The healing properties of chicory
These unpretentious plants are known to all residents of central Russia. They grow along roads, paths, at the boundaries between sites, in wastelands. They could be called weeds, if not for two circumstances.
Firstly, they are quite beautiful during flowering and caress the eye with their numerous blue flowers, and secondly, their powerful long root is not only edible, but also has medicinal properties. Used in folk medicine and the entire aerial part of these plants.
The reader will ask: what kind of plants are so mysterious? And, hearing the answer, some will even be surprised, because they did not even suspect that these tall, harsh bushes with blue flowers are called chicory. That it is from their roots that the very drink is prepared that replaces coffee for people who are contraindicated in caffeine. Moreover, in some localities they do not know such a foreign-sounding word - chicory - and they call the plant by folk names - a blue flower, Peter's batogs, or even simpler - roadside grass.
As for the batogs, then, perhaps, this name of chicory is suitable: it has a tall, hard, rough stem up to one and a half meters in height, and the branches extending along the sides do not differ in softness either. So it is better to admire the flowering chicory from the side, and wandering in the thickets of this plant is not a pleasant occupation. In addition, the baskets of his flowers and buds are also harsh. But this plant is useful for a person.
So, common chicory (Cichorium intybus) Is its botanical name. Perennial herb of the Astrov family. Features of chicory: its taproot extending into the ground can be as long as the stem, and all parts of this plant are saturated with milky juice.
The leaves of chicory in the basal rosette are rather long, lanceolate, notched, sharp-toothed, and above the stem, the leaves are alternate lanceolate, much smaller in size, covering the stem. Branches branch out from the axils of the leaves, at the ends of which and in the axils there are flower baskets with buds and blue flowers. Since the leaves on the stem and branches are small, the plant seems bare from a distance.
Chicory blooms from June to August-September. Seeds, plants, once in the soil, germinate. But in the first year of life, chicory forms only a juicy rosette of leaves, which at their tender age can be used in salads. Simultaneously with the development of the leaves, the chicory root also begins to grow. In the second year of life, this plant already expels its stem with branches, blooms, and then the seeds ripen.
Chicory has been known in Europe and Asia for several thousand years. And even in antiquity it was noted healing properties... Now studies have shown that the root and all other parts of this plant contain many components useful for the human body that can be used in the treatment of certain diseases.
It contains organic and fatty acids, vitamins - thiamine, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, carotene; tannins, flavonoids, resinous and bitter substances, proteins, carbohydrates - fructose, inulin, glycoside, as well as many trace elements, including zinc, iron, nickel, chromium, zirconium, copper, potassium salts.
All parts of this chicory are useful. Therefore, during abundant flowering, when the plant contains the maximum amount of nutrients, the stem, leaves and flowers are cut off, crushed and dried, and then used in decoctions, infusions and tinctures. Common chicory root is dug up in the fall. It is carefully dug on all sides with a shovel so as not to damage it, then carefully removed from the ground by the stem.
The root together with the stem is placed for a week for drying under a canopy or in a ventilated room. During this time, there will be an outflow of nutrients from the withering aerial parts to the root. Then it is separated from the stem, washed gently, cut into thin rings and dried in the oven at a temperature not exceeding + 60 ° C.
If you could not stock up on the raw materials of this plant yourself, then you can contact the pharmacy. The pharmaceutical industry produces dry herb of common chicory in 50 g bags.
In addition, in pharmacies you can find the Indian drug Liv 52 - herbal origin. Several plants are connected in it, and one of the main ones is common chicory. As stated in the instructions for the drug: it has a hepatoprotective and choleretic effect, restores liver cells.
Has anti-inflammatory, anti-toxic, antioxidant and mild diuretic effects. Improves appetite and has a normalizing effect on the digestive process, has a beneficial effect on the contractile function of the gallbladder, the colloidal properties of bile, and prevents the formation of gallstones.
In official medicine, common chicory is not yet widely used, but in traditional medicine its use is diverse. As in mainstream medicine, it is primarily used in the treatment of liver diseases. But it also has urinary and choleretic, anti-inflammatory, wound healing properties, promotes the activation of metabolic processes. Since the glycoside intibin is part of chicory, it is used to relieve tachycardia, to expand blood vessels. It also has a calming effect on the central nervous system.
Various preparations made from it are recommended by traditional healers for various gastrointestinal diseases, for example, gastritis and colitis, with cholelithiasis, in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, with gout, and also as a general tonic.
Decoction of common chicory roots
To obtain it, two tablespoons of crushed roots need to be poured with half a liter of boiling water and then kept on low heat for half an hour. Then for another half hour, the broth must be insisted and filtered. Take such a decoction three times a day before meals, half a glass for diseases of the liver, kidneys, spleen. It enhances appetite, helps the heart, and improves digestion. Also, a decoction of the roots is used warmed up for toothache, for rinsing the mouth with stomatitis and even with tonsillitis.
You can apply it in the form of rubdowns and externally for eczema, tumors, old wounds.
Chopped chicory herb decoction
To prepare the broth, you need to take 40 g of chopped chicory herb, pour it with one liter of cold water and put it on the stove. Bring the liquid to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes over low heat. After turning off the stove, insist the broth for another hour, and then the liquid must be filtered. The resulting broth should be taken half a glass 2-3 times a day before meals for stomach diseases, anemia, diabetes mellitus, spleen diseases, arthritis, rheumatism, gout, and obesity.
Infusion of common chicory root
To obtain it, 2 teaspoons of the crushed root are poured with one glass of boiling water. The resulting infusion should be drunk in small portions during the day for liver disease, jaundice, gastroenteritis, enlarged spleen, stones in the gallbladder, and kidney disease. This infusion is also used externally for skin rashes, boils, carbuncles.
Chicory root tincture
To prepare it, you need to take 50 g of chopped chicory root and fill it with half a liter of vodka. Place a vessel with tincture closed with a stopper in a dark place for two weeks. After that, strain and take 30-40 drops each with a small (30-40 g) amount of boiled water. This tincture is taken for diseases of the liver, kidneys, spleen, it improves digestion, increases appetite, and soothes the nerves.
Used alcohol tincture and externally - for the treatment of chronic wounds and eczema, tumors.
In the treatment of itchy dermatoses, furunculosis, gout in the form of lotions, baths and dressings, a decoction of chicory flowers is also used.
Also, a decoction of these flowers is used internally for diseases of the liver, gallbladder, gastritis, diabetes, as well as to improve digestion, increase appetite.
Infusion of chicory flowers
It has a calming effect on the central nervous system, improves heart function, slows down the heart rate. Infusions and decoctions of chicory flowers are used for neurasthenia, hysteria. An infusion is prepared from two tablespoons of flowers, which are poured over 0.5 liters of boiling water. This infusion also improves digestion.
Side effects of taking medications from chicory can be a strong cough, excessive appetite, agitation. It is not recommended to use its preparations for hemorrhoids, vascular diseases, varicose veins. In any case, a consultation with a doctor before starting treatment will never be superfluous.