In today’s herbal medicine chicory is considered to be of particularly great value as a tonic for the liver and gastrointestinal tract.
The medicinal properties of the herb are similar to those found in dandelion (Taraxacum officinale).
Chicory is viewed as an excellent bitter agent that increases the secretion of bile which in turn stimulates the appetite and aids in digestion. The herb has also the reputation for having a calming and soothing effect.
Chicory is regarded to be effective as a natural treatment for gallstones and kidney stones, and the herb is well known as a remedy for jaundice, hepatomegaly (enlargement of the liver), inflammation of the liver and the urinary tract, and problems with the spleen.
Some of the herb’s constituents have laxative properties. The herb is considered to be safe and mild enough to be used as a laxative for children.
The bitter substances found in chicory are harmless so that it can also be used to treat ulcers, ulcers on the duodenum and minor internal bleeding.
The bitter substances sesquiterpene lactones are believed to stop inflammation from developing and also halt an already developed inflammation.
The substance lactucin and lactucopicrin have been tested against malaria. It was discovered that both substances were fatal to the malaria parasite, but lactucin was more effective since it was needed at a lower concentration than lactucopicrin.