Flora and fauna
in forest park Háj-Nicovô

Common chicory

Cichorium intybus

Common chicory

Common chicory (Cichorium intybus), commonly known as chicory, is a perennial herb that belongs to the Aster family (Asteraceae). It is a sturdy plant that can grow in various soil conditions, being an important food source for bees and other pollinators.

Chicory leaves are often used in salads, while the roots are roasted and ground to make a coffee substitute or additive. Roasted roots are also used in various dishes as a seasoning.

Chicory has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries – traditionally, as a digestive aid and for liver and gallbladder problems.

Its root is a rich source of inulin – a soluble fiber that can aid digestion, promote weight loss and improve heart health. It also acts as a probiotic, providing food for beneficial bacteria in the gut.

For its health-beneficial properties, chicory was highly valued even in ancient Egypt, and it was used as food and medicine by the ancient Greeks and Romans as well.

Chicory is an important ingredient in many traditional European dishes, especially in Italy, where it is added to risotto, pasta and salads.

Since ancient times, it has been used to produce blue dye.

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