Escarole, Endive

Other Names

Achicoria, Barbe de Capucin, Blue Sailors, Cheveux de Paysans, Chicorée, Chicorée Amère, Chicorée Sauvage, Cichorii Herba, Cichorium intybus, Cichorii Radix, Common Chicory Root, Écoubette, Hendibeh, Herbe à Café, Hinduba, Kasani, Kasni, Racine de Chicorée Commune, Succory, Wild Chicory, Wild Endive, Yeux de Chat, Escarole, Curly Escarole, Salad Escarole, Escarole, chicorée frisée (French), Wild Escarole, Spider Escarole, Endiiviasigur (Estonian), Endiivi (Finnish), Andewi (Malay), Endivij (Russian), Endiv (Swedish), Endiba (Tagalog), Hindiba (Turkish), Ku Ju (Chinese), Scarole, Green Curled, Salad King, Red Endive, Witloof, Witlof, Sugarloaf

Description

Cichorium endivia is a BIENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.3 m (1ft).
It is hardy to zone 3 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. The leaves of both endive and escarole are a little more thick and chewy than those of lettuce, which is also closely related. Endives and escaroles produce attractive pale blue flowers on stems that stand way above the leafy foliage.

Escarole is an erect herb that grows bitter and milky juice from its rosette of large leaves. It is a salad plant that has many benefits and nutrients. There are various cultivars from the Belgian Escarole (bulb) or the Flat Leaf Escarole (open). The vegetable is native to Asia Minor and it is a cool season crop that flourishes in fertile and well-drained soil.

Ingredients

Chicorie/endive is nutritional powerhouses. Very high in vitamin K levels are off the charts (essential for blood and bone health) and is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, thiamin, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), riboflavin, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc and dietary fiber. Decent source of folate, vitamin C and copper. It even contains quite a bit of protein. Chicory roots contains also inulin, that is good for bowel health and has preliminarily been linked to lowered triglyceride levels. Chicory roots contain lactucopicrin, which has a sedative effect.

Vitamins A, C, E, K, Folate, Fiber, Energy, Carbohydrates, Fat, Protein, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Manganese, Potassium, Phosphorus, Zinc

Collection Period

July to November

Used Parts

Leaves – raw or cooked

Root (has a sedative effect)

Bulb

Uses

  • Contributes to intake of dietary fiber

  • Reduces glucose and cholesterol level

  • Maintains healthy mucous membranes

  • Improves eyesight

  • Brightens skin

  • Protects from lung and oral cavity cancers

  • Improves metabolism

  • Fights free radicals

  • Dyspepsia

  • Indigestion

  • Constipation

  • Increases appetite

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The plant is used as a resolvent and cooling medicine, and in the treatment of bilious complaints. It has a similar but milder effect to chicory (Cichorium intybus) and so is a very beneficial tonic to the liver and digestive system. The root is demulcent and tonic. It has been used in the treatment of dyspepsia and fevers. The fruit (this probably means the seed) has been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, bilious complaints and jaundice.

Application

In foods, chicory leaves are often eaten raw and fresh like carot or letuce, the roots and leaf buds are boiled and eaten. Endive is also used as a cooking spice and to flavor foods and beverages. Coffee mixes often include ground chicory to enhance the richness of the coffee.

It is also used as a tonic, to increase urine production, to protect the liver, and to balance the stimulant effect of coffee.

It is usually blanched to reduce its bitterness. Its leaves are valued for its crispiness and health benefits. Its roots have an earthy flavour making it a good coffee substitute.

Some people apply a paste of chicory leaves directly to the skin for swelling and inflammation.

Side Effects

Endive is safe for most adults when taken by mouth. Handling the chicory plant might cause skin irritation. Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Endive may cause an allergic reactionin people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Endive can stimulate the production of bile. This could be a problem for people with gallstones.

References

Endive, Escarole

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