Chicory which is Cichorium intybus is in flower now and its blueness matches the blue of the skies which for the last few days has not shown the slightest hint of a cloud. Now I have said that it will be cloudy tomorrow. It grows on roadsides and waste places and prefers an alkaline or chalky soil.
Cultivated varieties are used to produce big thick tap roots that when dried and roasted are ground up and added to some coffe blends. Also other varieties are forced in the dark to produce compact yellowy/white heads that are used in salads these are called endive or some varieties with red in the leaves are called Raddichio.
Root chicory contains volatile oils similar to those found in plants in the related genus Tanacetum which includes Tansy, and is similarly effective at eliminating intestinal worms. All parts of the plant contain these volatile oils, with the majority of the toxic components concentrated in the plant’s root.]
Chicory is well known for its toxicity to internal parasites. Studies indicate that ingestion of chicory by farm animals results in reduction of worm burdens, which has prompted its widespread use as a forage supplement. Only a few major companies are active in research, development, and production of chicory varieties and selections, most in New Zealand.
Chicory (especially the flower), used as a folk medicine in Germany, is recorded in many books as an ancient German treatment for everyday ailments. It is variously used as a tonic and as a treatment for gallstones, gastro-enteritis, sinus problems and cuts and brusies. Chicory contains inulin which may help humans with weight loss, constipation, improving bowel function, and general health.