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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 579319, 13 pages
Review Article

Cichorium intybus: Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry, Pharmacology, and Toxicology

1Medical Research Council, HIV Prevention Research Unit, Westville, Durban 4041, South Africa
2School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar-Delhi G.T. Road (NH-1), Phagwara, Punjab 144411, India
3Department of Agriculture and Animal health, University of South Africa (UNISA), Florida Campus, Florida 1710, South Africa

Received 2 August 2013; Revised 22 October 2013; Accepted 22 October 2013

Academic Editor: Young-Rae Lee

Copyright © 2013 Renée A. Street et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The genus Cichorium (Asteraceae) is made up of six species with major geographical presence in Europe and Asia. Cichorium intybus, commonly known as chicory, is well known as a coffee substitute but is also widely used medicinally to treat various ailments ranging from wounds to diabetes. Although this plant has a rich history of use in folklore, many of its constituents have not been explored for their pharmacological potential. Toxicological data on C. intybus is currently limited. This review focuses on the economic and culturally important medicinal uses of C. intybus. Traditional uses, scientific validation, and phytochemical composition are discussed in detail.