We all love our coffee. But the dangers of caffeine consumption and the problems coffee itself causes, raise red flags. Should we really be turning to this drink every day, sometimes multiple times a day? There’s another option aside from tasteless teas and unhealthy energy drinks. That alternative is the yummy chicory. Chicory root coffee is made from a healthy,  delicious root and has a multitude of health benefits to boot.

Consuming Chicory Root

Chicory root is a fibrous root that has the milky consistency that feels almost like milk. This makes it ideal for making beverages or thicker liquids like cream-based sauces, dressings, and even works well as a coffee replacement. The chicory root fiber content is high, which is great because fiber is a nutrient that the majority of people don’t eat nearly enough of. Also, the health aspects to it that make it an excellent addition to any daily routine.

chicory coffee

Dried Roasted Chicory Root

Therapeutic benefits of chicory root

Off the bat, chicory root provides stress relief, pain relief, and digestive system relief. Because of the effect that caffeine has on cortisol levels, it actually causes us to stress more. By ditching coffee for the healthier chicory root, your stress goes down. However, chicory isn’t just for coffee drinkers. That pain relief comes from anti-inflammatory properties from the root’s polyphenols. Those properties help reduce pain from injury, arthritis, and helps prevent or relieve many diseases that are a result of inflammation. It’s a prebiotic, which helps with digestion and relieves constipation. Aside from those fantastic benefits, chicory root has also been shown to protect vital organs from free radicals and helps regulate the body’s glucose levels which help prevent or slow diabetes.

Chicory wild plant

Fresh Chicory Root

Chicory edible wild plant

Not only can chicory be consumed as a coffee, but also, like vanilla extract, it is used to flavor diverse edibles. Chicory root can be made into ice cream, used in protein shakes, used for making energy bars, created as a tea, made into a syrup or a dressing, even used to make liquors, and so much more. The uses for chicory root are endless. By growing your own at home, you can have instant, direct access to the wonderful chicory root and improve your health day by day. You can even make teas out of the beautiful blue chicory flowers!

chicory tea

Chicory Blue Flower

To grow chicory yourself, you need to sow the seeds into the garden 2-3 weeks before the final frost of spring. Chicory likes the cool weather. This perennial plant will continue to grow back as long as a portion of it stays in the ground. Once you see the rosette leaves, the root is harvestable. You should then bury a portion of it as a seedling by placing it upright and waiting until it sprouts. Then, place it in the ground. Chicory likes a lot of sun and a soil pH of 5-6.8. It should be kept moist. The plant will be ready to harvest in about 100 days.

Chicory is not only about its roots! Chicory leaves and flowers are edibles and therapeutics as well. A definite plant for your home garden.