Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is an herb native to Europe and Asia. It's also grown in the United States. Chicory root contains inulin, a starchy substance.

Chicory root has a mild laxative effect and decreases swelling. Chicory is also a rich source of beta-carotene.

People use chicory for liver and heart health, constipation, indigestion, high blood pressure, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Don't confuse chicory with inulin. Inulin is a compound found in chicory, but they are not the same thing.
When taken by mouth: Chicory is commonly consumed in foods. Chicory root extract and chicory seed are possibly safe when used as medicine, short-term. Side effects might include gas, bloating, and belching. There isn't enough reliable information to know if chicory is safe to use as medicine long-term.

When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if chicory is safe. Handling the chicory plant might cause skin irritation.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy: Taking chicory by mouth in large amounts is possibly unsafe during pregnancy. Chicory might start menstruation and cause a miscarriage.

Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if chicory is safe to use as medicine when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick with food amounts.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Chicory may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking chicory.

Gallstones: Chicory can stimulate the production of bile. This could be a problem for people with gallstones. Don't use chicory if you have gallstones.

Surgery: Chicory might lower blood sugar and might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking chicory as a medicine at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


There is interest in using chicory for a number of purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

Chicory is commonly used in food. As medicine, there isn't enough reliable information to know what an appropriate dose of chicory might be. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult a healthcare professional before using.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Chicory might lower blood sugar levels. Taking chicory along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

Herbs and supplements that might lower blood sugar: Chicory might lower blood sugar. Taking it with other supplements with similar effects might lower blood sugar too much. Examples of supplements with this effect include aloe, bitter melon, cassia cinnamon, chromium, and prickly pear cactus.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.

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This monograph was last reviewed on 22/02/2023 11:00:00 and last updated on 28/07/2020 02:55:10. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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