Other Name(s):

Achicoria, Barbe de Capucin, Blue Sailors, Cheveux de Paysans, Chicorée, Chicorée Amère, Chicorée Sauvage, Cichorii Herba, Cichorium intybus, Cichorii Radix, Common Chicory Root, Écoubette, Hendibeh, Herbe à Café, Hinduba, Kasani, Kasni, Racine de Chicorée Commune, Succory, Wild Chicory, Wild Endive, Yeux de Chat.


Chicory is a plant. Its roots and dried, above-ground parts are used to make medicine.

Chicory is used for loss of appetite, upset stomach, constipation, liver and gallbladder disorders, cancer, and rapid heartbeat.

It is also used as a “tonic,” to increase urine production, to protect the liver, and to balance the stimulant effect of coffee.

Some people apply a paste of chicory leaves directly to the skin for swelling and inflammation.

In foods, chicory leaves are often eaten like celery, and the roots and leaf buds are boiled and eaten. Chicory is also used as a cooking spice and to flavor foods and beverages. Coffee mixes often include ground chicory to enhance the richness of the coffee.

How does it work?

Chicory root has a mild laxative effect, increases bile from the gallbladder, and decreases swelling. Chicory is a rich source of beta-carotene.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Constipation.
  • Liver disorders.
  • Gallbladder disorders.
  • Cancer.
  • Skin inflammation.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of chicory for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Chicory is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when consumed in amounts found in food.

Chicory is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts. Handling the chicory plant might cause skin irritation.


Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking chicory by mouth in large amounts is POSSIBLY UNSAFE during pregnancy. Chicory might start menstruation and cause a miscarriage.

Not enough is known about the safety of using chicory during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Chicory allergy: If you are allergic to chicory, don't take it by mouth or handle it.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Chicory may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking chicory.

Gallstones: Chicory can stimulate the production of bile. This could be a problem for people with gallstones. Don't use chicory without medical supervision if you have gallstones.


The appropriate dose of chicory for use as treatment depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for chicory. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors


Bischoff, T. A., Kelley, C. J., Karchesy, Y., Laurantos, M., Nguyen-Dinh, P., and Arefi, A. G. Antimalarial activity of lactucin and lactucopicrin: sesquiterpene lactones isolated from Cichorium intybus L. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004;95(2-3):455-457. View abstract.

Blumenthal, M and et al. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. 1998;

Cavazzini, G., Ceccherini, R., Bolognesi, L., Brandi, A., and Rausa, G. [Yersinia enterocolitica: biotypes and serotypes isolated from horticultural products]. Boll.Ist.Sieroter.Milan 9-30-1983;62(4):317-322. View abstract.

Cavazzini, G., Ceccherini, R., Prati, L., and Rausa, G. [First isolation of Yersinia enterocolitica in several horticultural products intended usually to be consumed fresh]. Boll.Ist.Sieroter.Milan 1982;61(5):428-431. View abstract.

Cavazzini, G., Guidi, E., and Rausa, G. [Gram-negative flora of horticultural produce destined for consumption mainly in the raw state]. Ann Ig 1989;1(5):1279-1289. View abstract.

Cavin, C., Delannoy, M., Malnoe, A., Debefve, E., Touche, A., Courtois, D., and Schilter, B. Inhibition of the expression and activity of cyclooxygenase-2 by chicory extract. Biochem.Biophys.Res Commun. 2-18-2005;327(3):742-749. View abstract.

Chen, H. L., Lu, Y. H., Lin, J. J., and Ko, L. Y. Effects of isomalto-oligosaccharides on bowel functions and indicators of nutritional status in constipated elderly men. J Am Coll Nutr. 2001;20(1):44-49. View abstract.

Cho, Y. J., Sinha, J., Park, J. P., and Yun, J. W. Production of inulooligosaccharides from chicory extract by endoinulinase from Xanthomonas oryzae No. 5. Enzyme Microb.Technol. 3-8-2001;28(4-5):439-445. View abstract.

Chow, J. Probiotics and prebiotics: A brief overview. J Ren Nutr. 2002;12(2):76-86. View abstract.

de Kraker, J. W., Franssen, M. C., Dalm, M. C., de Groot, A., and Bouwmeester, H. J. Biosynthesis of germacrene A carboxylic acid in chicory roots. Demonstration of a cytochrome P450 (+)-germacrene a hydroxylase and NADP+-dependent sesquiterpenoid dehydrogenase(s) involved in sesquiterpene lactone biosynthesis. Plant Physiol 2001;125(4):1930-1940. View abstract.

de Kraker, J. W., Franssen, M. C., de Groot, A., Konig, W. A., and Bouwmeester, H. J. (+)-Germacrene A biosynthesis . The committed step in the biosynthesis of bitter sesquiterpene lactones in chicory. Plant Physiol 1998;117(4):1381-1392. View abstract.

de Kraker, J. W., Franssen, M. C., Joerink, M., de Groot, A., and Bouwmeester, H. J. Biosynthesis of costunolide, dihydrocostunolide, and leucodin. Demonstration of cytochrome p450-catalyzed formation of the lactone ring present in sesquiterpene lactones of chicory. Plant Physiol 2002;129(1):257-268. View abstract.

Debarbieux, M., Ouadid-Ahidouch, H., Delpierre, N., Vasseur, J., and Prevarskaya, N. A calcium homeostasis mechanism induced by heterologous expression of total RNA from chicory leaves in Xenopus oocytes. J Membr.Biol. 1-1-1999;167(1):25-33. View abstract.

Debarbieux-Deleporte, M., Delbreil, B., Collin, T., Delcourt, P., Vasseur, J., Prevarskaya, N., and Ouadid-Ahidouch, H. InsP(3)-mediated calcium release induced by heterologous expression of total chicory Leaf RNA. Biol.Cell 2002;94(7-8):545-552. View abstract.

Delzenne, N. M., Cani, P. D., Daubioul, C., and Neyrinck, A. M. Impact of inulin and oligofructose on gastrointestinal peptides. Br J Nutr. 2005;93 Suppl 1:S157-S161. View abstract.

Du, H., Yuan, S., and Jiang, P. [Chemical constituents of Cichorium intybus L.]. Zhongguo Zhong.Yao Za Zhi. 1998;23(11):682-3, 704. View abstract.

Finke, B., Stahl, B., Pritschet, M., Facius, D., Wolfgang, J., and Boehm, G. Preparative continuous annular chromatography (P-CAC) enables the large-scale fractionation of fructans. J Agric.Food Chem 8-14-2002;50(17):4743-4748. View abstract.

Flamm, G., Glinsmann, W., Kritchevsky, D., Prosky, L., and Roberfroid, M. Inulin and oligofructose as dietary fiber: a review of the evidence. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2001;41(5):353-362. View abstract.

Friis, B., Hjorth, N., Vail, J. T., Jr., and Mitchell, J. C. Occupational contact dermatitis from Cichorium (chicory, endive) and Lactuca (lettuce). Contact Dermatitis 1975;1(5):311-313. View abstract.

Grieshop, C. M., Flickinger, E. A., Bruce, K. J., Patil, A. R., Czarnecki-Maulden, G. L., and Fahey, G. C., Jr. Gastrointestinal and immunological responses of senior dogs to chicory and mannan-oligosaccharides. Arch Anim Nutr. 2004;58(6):483-493. View abstract.

Gruenwald, J and et al. PDR for Herbal Medicines. 1998;1

Harnyk, T. P. [The use of preparations of plant origin in treating and rehabilitating elderly patients with chronic hepatitis]. Lik.Sprava. 1999;(7-8):168-170. View abstract.

Hazra, B., Sarkar, R., Bhattacharyya, S., and Roy, P. Tumour inhibitory activity of chicory root extract against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma in mice. Fitoterapia 2002;73(7-8):730-733. View abstract.

He, Y., Guo, Y. J., and Gao, Y. Y. [Studies on chemical constituents of root of Cichorium intybus]. Zhongguo Zhong.Yao Za Zhi. 2002;27(3):209-210. View abstract.

Hughes, R. and Rowland, I. R. Stimulation of apoptosis by two prebiotic chicory fructans in the rat colon. Carcinogenesis 2001;22(1):43-47. View abstract.

Johannsen, F. R. Toxicological profile of carboxymethyl inulin. Food Chem Toxicol. 2003;41(1):49-59. View abstract.

Kim, H. M., Kim, H. W., Lyu, Y. S., Won, J. H., Kim, D. K., Lee, Y. M., Morii, E., Jippo, T., Kitamura, Y., and An, N. H. Inhibitory effect of mast cell-mediated immediate-type allergic reactions by Cichorium intybus. Pharmacol.Res 1999;40(1):61-65. View abstract.

Kim, J. H., Mun, Y. J., Woo, W. H., Jeon, K. S., An, N. H., and Park, J. S. Effects of the ethanol extract of Cichorium intybus on the immunotoxicity by ethanol in mice. Int Immunopharmacol. 2002;2(6):733-744. View abstract.

Leung, AY and Foster, S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics. 1996;2

Nemery, B. and Demedts, M. Occupational asthma in a chicory grower. Lancet 3-25-1989;1(8639):672-673. View abstract.

Pool-Zobel, B. L. Inulin-type fructans and reduction in colon cancer risk: review of experimental and human data. Br J Nutr. 2005;93 Suppl 1:S73-S90. View abstract.

Reddy, B. S. Possible mechanisms by which pro- and prebiotics influence colon carcinogenesis and tumor growth. J Nutr. 1999;129(7 Suppl):1478S-1482S. View abstract.

Reddy, B. S. Prevention of colon cancer by pre- and probiotics: evidence from laboratory studies. Br J Nutr. 1998;80(4):S219-S223. View abstract.

Reddy, B. S., Hamid, R., and Rao, C. V. Effect of dietary oligofructose and inulin on colonic preneoplastic aberrant crypt foci inhibition. Carcinogenesis 1997;18(7):1371-1374. View abstract.

Rumessen, J. J. and Gudmand-Hoyer, E. Fructans of chicory: intestinal transport and fermentation of different chain lengths and relation to fructose and sorbitol malabsorption. Am.J.Clin.Nutr. 1998;68(2):357-364. View abstract.

Sivaswamy, S. N., Balachandran, B., Balanehru, S., and Sivaramakrishnan, V. M. Mutagenic activity of south Indian food items. Indian J Exp.Biol. 1991;29(8):730-737. View abstract.

Symons, M. C. Strange allergy to chicory. Lancet 10-29-1988;2(8618):1027. View abstract.

Bouhnik Y, Vahedi K, Achour L, et al. Short-chain fructo-oligosaccharide administration dose-dependently increases fecal bifidobacteria in healthy humans. J Nutr 1999;129:113-6. View abstract.

Briet F, et al. Symptomatic response to varying levels of fructo-oligosaccharides consumed occasionally or regularly. Eur J Clin Nutr 1995;49:501-7. View abstract.

Cadot, P., Kochuyt, A. M., van Ree, R., and Ceuppens, J. L. Oral allergy syndrome to chicory associated with birch pollen allergy. Int.Arch.Allergy Immunol. 2003;131(1):19-24. View abstract.

Correa CM, Tibana A, Gontijo-Filho PP. Vegetables as a source of infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a University and Oncology Hospital of Rio de Janeiro. J Hosp Infect 1991;18:301-6. View abstract.

Cummings JH, Macfarlane GT, Englyst HN. Prebiotic digestion and fermentation. Am J Clin Nutr 2001;73:415S-420S. View abstract.

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at:

Menne E, Guggenbuhl N, Roberfroid M. Fn-type chicory inulin hydrolysate has a prebiotic effect in humans. J Nutr 2000;130:1197-9. View abstract.

Roberfroid MB, Van Loo JA, Gibson GR. The bifidogenic nature of chicory inulin and its hydrolysis products. J Nutr 1998;128:11-9. View abstract.

Sakurai N, Iizuka T, Nakayama S, et al. [Vasorelaxant activity of caffeic acid derivatives from Cichorium intybus and Equisetum arvense]. Yakugaku Zasshi 2003;123:593-8. View abstract.

Stone-Dorshow T, Levitt MD. Gaseous response to ingestion of a poorly absorbed fructo-oligosaccharide sweetener. Am J Clin Nutr 1987;46:61-5. View abstract.

Williams CM. Effects of inulin on lipid parameters in humans. J Nutr 1999 Jul;129(7 Suppl):1471S-3S. View abstract.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors