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These plants, funghi and insect illustrations
are part of my botanical oracle deck

Cichorium intybus | Chicory

Botanical Overview of Chicory

  • Scientific Name: Cichorium intybus

  • Common Names: Chicory, Common Chicory, Blue Sailors, Coffeeweed

  • Family: Asteraceae

  • Description: A perennial herb with a sturdy, branching stem and bright blue, occasionally pink or white, daisy-like flowers. It grows up to 1.5 meters tall and has deeply lobed, dandelion-like leaves.

Properties of Chicory

  • Chemical Constituents: Inulin, sesquiterpene lactones (lactucin, lactucopicrin), phenolic acids, coumarins, and vitamins.

  • Edibility: Leaves, roots, and flowers are edible. The roots are often roasted and used as a coffee substitute or additive.

Distribution and Habitat of Chicory

  • Native Range: Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia.

  • Preferred Habitat: Thrives in well-drained, sunny locations such as fields, roadsides, and disturbed grounds. Often found in temperate regions worldwide.

Medicinal Properties and Uses of Chicory

  • Traditional Uses: Known for its digestive, diuretic, and liver-supporting properties. Traditionally used to treat jaundice, liver enlargement, gout, and rheumatism.

  • Modern Applications: Commonly used to support digestive health due to its high inulin content, which acts as a prebiotic. Employed in herbal remedies to detoxify the liver and improve bile production. Chicory root is also used to manage blood sugar levels and promote weight loss.

Magical Correspondences and Uses in Magical Practice of Chicory

  • Element: Air

  • Planet: Sun

  • Magical Properties: Removal of obstacles, invisibility, and favor.

  • Uses: Chicory is used in spells to remove obstacles and open pathways. It is believed to grant invisibility and protection when carried or worn. Chicory can be used in charms and rituals to gain favor and success. The roots and flowers are also included in incantations for strength and determination.

Folklore, Legends, and Mythology of Chicory

  • Historical Context: Chicory has been used since ancient times both as a medicinal plant and a culinary ingredient.

  • Folklore: In European folklore, chicory was believed to have magical properties that could make one invisible and open locked doors if handled under certain conditions. It was also considered a plant of protection and strength.

  • Mythology: Chicory is associated with the sun due to its bright blue flowers that follow the sun's path across the sky. In some traditions, it is linked to deities of the sun and is used in rituals to invoke their power.

Historical Literary Sources

  • Dioscorides' "De Materia Medica": Describes the medicinal uses of chicory for liver and digestive health.

  • John Gerard's "Herball" (1597): Details the traditional uses of chicory in herbal medicine and its applications for various ailments.


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