Perennial with a thickened fusiform multi-headed root up to 1.5 m long. The stem is one (or several), 30-150 cm high, vertical, splayed-but-branched, covered with sparse hairs. Basal leaves are pod-lyre-shaped, narrowed into a petiole; stem – sharp-toothed, sessile, with a wide semi-stem-embracing base; upper – lanceolate, whole. The flowers are reed, blue, rarely pink or white, in baskets in the axils of the leaves, on the tops of the stem and branches. Fruits – achenes, three-five-sided, bare, brownish, with a short tuft of small fused films. Blooms all summer.
Grows in weedy places, fallows, roadsides.
As a medicinal raw material, the roots are officially harvested, in folk medicine – also (less often) leaves, grass with flowers, sometimes the whole plant is used.
The roots are harvested in autumn, on the days after the rains, when the soil is softened. The dug root, taken by the hands at the top, is easily removed whole and intact. On dry days, the harvester will get only the torn off tops of the root out of the ground. Dry it, after grinding it into pieces, in dryers or ovens.
The roots contain bitter substances, inulin, sugar, resins; flowers – chicory glycoside; milky juice – bitter substances: lactucin, lac tucopicrin, taraxasterol; fruits – protocatechin aldegin.
Chicory cultivars are unsuitable because they contain much less bitter substances.
A decoction of wild chicory has antimicrobial and astringent properties. According to animal experiments, an infusion of the roots and inflorescences of a wild plant, when administered parenterally, has a calming effect on the central nervous system and enhances the activity of the heart, increasing the amplitude and slowing down the rhythm of heart contractions.
In folk medicine, chicory products are used quite widely as a means of increasing appetite, improving the functional activity of the stomach, especially in case of dyspepsia (brewed like coffee), pain in the stomach, gastritis, liver diseases (cirrhosis and its enlargement), enlargement and tumors. spleen, hypochondria and hysteria, fainting, with diarrhea (even bloody), diabetes, as well as a blood improver; with any aches, fevers and toothaches. Outwardly – with inflammation of the eyes, a decoction of the root in the form of a bandage is recommended to be applied to the joints with gout and to the places of bites of scorpions, wasps, snakes and lizards; they are also used for overwork (rubbing with alcohol tincture), for ulcers or chronic wounds (washing with decoction), eczema, gland tumors (compresses).
As a means of improving metabolism, chicory is recommended for boils.
The internal use of tincture, decoction or tea from this plant is indicated for diabetics suffering from diabetes.
In addition to decoction and tea from chicory roots, the whole plant or aerial part is used in folk medicine. An aqueous decoction of the whole plant or the aerial part is drunk with prolapse of the stomach and various stomach pains, nervous diseases, fainting, diarrhea, cystitis, bites by rabid animals; decoction of herbs wash wounds, make compresses for eczema; the root is used for jaundice; juice for fever. The whole plant (infusion from it) – with a tumor of the spleen.
Herbal decoction: 1 tbsp. a spoonful of chopped dry or fresh herbs for 1 cup of boiling water; use as a tea for diarrhea, even bloody.
Root decoction: 20 g per 200 ml; 1 st. spoon 5-6 times every day or without dosage as a tea.
Root tincture: 20%; 20-25 drops 5 times daily or as a rub.
Infusion of the whole plant: 40 g per 1 liter of boiling water for cirrhosis of the liver, tumors of the spleen, pain in the gastrointestinal tract, jaundice, etc.