If you are trying to cut back on coffee, here is a great alternative: You can enjoy a cup of freshly brewed chicory root guilt-free, caffeine-free with tons of health benefits. It is the closest thing to coffee with the same deep, dark, rich, roasted flavor.
Although a good, organic cup of joe has many health benefits but drinking more than 5 cups a day can do a lot of harm to your body such as insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, increased blood pressure, increased stomach acid and pepsin. Caffeinated coffee can also increase the amount of calcium being flushed out in the urine possibly causing weakened and thinning bones so those with osteoporosis should limit their coffee consumption.
So what is Chicory? Chicory is a wild plant (Cichorium Intybus) of the dandelion family. It’s root, leaves and flowers are edible and are also used for medicinal purposes. Now here is a long list of health benefits you will get from a “cup of chic” (Chicory Root):
• Purifies liver and blood
• Supports liver and gallbladder function
• Removes kidney and bladder stones
• Eases joint pain
• Decreases swelling
• Increases urine
• strengthens stomach
• Increases bile from the gallbladder which supports digestion (extra bile helps breakdown fat)
• Has a mild laxative effect.
• Rich source of Beta Carotene (BC is an anti-oxidant. Our body converts it to “vitamin A” and it is essential for the health of our skin, eyes and vision. Some evidence also suggests that it helps prevent cognitive decline).
• And last but not least, it has “inulin”. Inulin from chicory root is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry for cholesterol medications, weight loss and constipation. Inulin is a starchy substance that decreases the body’s ability to make certain kind of fat (Don’t you love it already?)…Inulin is a prebiotic: (food for probiotics ; our good bacteria). It is a carbohydrate that cannot be digested or absorbed in the stomach; instead it finds its way to the colon where it supports growth of some good bacterias which improve bowel function and help overall health.
These were only some of the benefits of Chicory root. The leaves and the flower has some more benefits which I will cover in another post.
I know you can’t wait to try this amazing drink. Here are some easy ways to add a cup of chicory to your day:
You can drink Chicory hot or cold. I love making chicory ice cubes and adding it to my frothed goat milk for a yummy “Chicory Latte”; or you can drink it hot just like a cup of coffee. My vegan friends can try it with some Coconut or Almond milk.
To brew some chicory, add 2 cups of boiling water to 3 tablespoons of chicory root granules or powder. Leave it on very low heat for 10 minutes. You can adjust the amount of water to get the best intensity. 3 tbs of chicory will be much stronger than 3 tbs of coffee but I like it strong when I am using it as ice cubes. I usually use lots of milk with it.
• If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please consult your physician before using Chicory.
P.S. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE USE OF HERBS AND NATURAL INGREDIENTS IS MORE EFFECTIVE AS A PREVENTATIVE APPROACH AND IT SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROPER MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR THE ABOVE-MENTIONED HEALTH ISSUES.