The healing power of inconspicuous chicory: tips for using and growing a plant

The healing power of inconspicuous chicory: tips for using and growing a plant

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Surely each of us, walking along a rural road, noticed bluish modest star flowers on tall gray-green twigs, but few people know that this herb is chicory, which is widely used both in alternative medicine and in cooking. The article is dedicated to those who want to get the most out of this extraordinary plant.

What does ordinary chicory look like?

The chicory (peter's whip, blue flower, scherbach) was presented to the Astrov family by a person: it is a wild perennial or, if cultivated on a site, biennial plant, which many know about as a weed. It is easy to recognize grass not only by tall erect stems with a rough surface, sometimes reaching a height of one and a half meters, but also by small inflorescences-baskets (single or in a group), most often bluish-gray in color, revealing their petals exclusively in the cool morning hours and in cloudy weather. It should be noted that there are species with white and pink flowers. As for the description of the leaves, in chicory they are lanceolate-ovoid in shape and seem to “hug” the stems. The underground part also deserves attention - the root of the scherbak is very fleshy and large, making an incision, you can see the bitter milky juice of the plant.

At the end of the growing season, roadside grass, as chicory is also called, produces fruits - three- or five-sided light brown oblong achenes.

Places of distribution of chicory

For a resident of Russia, chicory is an indispensable attribute of the countryside. Indeed, this herb is widely distributed over almost the entire territory of Eurasia, in particular, in the Caucasus and Siberia; it grows in northern Africa, in Australia, and even in New Zealand. A modest plant settles along roads and ditches, in fields, meadows and forest edges, sometimes forming an impressive thicket. In some cases, Petrov's whip can be seen in the mountains (to the middle belt).

Active substances of chicory

In folk recipes, stems, leaves, flowers and the root of the plant are used. The fact is that they contain a significant proportion of inulin - a polysaccharide that helps in the fight against diabetes and metabolic problems in the body. Other beneficial substances are proteins, choline, intibine, glycosides, tannins and B vitamins, such as riboflavin and thiamine. In addition, the composition of the leaves includes ascorbic acid, potassium and carotene; juice extracted from the root contains bitter lacticin, lactucopycrine, taraxasterol, etc. Fatty oils can make up to 30% in blue flower seeds.

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When to harvest chicory

The healing and beneficial properties of the root, herb and chicory seeds

Due to the chemical composition saturated with useful substances, roadside grass has a whole list of healing properties. The main ones are stimulation of the digestive processes, slowing down of rapid heart contractions and a calming effect on the central part of the nervous system. Also, the scherbak will have a beneficial effect on the excretion of urine and bile, stop diarrhea, increase appetite, lower fever and relieve severe pain of a different nature. Due to such a wide spectrum of action, this herb was valued by healers as a versatile medicine from ancient times, when herbalism occupied a prominent position in official medicine.

According to the effects of chicory extract on the body, the herb can be used in the fight against diseases such as diabetes, hepatitis, cholecystitis, cholangitis, gastritis, enterocolitis, stomatitis, conjunctivitis, gout, radiculitis and many others. In addition, decoctions from the root of the roadside grass are recommended for patients bitten by snakes, scorpions and lizards during the recovery period after a critical condition and the introduction of an antidote.

Recipes of traditional medicine often include Peter the whip in the composition of fees that help with loss of strength, incontinence, jade and even some skin diseases (boils, carbuncles, eczema, acne). Today, this plant is recognized even in professional medical circles.d: drugs with chicory are prescribed as wound healing and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Growing chicory

Having learned about the benefits that unpretentious chicory can bring to health, not a single owner of the site will refuse to plant it in his flower bed. Despite the fact that this is a half-weed plant that does not require special conditions, to obtain a large and high-quality crop of healing herbs, you need to remember a few simple rules.

Planting chicory on the site

Before planting, you need to make sure that crops such as potatoes, lettuce, carrots, tomato or chicory do not grow on the selected site - this will lead to the defeat of the plant by parasitic wireworm and sclerotinia and other diseases. You should also prepare for the fact that after harvesting a blue flower next year, the remains of the root will sproutliving his life in the earth. The way out of the situation will be the subsequent settlement of this area with gladioli, tulips or irises. A place for planting roadside grass should receive enough sunlight.

The technology of planting chicory ordinary involves several stages. Firstly, in the autumn loamy soil is spread on loamy, loose and neutral soil, which after 14 days is dug up to a depth of about 0.3 m. Secondly, in the spring, a complex of mineral fertilizers and ash is applied (and again dug up to 25-30 cm. ) Thirdly, in March-April, get seedlings, which are then planted in open ground in May. As an alternative, you can try to sow chicory seeds, but in this case you need to remember about 3-4 months - the period necessary for the formation of a good root crop. Seeds are sown in rows (row spacing - 20 cm), double-row tapes or a thickened planting of 20x20 cm. Seedlings must be planted to a depth of not more than 2 cm. At the end of sowing, the plot is rolled back.

Medicinal features of chicory

Chicory Care

The main procedures for the care of chicory are regular, but moderate watering with warm water, deep loosening of row-spacings after irrigation and rainfall, frequent weeding of weeds (especially need to be careful of woodlice, sow thistle and dumplings) and top dressing with a mineral complex if necessary.

Gathering and harvesting chicory

For decoctions and tinctures, a root is used. It must be prepared in the fall: dig out, rinse with cold water, dry, cut into pieces and put to dry. The root can be dried both in the open air and in the drying chamber. Harvested raw materials are stored for no more than two years.

Tops are harvested in the summer, during the flowering of roadside grass. The upper 30 cm of the stem along with the inflorescences are cut and dried in the same way as the roots; it should be remembered that their shelf life is much shorter - only 1 year.

Scope of chicory

For most people, chicory is a substitute for coffee, but its properties have allowed the use of grass in traditional medicine, as well as in modern cosmetology.

Chicory in folk medicine

  • Decoction of root vegetables. In ½ liter of boiling water, 1 tablespoon of raw material is brewed, and then boiled for 30 minutes. The cooled broth is filtered and taken in a spoon three times a day before meals. The tool is extremely effective for improving appetite and the condition of the digestive tract as a whole.
  • Infusion of rhizomes. 1 tbsp pour 500 ml of boiling water, insist under the lid for 3-4 hours and filter, squeezing the remains of the root. Dosage - half a glass, use before each meal. The drug is prescribed for the treatment of the gastrointestinal tract, bladder and skin diseases.
  • Fresh chicory juice with skin diseases and anemia. Young shoots are cut during the formation of buds, scalded and passed through a meat grinder. The resulting mixture is squeezed through cheesecloth, and squeezed juice is boiled for 2-3 minutes. Use with honey 1 teaspoon 4 times a day.
  • Lotions from the root crop. We need equal parts of the root and aboveground parts: 4 tbsp. tablespoons of raw boil for half an hour in a glass of water, wring out and cool. The tool is taken in the form of baths or dousing for three or more days.

Chicory in cosmetology

Due to its beneficial properties, blue flower extract is a common component in many hair care products (conditioners, shampoos, balms). This herb treats not only hair but also skin, fighting inflammation, acne, eczema and furunculosis, so it is also part of masks and washing gels.

Preparation and use of chicory powder drink

Today, chicory powder can be found in stores, and the packaging will indicate the method of preparing a hot drink:

  1. Put one or two tablespoons of chicory in a cup;
  2. Pour chicory with hot water (not boiling water!) To half a cup;
  3. Add cream, sugar, or milk to taste.

Instead of coffee, chicory should be drunk by heart and kidney failure. Also, soluble chicory will help improve the functioning of the intestinal tract and metabolism. The beneficial effect of the drink is based on the fact that it does not contain caffeine, which excites the nervous system.

Contraindications and side effects of chicory vulgaris

Like any medicinal plant, roadside grass has limitations imposed on its use. Obviously, chicory should not be used for individual intolerance to the components. Also it the drug is not recommended for children under two years of age, pregnant and lactating women suffering from bronchitis and asthma, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, as well as obesity (increased appetite). There is practically no evidence of an overdose, but prolonged use can cause diuresis. The rest - the components of the scherbach, including the root, do not contain toxins and are completely safe.

How to choose chicory

Roadside grass is an interesting plant that has revealed its potential in several areas at once, and planting it on your site means growing a faithful assistant in protecting your health and beauty.

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