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Binomial Name(s): Cichorium Intybus
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Cichorium
Species: C.intybus
Popular Name(s): Endive, Succory
Parts Used: Chicory flowers
Habitat: Cultivated throughout India

Chicory is a bushy perennial herb with blue or lavender flowers. The roots are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and additive in the plant's Mediterranean region of origin. It is grown in complete darkness, to keep new leaves tender and pale. The plant species is native to Europe, from where it was transported to other parts of the world, and grows in abundance there. Today, the herb is found growing wild in the fields of North America and also in the temperate zones of the world. Fully grown chicory herb reach up to a height of about 3 to more than 5 feet. Commercially, the plant is widely cultivated in parts of Europe, as the roasted root of the herb serves as an additive in coffee.

Plant Chemicals
11 to 15% inulin (a polysaccharide), 10 to 22% fructose, lactucin, lactucopicrin, some tannin, a fatty and a volatile oil, trace amounts of certain other compounds. The polysaccharide, inulin, undergoes chemical conversions to form a compound called oxymethylfurfurol.

Uses & Benefits of Chicory