamin C
7 mg
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)
0.7 mg
Vitamin K
86.3 mcg
0.1 mg
31.9 mcg
Pantothenic Acid
0.3 mg
3.7 mg
29 mg
0.3 mg
8.7 mg
13.6 mg
12.2 mg
13 mg
0.1 mg
0.1 mg
0.1 mg
0.1 mcg
Nutrition & Health Benefits Of Eating Chicory
  • Chicory has detoxifying, cholagogue-like, anticatarralic and alkalizing effects that help in treating digestive problems, gastritis, hepatitis, gall bladder problems, statis, mild enterocolitis, intestinal worms, and hemorrhoids.
  • The herb contains inulin, which greatly reduces the risk of intestinal cancer.
  • It helps in decreasing glycemia and cholesterol levels, which in turn reduce diabetes and artery sclerosis.
  • Chicory, when mixed with water, helps in preventing jaundice and an enlarged liver.
  • Its root acts as a gentle laxative and diuretic in removing excess water and toxins. This helps in treating jaundice, hepatitis and hepatic congestion.
  • Chicory root enables the body to digest foods and liquid better, by increasing the flow of bile.
  • The bruised leaves of chicory are used for making a good poultice for swelling and inflamed eyes.
  • The herb helps in preventing osteoporosis, colon cancer and breast cancer.
  • Chicory juice, when mixed with juices of carrot, celery and parsley, is a highly nourishing food for optic nerve and muscular system.
  • Being a natural laxative, the herb helps in combating chronic constipation.
  • It serves as an effective tonic and is very helpful in anemia, when mixed with celery and parsley.
  • The decoction of its flowers, roots and seeds, when consumed three times daily, helps treat torpidity or sluggishness of the liver, biliary stasis or stoppage of bile, constipation and enlargement of the spleen.
  • The dry root of chicory is powdered and consumed with honey, to treat chronic bronchitis.
  • The decoction of its seeds helps in treating obstructed menstruation.
  • Being a mild diuretic, chicory eliminates excess water accumulation in the body, which in turns helps in reducing swelling and pain caused during rheumatism and gout.
  • The juice extracted from its leaves is used for treating sore breasts in nursing mothers.
  • The herb is used as a headache reliever and also applied externally, as a compress for arthritis, as it reduces inflammation.
  • Other afflictions treated by chicory are acne, anemia, anorexia, heart problems, asthenia, splenic problems, depressions, dermatosis, decrease in the biliary secretions, furunculosis, hydropsy, urinal infections, biliary insufficiency, lithiasis, tiredness, marsh fever and intestinal parasitosis.
Cooking Tips
  • The young chicory leaves are used in salads, while the mature green leaves are used as a vegetable in cooking. 
  • Chicory root is roasted and ground, or mixed with coffee, and prepared as a beverage. 
  • Use hand gloves while handling chicory, as it can cause skin irritations.
  • Chicory can cause adverse reactions, such as sedation and contact dermatitis.
  • Do not perform activities that require mental alertness, until the central nervous system effects are known.
  • Pregnant and nursing women should consult their health care provider before consuming chicory.

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