When you hear “chicory” what do you think of first? Well, chicory has a long, distinguished history here in North America both as a food and as a medicine. In fact, chicory root can be used as a coffee substitute or to add fiber to foods. On top of that, this herb, when mixed with water, becomes smooth and creamy, so it can also replace margarines and dressings. Amazingly, chicory root offers some pretty great health benefits, too. Benefits of chicory root include the ability to lower inflammation, protect the liver, improve gut health, and more.

Benefits of Chicory Root

1. Reduces Stress

The benefits of chicory root start with taste. By using chicory in place of other ingredients, chicory helps to lower stress levels. For example, many people drink coffee daily, but the caffeine found in coffee can exacerbate anxiety. Instead, try chicory root. In a 2006 study, researchers found that repeated caffeine consumption combined with stress can significantly elevate cortisol levels. So replacing your morning cup of coffee with roasted chicory root can help reduce your caffeine intake and lower cortisol levels. (1)

2. Provides Anti-inflammatory Properties

Next, benefits of chicory root include the ability to fight inflammation. For instance, chicory contains high levels of antioxidants. Studies have shown that such plant polyphenols, which are found in the many varieties of chicory, can improve the body’s ability to respond to inflammation. As a result, by lowering inflammation, chicory root may help the body fight off many chronic diseases and illnesses. (2)

3. Protects the Liver

Benefits of chicory root include the ability to cleanse your liver. In a 2011 publication of Pharmacognosy Magazine, researchers reported on the benefits of adding chicory powder to animal feed. First, they found that inulin from chicory helps regulate appetite. Then they noted that the combination of chicory, celery, and barley powders may benefit those with liver disease. In fact, this plant mixture “produces an excellent effect” on the liver. (3)

benefits of chicory root

4. May Help Prevent Diabetes

Furthermore, research suggests that the benefits of chicory root may include the ability to prevent diabetes. According to a study published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine in 2015, roasted chicory root extract was able to improve the level of adiponectin in the body, a protein that regulates glucose levels. Thus, researchers concluded that chicory root extract in addition to a diabetic diet may help delay or prevent the onset of diabetes. (4)

5. Helps Manage Osteoarthritis

Benefits of chicory root include the ability to help manage osteoarthritis. One clinical trial conducted at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center concluded that chicory root extract “has a potential role in the management of OA.” In fact, the researchers noted that chicory root extract’s anti-inflammatory properties can help relieve arthritis symptoms, including stiffness and joint pain. (5)

6. Aids Gut Health

Benefits of chicory root also include the ability to aid in gut health. Chicory root contains both insoluble and soluble fiber, or prebiotics. Mainly, the prebiotic in chicory root, called inulin, promotes friendly bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics improve digestion by promoting the growth of helpful bacteria. Thanks to its prebiotic fiber, chicory root can help reduce gas, bloating, and other digestive issues. (6)

7. Relieves Constipation

Benefits of chicory root include the ability to relieve constipation. In a study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, researchers found that chicory root can help improve digestive health and fight constipation. They concluded, “Daily supplementation with 15 g inulin improves constipation and quality of life in an elderly population with constipation.” (7)

Use In Moderation

While there were “no observed adverse effects of chicory extract” in a review published in the international journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, it makes sense to consume chicory in the amounts naturally obtained as food. Pregnant women should consume chicory in moderation, and there is no recommended amount for children. (8)