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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-12

Cichorium intybus: A concise report on its ethnomedicinal, botanical, and phytopharmacological aspects


Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology, Hisar, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Neeru Vasudeva
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology, Hisar - 125 001, Haryana
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2394-6555.180157

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Cichorium intybus L. (chicory) is a Mediterranean plant species belonging to the Asteraceae family. Chicory is gaining interests because of its culinary features, nutritional values and medicinal characteristics. C. intybus has been implemented in folk medicine from North Africa to South Asia for several 100 years. In Indian medicine, it has been used to treat fever, diarrhea, spleen enlargement, jaundice, liver enlargement, gout, and rheumatism. In China, it is valued for its tonic effects upon the liver and digestive tract. In Germany, chicory has been used as a folk medicine for everyday ailments. Thus, C. intybus is a plant of great economic potential due to high concentrations of fructooligosacharide, known as inulin, in its roots, used as a replacement ingredient for sugar and fat. The other various phytoconstituents reported in chicory are sucrose, cellulose, proteins, caffeic acid derivatives, flavonoids, polyphenols, carotenoids, anthocyanins, tannins, coumarins, sesquiterpene lactones, fatty acids, pectin, cholins, benzo-isochromenes, alkaloids, vitamins, amino acids, and minerals. The therapeutic investigations reveal that C. intybus is useful for maintaining normal health and has nematicidal, antihepatotoxic, antidiabetic, cardioprotective, antiallergic, antihyperlipidemic, anti-inflammatory, antineoplastic, calcium homeostater, bulking agent, immunostimulatory, prebiotic, protective against pancreatitis, antimicrobial, and antioxidant effects. This review encompasses botany, ethnomedicinal uses, phytoconstituents, pharmacological uses, and toxicity studies of C. intybus L.


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