Chicory is native to Europe and temperate regions in Asia; it has been naturalized to the United States. Chicory was cultivated as early as 5,000 years ago by Egyptians as a medicinal plant. Traditionally, chicory juice was used as part of a remedy for headaches. The Romans used chicory as a vegetable or in salads. The root was ground and used as a caffeine-free coffee substitute.
Chicory is still an important salad vegetable in Europe, especially in France, Belgium, and Holland. In the United States, chicory is also grown as a salad green. Preliminary study has investigated chicory for chronic hepatitis; however, at this time there are no high-quality human trials supporting chicory for any indication.
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These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
There is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against the use of chicory for chronic hepatitis.