A rich source of iron, Chicory (Kasni) is useful in treating anemia. It helps in better circulation of blood, thus aid in treating angina and heart-related disorders. This herb is a rich source of dietary fiber and promotes the feeling of fullness in the stomach. Therefore, Chicory root assists in weight loss by controlling your hunger pangs. A diuretic, Kasni helps in eliminating toxins from the body and keep your kidneys in great health. Chicory Root Extract Benefits for Skin. Various skin care products include chicory in different ways such as face cleanser, skin toner, etc. Even chicory coffee are also availble in local markets.
Chicory is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the family Asteraceae. Its scientific name is Cichorium incubus and it is also known as kasni in India. Chicory plants grow up to a height of 1m. Chicory has spherical leaves that are bitter in taste and hard branches bearing blue flowers. Chicory flowers have 15-20 petals that open during the early morning and close later in the day. The plant grows angular light coloured fruits and has a long fleshy root resembling a cow’s tail. Chicory leaves are added to salads.
Chicory is a good source of various nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron, folic acid and potassium. Vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K are also present in chicory. All health benefits of Chicory plant is due to this rich nutrient content of it. The seeds of chicory plant are a store house of both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.
Chicory is used as a substitute of coffee. Though it does not contain caffeine, it gives similar effects as the original beverage. Its young leaves form a good ingredient for fresh salads while its matured leaves are used for cooking just like a vegetable. The medicinal uses of chicory are many as it treats various health conditions. Chicory is used to extract inulin which is helps in various bodily procedures such as digestion. Inulin is responsible for regulating microbial fermentation, putting a check on the amount of fat and cholesterol being absorbed and it increases the beneficial HDLs while reducing the harmful LDLs.
Chicory though has a truck load of benefits, like everything else it has drawbacks too. If you are allergic to marigolds, ragweed and daisies you might also be allergic to chicory as they are closely related. People suffering from gallstones should not consume this plant in excess as it would aggravate the situation. Pregnant women should avoid consuming chicory as it could up the risk of having a miscarriage by stimulating menstruation.
Chicory is a native of Eurasia that was taken later to America by the Europeans. Today it is found growing naturally there. In India chicory grows mostly in the northwest and southern parts. It is cultivated for its leaves, roots and seeds. Chicory grows well in well-drained soil where too much water cannot accumulate like sandy and chalky soil.