Chicory and inulin

Medicinal plant that increases the amount of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli in the intestine, useful for regularizing transit.

What is it

It is a wild herbaceous plant of the asterace family (botanical name Cichorium intybus) from whose roots and aerial parts a sugar, called inulin, is obtained, which is part of the vegetable fibers that are not absorbed by the intestine.

It is native to Europe, Asia and North Africa but today it is also found in North America and is often cultivated.


Inulin obtained from chicory increases the amount of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli present in the large intestine.

These bacteria are useful to humans in the absorption of nutrients and active ingredients of medicinal plants.

In addition, inulin also seems to inhibit the proliferation of other bacteria, such as clostridia and salmonella, which are harmful.

It facilitates intestinal regularity and fights the development of intestinal tumors. It also seems to reduce cholesterol absorption and improve calcium absorption in the intestine.

Why is it used

It is used to restore intestinal bacterial load damaged as a result of antibiotic trapies or as a mild laxative or to improve intestinal calcium absorption and reduce cholesterol.

How to use it

The most used form is the powder extracted from the root and 4-8 grams per day are used. Traditionally, infusions derived from the leaves are also used.


It can cause bloating and intestinal pain in case of taking large quantities.


Inulin is a substance that promotes intestinal regularity and the emission of water-rich stools that can also be used during pregnancy and lactation and in children over 1 year of age.


None known

Nutritional values

The following table shows the calories and nutritional values per 100 g of chicory.

Kcal 23
Proteins 1.7 g
Sugars 0.7 g
Fats 0.3 g
Carbohydrates 4.7 g
Fiber 4 g
Calcium 100 mg
Sodium 45 mg

Joycelyn Elders is the author and creator of EmpowerEssence, a health and wellness blog. Elders is a respected public health advocate and pediatrician dedicated to promoting general health and well-being.

The blog covers a wide range of topics related to health and wellness, with articles organized into several categories.

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