Chicory (plant) - The Benefits And Harms Of Chicory, Useful Properties And Use Of Chicory During Pregnancy And For Weight Loss, Contraindications

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Chicory (plant) - The Benefits And Harms Of Chicory, Useful Properties And Use Of Chicory During Pregnancy And For Weight Loss, Contraindications
Chicory (plant) - The Benefits And Harms Of Chicory, Useful Properties And Use Of Chicory During Pregnancy And For Weight Loss, Contraindications
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Chicory

The benefits and harms of chicory, contraindications, use during pregnancy

Content:

  • Useful properties of chicory
  • The benefits of chicory
  • Chicory harm
  • Chicory during pregnancy
  • Can lactating mothers drink chicory?
  • Chicory for weight loss
  • The use of chicory
  • Instant chicory drink
  • How to brew chicory?
  • Chicory recipes
  • Growing chicory
  • Contraindications to the use of chicory

Chicory is a Compositae perennial plant with a fusiform and thick root. The whole plant contains milky sap. On a high, straight stem, covered with hairs, alternate leaves are located. The chicory flowers are blue, and there are both pink and white, located in inflorescences or are located on short baskets. The chicory fruit is a prismatic achene, which has a tuft of films. On one chicory bush, you can collect 3-25 thousand seeds. Chicory blooms in summer, and the fruits ripen from late summer to mid-autumn.

Chicory is found in Ukraine and Russia. It grows on the border, hills and along roads. For medicinal purposes, the plant is grown in many countries.

Useful properties of chicory

Chicory normalizes metabolism in the body, is able to remove all toxins from the body. Chicory cleanses the kidneys, helps to improve the condition of diabetics. In addition, it is used to improve blood composition. Chicory stimulates appetite, improves bowel function, and is also an excellent remedy for heartburn. Due to the ability of chicory to increase the overall tone of the body, it is used instead of coffee beans. Chicory drink cleanses blood vessels and relieves fatigue and fatigue.

Chicory has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It is used as an antipyretic agent for colds and other diseases.

The plant contains a large amount of inulin, a substance that lowers blood sugar.

Read more: Inulin - what is it? Benefit and harm, instruction

The benefits of chicory

Chicory
Chicory

Such a wonderful plant as chicory is widely used to treat many diseases. Its benefits are due to the high content of various trace elements that have immunostimulating properties. In addition, regular consumption of chicory inhibits the growth of pathogens and enhances the metabolism in the human body. Due to its unique chemical composition, this remarkable plant boasts choleretic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, mild sedative and wound healing properties.

How is chicory useful? It has a beneficial effect on lowering blood glucose levels, normalizes pancreatic function, and also enhances cardiac activity. Chicory is often used as an antimicrobial and astringent. Along with this, it is endowed with anti-inflammatory, sedative, antipyretic and vasodilating properties. There is no better drink for diabetics, since chicory can replace both sugar and starch. Chicory is indicated in most cases for many gastrointestinal problems. It also has a tonic effect on human immune mechanisms. Such a medicinal plant promotes the healing of wounds and eczema, and also has a weak antitumor effect.

Chicory harm

Chicory can also cause harm - for example, for people suffering from varicose veins, hemorrhoids and gastritis, chicory can be dangerous. Before using it, be sure to consult a doctor who will determine the degree of possible harm. As a rule, up to three years, such a plant is not recommended to be consumed.

Chicory during pregnancy

Due to the fact that this plant contains a significant amount of useful trace elements and various components, chicory during pregnancy is prescribed as an effective tonic. Healthy drinks based on such a plant are able to gently remove toxins, excess fluid from the body, preventing swelling, heartburn and nausea. In addition, it has a great effect on the intestines, being an excellent stimulant for regular bowel movements. Taking small amounts of chicory regularly will increase your appetite.

Such an amazing plant will make it easy to give birth to a healthy child, since it effectively cleans the blood of harmful impurities that can be extremely dangerous during such an important period.

Can lactating mothers drink chicory?

Such a common drug as chicory, which has a high content of nutrients and vitamins, is still not recommended by doctors for nursing mothers. It is proved that some components have a strong stimulating effect on babies. In addition, in some cases, a significant decrease in lactation was recorded. Despite the fact that chicory has a tonic and immunological effect on the mother's body, through breast milk it can cause severe allergies in the baby.

Chicory for weight loss

Chicory for weight loss
Chicory for weight loss

Chicory has long been deservedly famous for its unique healing properties. As one of the main effects on the body, the effect of light weight loss can be noted. The roots of the plant help cleanse the blood from harmful impurities, remove toxins, which leads to weight loss.

To combat extra pounds, we recommend preparing a special remedy. Take 1 teaspoon of chopped chicory roots, pour 500 grams of water and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. After that, the resulting medicinal broth should be filtered and set aside to cool. To obtain a quick result, the drink is taken 100 grams up to three times a day. The main thing - do not forget that it should be drunk 30 minutes before meals. In addition to the noticeable loss of excess weight, chicory has a healing effect on the whole body. In addition, it is able to cope with heavy sweating and restore liver function.

The use of chicory

Traditional medicine has long used chicory as a diaphoretic, choleretic and diuretic. This plant has a whole range of useful substances used in the treatment of various diseases and ailments. Chicory has general tonic properties, thanks to which it is recommended in the treatment of anemia, infectious and colds. Chicory tincture for alcohol helps to treat cuts, wounds, and insect bite allergies.

The use of chicory is recommended for people with persistent nervous breakdowns, migraines and insomnia. Chicory is used to dilate blood vessels. Chicory also improves the digestion process.

Chicory has a positive effect in the treatment of kidney and spleen diseases. This plant has anti-tumor properties. Infusions, decoctions, teas, preparations, lotions and compresses for external use are prepared from chicory.

Instant chicory drink

A delicious instant drink made from chicory is distinguished by wonderful useful microelements that have a positive effect on all internal organs of a person. Its specific taste is somewhat reminiscent of the taste of coffee, but chicory is not so harmful.

Of course, the instant drink contains fewer trace elements, but they are sufficient for a slight tonic and healing effect. Regular consumption of such a drink perfectly stimulates the work of the cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract, and also normalizes the functioning of the liver, kidneys and spleen. Instant chicory can be called one of the best substitutes for tea and coffee.

How much inulin is in soluble chicory? Depends on the brand, for example, the chicory of the Zdorovye brand consists of 54.5% inulin. At the same time, Big Cup has the least amount of it - only 3% [source].

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How to brew chicory?

We buy chicory roots, wash them and dry them. Next, fry them in a pan. We fry the roots until all the moisture from the roots evaporates. Do not be alarmed when a very unpleasant smell appears when frying the roots. Fried chicory roots are ground in a coffee grinder and poured with boiling water.

For 1 teaspoon of chicory, take 1 cup of boiling water. The drink is boiled over low heat for 5 minutes, after which it is removed from heat and left to brew for a few minutes. You can drink chicory with milk, lemon and sugar.

Chicory recipes

Chicory recipes
Chicory recipes

Decoction for external use. To prepare it, take 20 grams of dry grass and chicory roots and pour two glasses of boiling water. Leave to brew for 10 minutes. This decoction is used to wash the eyes for conjunctivitis and for poultices for joint pain.

Tincture of chicory for rubbing wounds. We take 10 grams of roots along with chicory grass and pour 40 ml of alcohol. We leave it to brew for a week and use it for rubdowns in the treatment of skin diseases.

Chicory juice for scurvy and anemia. Take fresh leaves of the plant and squeeze the juice from them. Mix the juice with milk and take 15 ml three times a day. This treatment lasts 1–1.5 months.

Collection with chicory for cholelithiasis. We take dandelion and chicory roots - 50 grams each. Add to them 50 grams of mint leaves, tripoli and turnip. Now 2 tablespoons of this collection and pour 500 ml of boiling water, leave to infuse for several hours. We drink the whole broth in 2 days.

Anti-cellulite chicory bath

Take 2 tablespoons of chopped chicory herb and pour 1 cup boiling water. We leave in a thermos for 1 hour. We pour everything into the bath and take a bath for a quarter of an hour. Baths are taken every other day until the number of procedures reaches 21.

Chicory decoction for hair growth. To prepare it, take the herb and chicory roots in an amount of 30 grams and fill it with four glasses of boiling water. We put on fire for 30 minutes. After removing from heat, leave to brew for half a day (6 hours). Straining the finished broth, rub it into the hair roots. Then you should wait 10 minutes, then rinse the chicory decoction from the hair under running water and let the hair dry.

Growing chicory

In the first year, a root rosette of leaves is formed in the plant, while a root crop with a thickened top is already beginning to form in the soil. In the second year of life, seeds are formed. You can grow chicory by seeds and dividing the roots. Absolutely any soil is suitable for growing, the main thing is that the site is well-lit. Chicory tolerates frost well, but short-term. The seeds are sown 3 cm into the soil. Before sowing seeds, the soil must be loosened and compacted after sowing. When 2-3 leaves appear on the seedlings, the plants are thinned out. At the same time, fertilizers are applied to the soil, consisting of superphosphate, potassium sulfate and ammonium nitrate.

Chicory is drought tolerant, but if watered regularly, it will yield more yields. Only acidic marshy soil is not suitable for growing chicory. From the day of emergence to the formation of fruits, it takes 4 months.

Where does chicory grow?

Chicory is native to the Mediterranean. Most scholars regard the Mediterranean as the homeland of this plant, although some florists and botanists point to Northern India and others to Northern China. Despite the fact that the plant does not like high humidity, it can be found in the tropics. A temperate climate is optimal for chicory. You can find the plant in Australia, New Zealand, the Eurasian continent, North and South America. In Russia, chicory is found in the European part of the country, in Altai, in the Caucasus, in Western Siberia.

Wild chicory settles in meadows, wastelands, forest edges, along roads passing by villages, and also near other settlements. Chicory does not like mountains and will never rise above the middle band.

The plant is actively cultivated, for which people allocate huge fields for planting it. You can cultivate a culture in your own garden.

How and when to harvest chicory flowers?

  • The flowers of the plant must be collected from June to September. It was at this time that the mass flowering of chicory is observed.
  • The grass must be collected in ecologically clean areas. It is important that busy highways do not pass nearby, factories and garbage dumps are not located.
  • The best time to collect flowers is in the morning, after the dew has dried on the plant.
  • To prepare flowers for drying, you need to collect only the flowering part of the chicory. The stems are not suitable for this purpose.

How to dry chicory herb?

To get quality raw materials, you need to know how to dry chicory herb correctly. So, the cut stems are placed in the shade. Attic spaces are suitable for this. The surface on which the stems will be located should be covered with a cloth. You can dry the grass outdoors, under a canopy.

A periodically drying plant must be turned over to allow it to dry evenly. The drying process is complete, indicated by dry stems that will break easily.

How and when to harvest chicory roots?

How and when to harvest chicory roots?
How and when to harvest chicory roots?

Harvesting of chicory roots begins in March, or in late October, early November. This should be done during the period while the ground part of the plant dies off, as the maximum of useful substances is concentrated in the roots. This is due to the preparation of the plant for the dormant period.

The root of the plant is long, so it will not be possible to pull it out whole. A shovel is required to extract the root from the ground. After digging, the raw material must be cleaned of soil, rinsed in cold water and cut off the thin lateral roots. Then the roots are laid out on the grass so that they dry out a little.

Before final drying, the roots must be cut across to make small pieces. If the root is thick, then it should be cut further along.

To dry the roots, like the grass, you need to either in the attic on a cloth, or under a canopy. Although the best drying method is considered to be drying in the oven or in special drying chambers. The temperature should be at 60 ° C. If you cannot adjust it, then you just need to open the oven door. The fact that the drying process is complete will be indicated by the crackling of the root when trying to break it.

Chicory root is a great substitute for coffee, but it is also caffeine-free. But there are a lot of other useful substances. Chicory, unlike coffee, does not irritate the walls of the stomach, does not excite the nervous and cardiac systems, but it increases appetite.

To obtain high-quality raw materials for making cyclic coffee, you need to cut the roots into small pieces and dry for at least 12 hours in the oven at 100 ° C. Then the dried raw materials are fried in a pan until browning and grind in any available way.

Chicory coffee can be drunk as a standalone drink or with the addition of barley, soy, oats, dried carrots, blueberries, fried almonds, etc. As for the amount of additives, it depends on the preferences of a particular person.

How to store chicory?

Store dried chicory herb in breathable packaging, such as cloth bags or paper bags. A place should be chosen dark and cool. It is impossible to store chicory herb for more than a year.

Dried roots have a shelf life of three years. To do this, they are laid out in bags of paper or fabric and removed to a dry place.

As for the fried raw materials, then it must be placed in a hermetically sealed container and removed to a dry place. Apply ground chicory with an exceptionally dry spoon, as it absorbs moisture very quickly and crumples. This affects both the taste of the finished drink and its benefits.

Contraindications to the use of chicory

Despite the fact that chicory is a very useful plant, there are also contraindications to its use. People with varicose veins and other problems with blood vessels should not use chicory. Chicory should be used carefully and carefully for people with gastritis.

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The author of the article: Kuzmina Vera Valerievna | Endocrinologist, nutritionist

Education: Diploma of the Russian State Medical University named after NI Pirogov with a degree in General Medicine (2004). Residency at Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry, diploma in Endocrinology (2006).

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