Chicory is a common wildflower that likes rocky soil on roadsides, but just might show up in your yard as well. If not, you can easily grow this useful plant from seed. You must get out early to see Chicory flowers as they open early and usually close by noon.
A tea made from Chicory leaves and flowers has mild laxative and sedative properties. You can brew roasted and ground chicory with coffee or on its own for a coffee like beverage to enjoy its many health benefits.
According to a study, Chicory root has a significant effect on abdominal obesity, related to the beneficial impacts of inulin on gut bacteria. A daily dose of inulin that promotes bifidobacteria growth, may improve gut function and is well tolerated by subjects with gastrointestinal complaints.
Research has shown that inulin from Chicory root may be beneficial for Type 2 diabetes mellitus, and yet another showed that Chicory roots possess anti-inflammatory activity which might be due to the inhibition of various cytokines, antioxidant effects, and their free radical scavenging activity.
A study of Chicory root extract showed protective and restructuring effects on the skin and improvement of skin barrier function. Boiled chicory leaves and flowers can be used in a poultice for external inflammations. Chicory root extract might be a good addition to homemade beauty products.
Chicory leaves can be used to produce a blue dye, and the flower petals can be eaten in salad. The vegetable Endive is a hybrid of our wild chicory, grown in dark conditions to prevent the development of chlorophyl.