Chicory is used to treat nephritis and loss of appetite in TCM
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Chicory is a perennial plant indigenous to Europe, India, and Egypt. It grows as a weed in temperate climates and is widely cultivated in northern Europe. Chicory has bright blue flowers, and is a member of the Asteraceae (daisy) family. The dried root is the primary part of the plant used.

Chicory leaves and roots are used as a vegetable. Roasted roots are ground and brewed. In cultivation, chicory roots are "forced" during the fall and winter to produce 2 types of leaves used as greens: Barbe de capucin and witloof (or French endive). The leaves of young plants are used as potherbs, in which case they are cooked like spinach. Leaves of older plants, when blanched, are used like celery. Chicory roots are boiled and eaten with butter. They also are roasted and used to add a bitter, mellow taste to coffee and tea or used as a substitute for coffee.

Chicory is a sedative with potential cardioactive properties. There is some evidence to show that chicory's oligosaccharides are probiotic and are beneficial in maintaining healthy GI flora. Chicory also may help certain conditions including Constipation, diarrhea, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Chicory also has been noted as an appetite stimulant and for dyspepsia. Definitive clinical studies are needed to substantiate all these claims.

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