Chicory is a herb, that has long been associated with mankind. It is said that, ancient Egyptians had cultivated and used chicory plants for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Even the ancient Greeks and the Romans had used this herb as a vegetable. Today, chicory is cultivated in many parts of the world. Some varieties, like radicchio, are used as vegetables, whereas others are cultivated exclusively for their roots, that are used for various purposes.
Chicory root extract is produced through filtration of dried and ground roots, dissolved in water. Some people use these roots for brewing beer; while others use roasted and ground chicory roots as an additive in coffee. Chicory root tea is also prepared from the dried roots of chicory plants.
How to Make Chicory Tea
As mentioned above, chicory tea is prepared using the dried roots of the plant. In order to make an infusion, all you have to do is to add a cup of boiling water over a teaspoon of dried chicory roots, and simmer for around 15 minutes. Another method is to soak the roots overnight, and use that water to prepare chicory tea. Those who use this tea regularly, adopt a different method for brewing it. They prepare an infusion with around 40 grams of roots in one liter of water. The resultant infusion is consumed within three days. Regular consumption of chicory tea is recommended for those with gallstones and spleen problems.
Chicory is one of those herbs that has been used by humans for both culinary and medicinal purposes. While the leaves are used as vegetables, the roots of the chicory plant are attributed with therapeutic properties. Chicory contains considerable amounts of vitamin C and many other nutrients.
Studies show that chicory is a rich source of inulin, a polysaccharide, that is one of the naturally occurring plant fibers. Inulin is used by diabetics, as an alternative for sugar. It is also said to be useful in lowering high blood sugar levels. Apart from that, inulin is very widely used as a dietary fiber, and is said to be effective in aiding digestion. Chicory root fiber or inulin is good for the intestinal flora. It is also said to be useful for fighting parasites and worms in the gut.
Chicory root tea is used for relieving the symptoms of PMS or premenstrual syndrome. Some people use it for normalizing rapid heartbeat. It is also claimed to have cholesterol lowering properties, and is also used for weight loss. Chicory root is used as a tonic to cleanse the inner organs and blood. In some regions, chicory tea is used for treating sore throat, sinus infections, gastroenteritis, gallstones, cuts, and bruises.
Even though, chicory root tea is widely used as a herbal remedy, very little research has been done about its efficacy in treating ailments. Though considered safe, chicory root may cause side effects in some users. Such side effects include drug interactions, eye problems, and even abortion. Allergic reaction may also develop in some users. So, seek the opinion of your doctor, before using chicory root tea for treating any medical condition.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.