The chicory drink has the image of a coffee backup. People who are contraindicated “invigorating nectar”, in fact, often make a similar replacement in the diet. But in fact – it is a completely independent product with its pluses and minuses.
Unlike coffee, it not only helps to wake up, but has a number of healing properties. Strengthens the immune system and nerves, relieves diabetes, improves digestion and works as a means to lose weight.
But suitable, alas, not all. More detail about what the benefits and harm of chicory – in our material.
What is chicory made from? From the dried root of the same name medicinal plant.
This is not some strange foreign flower. He is “ours”, is represented in Slavic mythology and was honored by our ancestors.
What is chicory? You probably met him during the flowering period. In July, the flower weed grows in fields, meadows and plantings along the roads.
And it’s hard not to notice. Blue with sharp edges, the petals juicy stand out among other greens.
In the people, chicory has a whole set of variations of names: shcherbak, bathoi, petrov whip, waiting by the road, sun grass, etc. It is associated with many legends and beliefs.
Basically, about love.
Some of them say that the flowers of the plant are the girl’s eyes, which are able to look into the very soul. And according to other versions, chicory is a tool of warriors, because it makes a person invisible and protects against enemy attacks.
Opened Shcherbak buds are woven into the ritual girls’ wreaths. Chicory is depicted on the benchmarks.
It is a symbol of loyalty, protection from ailments and damage, a charm to prolong youth and attract the attention of the opposite sex.
To grow a plant for production purposes began in Europe at the beginning of the XVIII century. Russia put chicory “on stream” later – in the 80s of the nineteenth century.
And in our area, the first to notice the taste of the drink was an ordinary peasant by the name of Zolotukhin, who was looking for and found a free analogue of coffee.
Now chicory is cultivated for various purposes. In the course, and the root, and stems, and flowers of the plant.
They are mainly used in medicine and in cooking.
The most famous property of chicory is to give the body strength. It is even used in the sports diet. On this score, too, there is a legend.
It says that the hunters once were carried away by the search for game in the taiga, and were too far from the camp. They have run out of provisions.
The men were so exhausted that they simply could not return to theirs. They arranged a halt.
And in search of at least some food stumbled upon shcherbak. The decoction from the root of the plant returned to the hunters strength, and they found the right path, got to the parking lot.
A special tonic effect, brown color and similar taste characteristics – this is what unites chicory extract and coffee. True, coffee lovers believe that comparing these two drinks is literally blasphemous.
Bathog powder is not so fragrant and saturated. And to be honest, the taste of chicory, though reminiscent of the coffee one, is still very “not too much for an amateur”.
Sometimes it is even compared with the taste of “Pepsi”. By the way, it is not necessary to add sugar to the cup with shcherbak, otherwise it may turn out to be sugary.
The effect of chicory extract on the male and female body
But, according to reviews of doctors, chicory deservedly takes the place of coffee in the menu. At least because it does not contain caffeine, does not harm the heart and tooth enamel.
But at the same time it invigorates and even heals well! What are the useful properties of chicory for the human body need to highlight especially?
- Natural antidepressant. Chicory is rich in B vitamins, which a person needs for “steel nerves”. These substances improve mood, relieve anxiety, give positive energy, relieve migraines. And yet – improve the quality of sleep, which allows you to drink a drink, not only during the day, but in the evening.
- “Pill” for diabetics. As part of Shcherbak – carbohydrate inulin, which lowers blood sugar. Often in the treatment of diabetes drink is recommended as an additional tool.
- Assistant for weight loss. The same inulin “neutralizes” sweets and rolls, without which it is so hard for the sweet tooth. Therefore, in order not to get better, you can drink such delicacies with chicory. And due to pectin, the plant dulls the feeling of hunger. In addition, there are substances in chicory that directly help to lose weight. Some of the B-vitamins do not allow excess calories to turn into fat. In addition, as part of the grass there are compounds that catalyze the metabolism in the body.
- Natural “beautician”. Improves skin and hair condition – this is what chicory is good for women. It contains calcium and magnesium, as well as “beauty vitamins” – retinol and tocopherol. By the way, girls use plant decoctions in home cosmetology, make masks, lotions, applications. The plant disinfects and heals wounds, reduces inflammation, stimulates hair growth. Therefore suitable for dermatitis, eczema, baldness.
- Protection for the intestines. Thanks to prebiotics, chicory stimulates the development and activity of bifidobacteria, which, in turn, inhibit harmful microorganisms in the intestine. This is the prevention of dysbacteriosis, the key to regular stool. However, you should not get carried away with the drink, because in this case a strong laxative effect is possible.
- Support for immunity. Here participate the vitamins contained in chicory. For example, ascorbic acid. And also directly chicorylate acid, which is considered an immunomodulator and antiviral agent. By the way, chicory is drunk for medicinal purposes with colds and acute respiratory infections. Such drinking enhances the protective functions of the body, relieves fever.
- Strength for the heart. Magnesium and potassium are indispensable substances for human “motor”. Plus, it is important chicory property to reduce cholesterol. So, the drink is useful for tachycardia, high pressure, atherosclerosis, etc.
- The source of iron. The presence of this element in chicory, makes the drink useful for anemia and low hemoglobin. However, using the product in order to saturate the body with iron, you should not add cow’s milk. Otherwise, the intensity of mastering the substance will decrease.
- Effective cleaning. Chicory is able to “expel” from the body of toxic substances, slags, cleans the liver. Even used to remove parasites.
- Prevention of urological diseases. Chicory has a diuretic effect, supports kidney function. This is an additional protection of the genitourinary system, especially for men.
So, not all people who are forced to abandon coffee, powder from Shcherbak is suitable as a substitute. Contraindications are also: allergy to substances contained in the drink, gastritis, ulcers, varicose veins, hemorrhoids.
One of the most common “anti-coffees” diagnoses is pancreatitis. Whether chicory is suitable for such a patient depends on the stage of the disease. If the disease is in acute form, then there should be no drink on the menu.
Otherwise, the pancreas can “rebel.” But in remission, you can pamper yourself.
But here the limiting daily dose is a teaspoon of powder per 200 ml of water.
But chicory during pregnancy is valid, but without fanaticism and with the permission of the doctor. The product will be the way to relieve nausea, heartburn and swelling.
Plus acts and prevention of constipation, which are a frequent problem of women in this period.
But already during breastfeeding, the mother will have to exclude chicory from her menu without options. There are at least three reasons for this.
First, the risk of an allergy in an infant is high. Secondly, the components contained in the drink, stimulating act on the nervous system of the baby.
Third, there have been cases of a decrease in the amount of human milk after the introduction of Shcherbak into the diet.
Today, virtually all stores, tea shops and pharmacy chains can buy chicory. But your choice is small: buy ready-made soluble product or take the root and make homemade powder or decoction from it.
In the first case, you simply open the package and dilute its contents in boiling water. The recommended ratio is usually indicated on the package.
Most often, two teaspoons are advised to pour 170-230 ml of water. Such a run in the allowable amount of fluid indicates the possibility of regulating the strength of the drink.
Also, chicory is often cooked with milk. But only hot liquid is necessary for cultivation of powder.
To taste, you can add cream or honey, lemon.
People who want to try the most natural chicory, still acquire the roots of the plant. This can be understood.
After all, where is the guarantee that no dyes were added to the product during powder production, for example?
With the preparation of a drink from the roots at home will need to tinker. One option is to chop, fry in a pan, and then skip through a coffee grinder.
Next, the resulting “flour” is poured with boiling water: a teaspoonful of 200-250 ml of liquid.
It is possible to do otherwise: boil unmilled roots. Get a kind of “tea”. To do this, a small spoonful of roots is poured into a pot or a Turk, filled with cold water.
Fluids need about a glass. After boiling, the drink should be held on a slow fire for another two or three minutes.
Let infuse a little, and then need to be drained.
From the advantages of the home cooking option – combinations with other useful products are possible. For example, with wild rose, lemon peel, sea buckthorn.
By the way, especially loyal fans of chicory extract raw roots from the ground and dry them on their own.
Please note that overdose is likely to harm chicory. A healthy person should not drink more than four drinks per day.