The Wegwarte – this native, hardy perennial has a lot to offer us in terms of enjoyment and health. It is still called chicory after its Latin name (Cichorium intybus), but it also has a lot of popular names. Sunflower, blue thistle, water attendant, rabbit milk and coffee herb are just a few. Although the wayfarer has been known for more than 5000 years and was probably grown and used in ancient Egypt, it has been wrongly forgotten these days. Its popularity has only recently increased again, especially as an ingredient in chicory coffee, which more and more people prefer as a trendy coffee substitute. In the following lines, we would like to tell you more about the way ahead and their health benefits and give you some good tips.
The beautiful flowers of the Wegwarte open in the sun
Why is Wegwarte so healthy?
Chicory belongs to the large daisy family (Asteraceae). That means they are closely related to chicory and radicchio and have the typical bitter note in taste. And this is exactly what makes them so special. It is not for nothing that the pathway for medicinal plants of 2020 was chosen by the NHV Theophrastus.
Because it contains a lot of incredibly healthy substances such as bitter and tannins, essential oils, cichoriin, etc. Perhaps the most important component in chicory is the so-called inulin. It is a polysaccharide that only decomposes in the intestine and in this way does not negatively affect the blood sugar level. Inulin is also a soluble, prebiotic fiber that ensures good intestinal flora. The substance is therefore often used in many probiotic preparations.
Delicate beauty and healthy effects in one
The Wegwarte was used because of its healthy ingredients in the Middle Ages for digestive and spleen complaints as well as for gout, rheumatism and Lack of appetite. And indeed, the plant can be very helpful for such complaints because it stimulates digestion, detoxifies the liver, spleen and kidneys and at the same time boosts the metabolism.
However, the secret of the wayward is not in the delicate, blue flowers that only show up in the morning until early afternoon, but deep down, in the roots. Because it contains most of the healing substances. Therefore, the root is mainly used. These can be cooked as vegetables or processed into a kind of coffee in dried and roasted form. Learn more about it below.
The chicory and its components from a biological point of view
The beautiful flowers are also edible and can be added to salads and dishes
The chicory coffee
If you consider how healthy Wegwarte is as a medicinal plant, you shouldn’t be surprised that it has made a trendy coffee substitute. What used to be considered coffee of the poor in times of scarce resources is absolutely in again. Many people drink chicory coffee who want to reduce or stop their caffeine consumption. This actually tastes very slightly nutty and stays very close to the original coffee taste. In addition, the coffee from Wegwarte is easily digestible and requires a healthy intestine and a strong immune system. Many also find it quite balancing and calming in contrast to the stimulating coffee. Others prefer a blend of conventional coffee and some chicory to achieve the perfect dose of caffeine and healthy enjoyment.
Chicory coffee is healthy and delicious
Preparing a coffee from the Wegwarte, or more precisely from its roots, is actually not that difficult. So if you would like to try it out, it is definitely worth trying. Basically, you should only take the root out of the soil, clean it well, wash it, cut it into small pieces and let it dry. Afterwards it is roasted and ground to a powder. This powder is almost the coffee substitute and is brewed and sieved as normal. Finished!
Here in the video the whole preparation is even easier to understand
Use the other parts of the plant for cooking or to decorate the food
Depending on the desired amount of coffee, also get the necessary roots
This is how the roasted root pieces look like
Benefit from this remarkable treasure of wild nature!
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There are even chicory hybrids in pink
Chicory is one of the popular bees’ food sources
The Wegwarte got its name because it can mainly be found on the side of the road