Chicory has sedative qualities that can reduce anxiety and soothe the mind, thereby relieving stress and the dangerous effects it can have on the body. A 2016 report, based on the connection between nutrition and mental health, published in the Performance Health Center journal, revealed that chicory root extracts can also be used as a sleep aid due to this sedative quality and are much healthier than many of the sleeping pills on the conventional market. Relieving stress and anxiety can also help reduce your chances of heart disease, hormonal imbalance, insomnia, cognitive decline, and premature aging.
Studies have shown that chicory root extract can increase the levels of adiponectin, which is a protein that regulates blood glucose levels. This way, it can delay or even prevent the onset of diabetes. Another study states how chicory extract can be used as a natural dietary supplement for slowing down the progression of diabetes.
One 2015 medical review spoke about the ability of chicory root extract to protect the liver from free radicals. This way, it can cut the risk of possible liver toxicity. In yet another Egyptian study, chicory extract was found to reduce oxidative stress and prevent cell damage in the liver. When taken along with celery leaves, the mixture could reduce the symptoms of liver diseases. The root can also diminish liver injuries in certain circumstances.
Studies show that bioactive extracts of chicory root can have a potential role in treating osteoarthritis. Plant polyphenols combat inflammation. So, if you are suffering from inflammatory arthritis, chicory root can be a good remedy. There are studies to support this – intake of chicory had resulted in an enhanced functioning of red blood cells. This is because the body responds to inflammation by restoring damaged cells to their original condition. All this means you can use chicory root to aid treatment of arthritis or gout symptoms.
Chicory extract has been linked to a reduction in tumor growth in various cancer studies. Early reports indicate that it is due to the fructans within chicory, which have anti-tumor qualities and antioxidant properties. According to Dr. Marcel Roberfroid, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, who wrote a report on the influence of inulin in breast cancer and tumor growth in the Journal of Nutrition, polyphenols, and phytochemicals within chicory also have a positive effect on preventing cancer of various types, including breast cancer and colorectal cancer.
Chicory root extract is often used as a diuretic, which increases urine volume. Frequent urination can help eliminate toxins that the body stores in the liver and kidneys, and thereby prevent the dangerous conditions that occur when toxins are allowed to remain in the body. Also, frequent urination can eliminate excess water weight, and even reduce fat, since 4% of urine is usually fat deposits that would otherwise be stored somewhere else in the body.
The inulin in chicory works as a powerful prebiotic – it helps deal with a number of intestinal conditions, some of which include indigestion, acid reflux, and even heartburn. Inulin also works as a natural fiber and eases constipation. This means a smooth and regular digestive process, which can also mean a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
Inulin is not only beneficial for the digestive system, but it has also shown to reduce the levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol in the body. This cholesterol is one of the main causes of atherosclerosis and high blood pressure because it blocks the flow of blood when it binds to arteries and veins. It can also contribute to the possibility of heart attacks and strokes.
Caffeine can weaken your immune system by stressing your adrenal glands, and this, in turn, can halt the healing of candida. A strong immune system is a must for treating candida. Hence, chicory can be a good substitute for your habitual coffee. It appears and tastes like it, but doesn’t have the ill effects of caffeine (in this aspect). Also, the inulin in chicory can help your gut bacteria flourish – this also aids candida treatment. Chicory root can also help treat eczema. You just need two teaspoons of ground chicory root and a glass of boiling water. Put the two on a steam bath for about 30 minutes, after which you can allow it to sit for 30 more minutes. Wet gauze bandages with the liquid and apply them to the affected areas. You can cover the bandage with a plastic wrap and leave it on for about 30 minutes. Repeat every morning and night for a week.
Chicory is a good source of oligofructose, and inulin itself is a form of natural dietary fiber, which helps in the management of weight by promoting weight loss. Both of these aid in the regulation of ghrelin, an amino acid primarily associated with feelings of hunger and food-seeking behavior. A 2012 report published in the Obesity Research Banner concluded that by reducing the amount of the ghrelin, chicory can reduce the chances of overeating and promote satiety or the feeling of fullness, thus helping in weight loss.
Chicory is a popular coffee substitute. Given the root is rich in fiber, it boosts digestive health. It has natural laxative effects on the body. It contains decent amounts of manganese, which supports the healthy formation of bones and tissues. It also contains inulin, a type of probiotic that boosts immunity and reduces stress.
Chicory is a Mediterranean plant that is cultivated for its culinary use in preparations like salads and various other medicinal applications. It grows well in many different conditions and is commonly found on the roadsides in Europe, where it originated, but it has now naturalized into the Americas and can be found widely there.
The leaves, buds, and roots all have certain beneficial qualities, and the leaves are used in a similar way as spinach in many cultures. The root is often ground into a powder and used as a coffee substitute. It has been used for hundreds of years as an herbal remedy for many diseases and continues to prove its worth today.
Dosage: 20-30 drops, 3 times a day.
Precaution: Although there are many benefits of using chicory for your health, you should not consume it in excess. If you are pregnant there is a possibility that it can stimulate menstruation and possibly lead to a miscarriage. Also, women should not consume excess chicory while breastfeeding, since there is a lack of research done on the transfer between mother and child through breast milk.
FDA Disclaimer: These statements and products have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health concern or condition, consult a physician. Always consult a medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any new product, drug, supplement, or doing any new exercises.
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