Chicory – Chicorium intybus

Chicory

Family: Compositae

Height: 1.5m

Chicory is often grown as part of the herbage mix added to grazing mixes for horses and other animals.  It has a long root which, when young, can be cooked as a root vegetable.  The root itself is a rich source of inulin, a prebiotic substance which provides a healthy substrate for the good bacteria in the gut.  The green parts can be fed to rabbits and guinea pigs as a herb.  Chinchillas love the dried root but it has an inverse Ca:P of 2:3 so feed together with a small amount of a calcium rich food such as inula or elecampane root..

If you grow your own chicory then feed the root together with the plant as the leafy parts have a good Ca:P ratio and are also a valuable source of vitamin C.

Chicory increases the flow of bile into the digestive tract, thereby acting as an appetite stimulant.

Constituents: Inulin (up to 58%), sesquiterpene lactones, calcium 41mg/100gm raw root, phosphorous 61mg/100gm raw root

Actions: Mild laxative, mild bitter tonic which aids the liver and digestive tract.  Also used for rheumatic conditions and gout.