8 Health Benefits of Chicory Root? (for Skin, Thyroid)


Table of Contents

What are the health benefits of Chicory Root?

Studies have shown Chicory Root to have the following benefits:

  1. Source of prebiotic fiber: Chicory root is a good source of a prebiotic fiber known as inulin. It’s a fructooligosaccharide, it is a kind of carbohydrate that passes through the body without digestion. As a prebiotic, it helps to maintain gut flora, reduces inflammation, and improves the absorption of minerals.
  2. It may assist in bowel movements
  3. It may help manage high blood sugar: A study shows when 10 grams of inulin was given daily for 2 months to people with diabetes, it reduced blood sugar levels.
  4. Helps manage diabetes: By replacing sugar with Inulin, it can help control blood sugar levels. Studies also show that it can help manage type II diabetes.
  5. It may help aid in weight loss: Due to its low calorie and fat content as compared to other carbohydrates, adding Chicory to the daily diet can help manage weight. It can also be used to replace sugar in various products to lower the sugar intake.
  6. It may improve brain health
  7. It may inhibit the growth of cancerous cells: Studies show chicory can help treat cancer. The study performed in the laboratory on the breast cancer cell line showed that chicory root extract inhibited a key enzyme in cell membrane formation. The study revealed that chicory root extract exerts cytotoxic effects on tumor cells.
  8. Anti-inflammatory activity: Studies show that chicory root inhibits various cytokines, has an antioxidant effect and exhibits anti-inflammatory activity.

Chicory roots are roots of plants with bright blue flowers that belong to the dandelion family. It is effortless to incorporate into your everyday diet as its fiber is most used as an additive in packaged foods. The whole root is available at grocery stores and can be boiled and eaten as a vegetable.

What are the benefits of Chicory for the skin?

Chicory can have various benefits for the skin, such as:

  • Protects from skin aging process: A study performed on 50 women, aged between 45-60 shows that when a lotion containing chicory root extract was applied to the hands, it showed protective and restructuring effects on the skin. 
  • It is a natural anti-inflammatory agent with beta-carotene: the application of chicory root decoction on the skin may help promote collagen production. This increases skin elasticity, improved skin texture, hydrates, plumps cheeks, and fills in fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Improves skin barrier function: This is important to prevent skin alterations and maintain homeostasis. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, chicory root is also an incredible agent for neutralizing the results of openness to toxins. The skin may be exposed to free radicals from pollution in the air daily. No matter how often the skin is cleansed, it can still come in contact with these harmful elements. 

That is why it is important to incorporate Chicory into your skincare routine. A simple way of doing do is to make a Chicory skin mask; the ingredients required for it are:

  • 2 tablespoon organic milk powder
  • 1 cup organic Chicory
  • 1 cup water

First, mix the Chicory and water to form a decoction and then mix it with the milk to form a skin mask.

Chicory is also used to treat eczema although there is only anecdotal evidence to backup this use.

What effect does Chicory Root have on Thyroid health?

Chicory is believed to have a positive effect on thyroid health as it could potentially

  • Relieves symptoms of autoimmune disease: Chicory root can help reduce symptoms caused by autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s disease, which is a thyroid condition that generates symptoms like weight gain and exhaustion. Since chicory root can help decrease inflammation it can help reduce the effects of autoimmune diseases.
  • Replacement for caffeine: Caffeine may stimulate the immune system in some people, which can make an autoimmune disease worse. Online forums suggest chicory root tea as an alternative to coffee or caffeine to prevent immune stimulation leading to a thyroid condition.

But this is just speculation, and more research is needed to assess the effects of chicory root on thyroid health.

In the video below, the YouTube channel “raebeautiful” shares 5 benefits of organic chicory root:

This is our recommended Probiotic Supplement with Chicory Root:


Biotics 8 – Probiotic Formula For Overall Gut Health

Does Chicory contain Caffeine?

Chicory does not contain caffeine. It is naturally caffeine-free, so it can be used as an excellent alternative to coffee or caffeine for people who want to avoid caffeine. Many online blogs and forums suggest Chicory root tea as a replacement for coffee for its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

This can drastically reduce your caffeine intake, as studies show that one cup contains 92 mg of caffeine. Depending on the serving size and type of coffee used, this amount may change. Research has linked high caffeine consumption with symptoms like nausea, increased heart rate, and insomnia.

Add chicory root to hot water to replace coffee, to form a caffeine-free drink. 

Benefits of Chicory coffee/tea:

  • Good source of nutrients: Chicory root contains various nutrients such as Vitamin B6 and C, Folate, Manganese, Phosphorous, and Potassium.
  • It is good for the gut: Given that it is a prebiotic, it helps maintain gut flora and healthy digestive function. 
  • Can help manage blood sugar levels: Chicory root contains an indigestible carbohydrate that can be used to replace sugar. It can especially help people with diabetes to avoid sugar. 
  • Helps decrease inflammation: Chicory root helps decrease inflammation by reducing cytokines, and anti-inflammatory activity. 

Does Chicory give you energy?

Chicory may give you an energy boost as it helps the gallbladder produce more bile, which assists with fat digestion.

Chicory is a rich source of inulin. This starchy, soluble fiber provides different nutrients that can help improve digestion and add useful bacteria to the gut, such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.  Also, coffee or tea made from Chicory root is used as an alternative to coffee for its additional benefits.

To get a boost of energy from chicory, grind, roast, and brew chicory just like coffee to form a drink that is caffeine free and healthy.

Is Chicory Root a prebiotic?

Chicory root is a prebiotic because it contains a fructooligosaccharide fiber known as Inulin, which accounts for around 68% of chicory root’s dry weight and possesses many health benefits. The inulin functions as a prebiotic and helps promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut by feeding them and helps promote digestive functions.

It also offers additional benefits such as:

However, consuming chicory root in higher quantities may cause side effects such as gas and bloating in some people.

Is it safe to consume Chicory Root in pregnancy?

It is not recommended to take chicory root in pregnancy because it may start menstruation and cause miscarriage. 

Research has shown the side effects of high consumption of chicory include:

  • It may trigger uterine contractions leading to bleeding. 
  • Can cause abdominal discomfort and nausea: Too much chicory or inulin can cause bloating and gas in some people. 
  • It may cause an allergic reaction in some people.
  • Can cause disruptiond in the menstrual cycle.

When consumed in safe amounts, Chicory Root can have the following benefits on pregnancy:

However, regulatory agencies have not suggested a recommended dosage of chicory root during pregnancy. It is always advised to consult a medical professional before adding a supplement to your diet. There is limited research on its safety during pregnancy, hence it is best to avoid chicory root while pregnant. 

Is it safe to consume Chicory Root while breastfeeding?

Chicory root consumption in moderate amounts is considered safe while breastfeeding. It is a non-toxic supplement; there were no traces of it in excreated breast milk. Interestingly, chicory root’s primary ingredient (Inulin) is added to many infant formulas to help manage constipation, and for other benefits. 

A clinical study was performed on 160 infants to determine the effects of prebiotic inulin. The infant formula contained 0.8 grams of the prebiotic per 100 ml of formula, the infants were fed with the formula for 12 months. The trial showed that the infants who received formula with prebiotics had reduced infections as well as crying time. It can be concluded that chicory root is safe in breastfeeding mothers given it is well tolerated by infants in small quantities. 

However, it is safe in small and moderate dosages does not mean it would be safe in higher dosages. Thus, breastfeeding women should pay close attention to the dosage while consuming chicory root. It is always advised to consult a medical professional before adding a supplement to your diet, especially when breastfeeding.

What are the symptoms of Chicory Root allergy?

Chicory root can cause allergies with oral, cutaneous, and respiratory symptoms. The usual allergy symptoms of Chicory root are:

  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Shortness of breath
  • Whizzing
  • Facial swelling
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Pain
  • Tingling
  • Swelling in the mouth and throat

These symptoms are referred to as oral allergy syndrome and occur mostly in people allergic to birch pollen or ragweed. Research concluded that people with these allergies should avoid chicory root as they have an allergic reaction to it. Moreover, Chicory Root allergy is uncommon, with only 20 cases reported over the past century.

A case study involving 4 patients with allergic symptoms and cross-reaction of chicory root was studied. The patients were given chicory root extract and their antibody response was observed. The researchers reported that chicory root can cross-react with birch pollen and can produce its oral allergic syndromes. 

In another case study, a patient working in a factory producing inulin from Chicory root reported an allergic reaction known as rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma.

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any allergic symptoms to Chicory.

What is Inulin from Chicory Root?

Inulin from Chicory Root is a prebiotic fiber scientifically known as fructan or fructooligosaccharide; fructan is a carbohydrate formed due to the linking of short chains of undigested fructose molecules in your body. 

Inulin almost makes up 68% of Chicory root’s dry weight. Although it is a type of sugar, it has lower sweetness and glycemic index making it suitable as a sugar replacement for diabetic patients. 

The inulin in chicory root is believed to improve gut health in various ways. It primarily functions as a prebiotic, which feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut and promotes their growth. It also maintains a good digestive function and offers other benefits of prebiotics. 

Studies have shown these helpful bacteria to play a vital role in 

Inulin from chicory root is used in various food products such as:

  • Bakery
  • Bars
  • Confectionary
  • Dairy
  • Fruit pulp
  • Meat
  • Snacks

It is also used in various pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products. 

Agave Inulin vs Chicory Inulin, what is the difference?

The main difference between Agave Inulin vs Chicory Inulin is the chemical composition, which was analyzed in a recent study on fructans. They both differ in their degree of polymerization resulting in different degrees of prebiotic effects.

Further in-vitro research showed that agave inulin is readily fermented by bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, possibly causing gas and bloating.

Also, animal studies have provided evidence that the botanical origin and chemical structure of various inulin-type fibers (e.g., agave inulin and chicory inulin) cause variable effects on blood cholesterol, body composition, and blood glucose concentrations. However, there is no research on the prebiotic effects of agave inulin in healthy adults.

Inulins from both of the plants are available commercially, they have almost similar benefits, however, the inulins obtained from Agave and Chicory could produce a different response in person due to the structural differences. 

The agave plant is native to Mexico and Southwestern US, while the Chicory plant is native to Western Asia, North Africa, and Europe.

Chicory Root vs Jerusalem Artichoke, which is better?

When comparing Chicory Root vs. Jerusalem Artichoke, Chicory Root is better for the following reasons:

  • It has 9.06% fewer sugars per 100g (8.73g vs. 9.6g)
  • It has 2.93x more calcium per 100g (41mg vs. 14mg)
  • It is 1.77 times more folate per 100g (23µg vs. 13µg)
  • It has 29.41% more magnesium per 100g (22mg vs 17mg)
  • It has 2.75 times more zinc per 100g (0.33mg vs. 0.12mg)
  • It has 3.88 times more manganese per 100g (0.23mg vs. 0.06mg)
  • It has 25% more vitamin C per 100g (5mg vs. 4mg)
  • It has 3.13 times more vitamin B6 per 100g (0.24mg vs. 0.08mg)

The primary difference between the inulin obtained from these sources is the composition of macro and micronutrients. The chicory root has a higher amount of water and nutrients such as Calcium, Magnesium, Folate, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C. The chicory root has a lower amount of sugar than the Inulin from Jerusalem Artichoke. Jerusalem Artichoke has a higher amount of protein and dietary fiber than Chicory root.

However, it is not entirely correct to judge solely on nutritional values as the Jerusalem Artichoke is also richer in some nutrients compared to Chicory Root. Inulin from both of these sources offers almost similar benefits and is sometimes used in combination.

Chicory Root and Jerusalem Artichoke might not be as different as in a study; no structural differences were found between Chicory Root and Jerusalem Artichoke before and after processing. Furthermore, increased doses of Chicory Root or Jerusalem Artichoke in bakery products aided in the growth of bifidobacteria and continued to contribute to the suppression of potentially pathogenic bacteria.

The Jerusalem artichoke is primarily native to Europe and eastern North America, while the Chicory root is native to Western Asia, North Africa, and Europe.

What are the benefits of using Dandelion and Chicory Root together?

Dandelion and Chicory Root used together can have the following benefits for the body as both these are natural detox agents and prebiotics

  • Detox: Both dandelion and chicory root contain minerals that assist the natural detoxification process. They can be brewed into an herbal coffee or steeped like an herbal tea, helping stimulate your organs to discharge toxins via their bitter taste and diuretic properties.
  • Dandelion root contains polysaccharides (carbohydrates) that aid in protecting the liver from toxins that are at large in our environment. 
  • Dandelion root is especially known for its diuretic effect on the kidneys, which helps increase the removal of water and can reduce bloating caused by water retention.
  • They are rich sources of potassium, an electrolyte mineral vital for heart health and healthy blood pressure. 
  • Helps maintain the pH balance of the body: The minerals present in both Dandelion and Chicory roots help balance the acidity and alkalinity in the body. Potassium, calcium, and magnesium help increase the alkalinity if required. 
  • Prebiotic benefits: Both of these contain inulin and offer prebiotic benefits associated with it. The prebiotic benefits include improved digestive health, maintenance of gut flora, and control of blood sugar.
  • They both provide an antioxidant effect, helping to reduce oxidative stress. 
  • Both Dandelion and Chicory roots help lose weight. 
  • Dandelion and chicory root helps reduce inflammation

Moreover, they contain more prebiotic inulin than any other food, and studies have shown inulin to help maintain gut health and stabilize blood sugar levels

Want to know more?

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This article makes use of information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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8 Health Benefits of Chicory Root? (for Skin, Thyroid)
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