Perennial cabbage-like plant, rich with milk juice, especially when young. The root is spindle-shaped, of dark color, and the inside is white. The flowers are typical – light-blue, large and impressive, all of them being tongue-like, individual or joined in bouquets. This plant grows as weed on meadows, in woods, alongside roads, and in abandoned places.
The root (Cichorii radix) is dug out in the Fall, when it is thickest and when it contains the most healing substances and innuline, reserve food. In addition to innuline and other derivatives of fruit sugar, we will single out pectins from its chemical composition, as well as chicory-ethanol, which is a bitter cumin derivative, bound in the plant in form of a heteroside.
The chicory is widely applied in treating digestion organs, primarily for improvement of appetite, stomach strengthening, better digestion, intensified releases of urine and gall-bladder, etc.
It is also used in cases of chronic stomach catarrh, persistent intestinal catarrh (in combination with wall germander and yarrow), cleansing bile tracts (together with the root of dandelion, mint, and wall germander), and the mixture of sweet flag, wall germander, and anise is effective in improving digestion.
Since innuline is a polysaccharide that, by a hydrolysis in our organism, only yields laevulose (fructose or fruit sugar), the use of this plant as a diet medicine for diabetes patients is entirely justified.