Cichorium intybus is popularly also known as Kasni. It is a perennial herb with a very long tap root. It has round and condensed stems. The leaves of Kasni are dark green in color and are very bitter to taste. The flowers of the herb are blue in color and are known to have an atypical characteristic of opening in the morning and closing at dusk.
This plant is also known as blue daisy, blue sailor, blue weed, bunk, coffee weed, hendibeh, horseweed succor, ragged sailors, wild bachelor’s buttons, blue dandelion, and wild endive.
CHARACTERISTICS OF CICHORIUM INTYBUS
Chicory is native to the eastern area of India. It was known to the Greeks and Romans and was cultivated in regions of Egypt even 2000 years ago. The physicians of ancient time used this plant for the management of numerous common ailments.
Classical therapists like Virgil, Ovid, Pliny and Horace mentioned this herb for use as a vegetable and also as an important salad ingredient. Cichorium intybus was also used as a skin nourisher by ancient naturalists. Herbalists also advised the use of a tea made from the blue flowers of this plant for radiant skin.
This versatile plant can be eaten raw in the form of salad or can be cooked like a vegetable as well. The root of the Cichorium intybus when roasted can be also added to a cup of coffee.
THERAPEUTIC POWERS OF CICHORIUM INTYBUS
The Cichorium Intybus is a tonic herb when it is taken in moderated quantities. It is known to increase the secretion and the discharge of urine. This therapeutic herb is also a stimulant and can work as a mild laxative. The perennial herb helps in proper functioning of the liver as well as the gall bladder.
An analysis of the endive leaves show that it consists of 93 percent moisture, 0.1 percent fibre, 4.3 percent carbohydrate and 1.7 percent protein per 100 grams. The minerals that are available in the Cichorium intybus are calcium, iron, carotene, thiamine, phosphorus, riboflavin, vitamin C and niacin. The calorific value is 20.
The flowers of the chicory contain bitter substances like intbin and lactucin. The seeds of the herb make bland oil and the roots have nitrate as well as sulphate of potash.
CARE OF AILMENTS
The ailments that can be relieved with the proper use of Cichorium Intybus are:
- Eye defects: Chicory is a food which helps in the proper functioning of the optic system. It is one of the best sources of Vitamin A which is very good for the eyes. This herb added in carrot, celery or parsley juice is very nourishing for the optical nerves as well as the muscular system.
- Constipation: Cichorium intybus is a natural laxative which is tremendously helpful in relieving chronic constipation.
- Anaemia: A combination of Cichorium intybus and celery or parsley is helpful in relieving anemia. It is an effective blood tonic and helps in relieving anemic patients.
- Liver and Gall Bladder functions: The flowers, seeds as well as the roots of the plant are medicinally used for relieving the liver. A decoction of these 3 parts of the plant is beneficial in relieving sluggishness of the liver, biliary stasis, jaundice, enlargement of spleen and torpidity of the liver. The juice of this plant is useful in increasing bile secretion which results in efficient functioning of the liver as well as the gall bladder.
- Respiratory Disorders: The juice of the herb, carrot and celery are very helpful in relieving asthma as well as hay fever. A powder of the dried root of the plant is a good expectorant in cases of chronic bronchitis.
- Obstructed Menstruation: A mixture of the seeds of the herb is extremely benefitting for relieving the problem of obstructed or delayed menstruation.
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