Cichorium intybus

Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)

Orishas: Baron Samedi

Element: Air

Chicory is a perennial herb with pretty blue flowers and leaves that can be eaten in a salad when young. Belgian endive is a variety of chicory. The roasted roots are used as a substitute for or blended with coffee. Baron Samedi is a fan of chicory, especially with coffee.

Medicinal Uses: As a bitter tonic, chicory increases bile production and has been used as a remedy for gallstones. Chicory has diuretic properties and is a treatment for rheumatism and gout due to its ability to eliminate uric acid. An alcoholic extract of chicory was shown to depress the heart rates in rats. This member of the sunflower family has some antibacterial properties and lowers blood sugar levels.

Spiritual Uses: The message of chicory is to learn how to do more with less. If you need to get in touch with your inner tightwad-ask chicory for some assistance. Chicory may also help you to deal with emotional upsets caused by change better.

Chicory is naturalized from Europe and while it grows in almost any soil, prefers moist areas. Its long taproot helps it survive and it looks pretty ordinary until the blue blossoms appear in June-November. The leaves are similar to dandelion leaves and the plant itself grows to 3-6 feet tall.