How to use the wild chicory?

Achicoria silvestre en flor

The wild chicory is a perennial herb that can be found in the temperate regions of the Old World. Produces a few flowers in a small but very beautiful, which is why it would not be surprising that more than one and more than two were on their balcony as an ornamental plant. Its more extended use, however, is none other than the culinary. And yet… there is one used as a medicinal.

As you can see, this is not a grass either. Then I will tell you much more about it so that you know how to deal with it.

What are its characteristics?

The wild chicory, whose scientific name is Cichorium intybus, is a weed robust perennial that can reach a metre in height. It has a single deep root, tapered, thick, and pivoting. The basal leaves are spatulate, semicarnosas and slightly toothed; and those who are in the upper part of the stem are the bracts, that is to say, leaves that protect the flower.

During the summer, spring inflorescences liguladas blue-lilac, pink or white. These flowers are hermaphrodites. The fruit is an achene (dry fruit whose skin is not stuck to the seeds).

How do you care for?

If you want to have any, we recommend you provide the following care:

  • Location: outside, in full sun.
  • Earth:
    • Potting: substrate culture universal.
    • Garden: it is indifferent, provided that it has good drainage.
  • Irrigation: 2 times per week in summer and every 4-5 days the rest of the year.
  • Paid: from spring to summer with an organic fertilizer, such as guano, for example.
  • Multiplication: by seeds in the spring. Direct sowing in seedbed.
  • Hardiness: it can survive the cold and frost of up to -7ºC.

What uses does it have?

Gastronomy

The leaves of wild chicory are eaten in salads, and roasted root used as coffee substitute or as an adulterant of the latter.

Medicinal

Infusion is used to treat diseases of the digestive system and liver, and as a stimulant of bile; and in plasters for skin irritations. Their properties are:

  • diuretic
  • sedative
  • antiparasitic internal
  • scar
  • detoxifying and cleansing
  • improves the functioning of the liver
  • stimulates the secretion of bile

The mode of employment is as follows:

  • Cooking for digestive problems, cook 5 to 10g in a liter of water for 5-8 minutes. Rest 5-10 minutes and take.
  • To debug and/or detoxify, make juice of the whole plant.
  • In the form of a poultice alone, or in combination with other plants.
  • Salads can be consumed on a daily basis.

Cichorium intybus

What do you think of the wild chicory?

The article how To use the wild chicory? has been originally published in Gardening On.

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