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Cichorium intybus

A native of the British Isles, chicory, also known as "Succory," has been naturalized all over the world. It flowers at two to three feet tall. This is the wild form of the plant, and while no longer generally cultivated as a leafy green vegetable, it certainly can be eaten. Prior to the development of modern endive and chicory cultivars, the Romans, for example, ate it as a vegetable as well as in salads. Many ancient writers, including Horace, Virgil, and Pliny, describe it being used in this way.[1] Some say that they are tastier than dandelions as a fresh salad green.

Primarily grown in North America as an ornamental, the roots of this plant have been used for centuries in Europe to brew a beverage similar to coffee. For this purpose, its roots are harvested, washed, cut into chunks, dried, and then roasted. It is then ground and used as either a coffee amendment, or a substitute. Interestingly, the process of roasting converts one of its many compounds (e.g. inulin) into oxymethylfurfurol, which give the beverage brewed from it a coffee-like aroma.[2]

It is said that when added to coffee, it acts as a counter-stimulant to coffee's caffeine excitable (jitters) properties. Research indicates that this is due to the compounds lactucin and lactucopicrin, which have a sedative effect on the central nervous system.

Chicory, with sugar beet and rye was used as an ingredient of the East German Mischkaffee (mixed coffee), introduced during the "coffee crisis" of 1976 to 1979. Some beer brewers use roasted chicory to add rich flavor to their stouts. USDA Zones 3-9. Perennial. Each packet contains 0.25 gram, which is approximately 200 of seeds.
Medicinal Herbs Chicory is another example of both folklore and traditional usage being validated by modern science. It has not only been used since ancient times for food and beverage, but also as a medicinal to treat various ailments related to the nervous and circulatory systems. It some areas, it has been used as a mild laxative, as well as to treat liver disorders.[1,2]

A poultice of its bruised leaves was historically used to reduce inflammation and swelling.[1]
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The Victory Seed Company does not advocate medical self-diagnosis or self-medication. Reference to the medicinal properties of plants are described here for educational and historical purposes only and are not to be construed as a prescription, prognosis or diagnosis for any disease or illness. As with any remedies or medicines, you should consult your personal health care provider before using.

By ordering this seed, you are agreeing that it is allowed in your area or that you will not be cultivating it in a state where it is deemed a noxious weed. Since regulations change often, the following list may not be conclusive. Please check with your state and local laws to verify that you can grow this in your area. It may be classified as a "noxious weed" in your state and cultivation prohibited.

State Regulated Noxious Weeds List [PDF]

Informational References:
  1. "A Modern Herbal," Mrs. M. Grieve, 1931, pgs. 197-199.
  2. "Tyler's Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs & Related Remedies," Steven Foster & Varro E. Tyler, Ph.D., MJF Books, New York, 1999, pgs. 115-117.
  3. "Peterson's Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America," Steven Foster & James A. Duke, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, 2014, pgs. 263-264.
  4. "Handbook of phytochemical constituents of GRAS herbs and other economic plants," James A. Duke, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 1992.
  5. "Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases," U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 1992-2016.