Cichorium. Cichorium Intybus L. Chicory. Succory. Blue Sailors.—A perennial herbaceous composite plant, indigenous in Europe, but naturalized in the Northern United States and Canada, where it grows in fields, and in roads along the fences. The whole plant has a bitter taste, without acrimony or any very peculiar flavor. The taste is strongest in the root and weakest in the flowers. The leaves, when young and tender, are eaten as salad. Chicory is a feeble, non-irritating tonic.
The root is much used as a substitute for or adulterant of coffee. In preparing it, Dausse recommends that the dried root should be cut into rather large and equal pieces, which are to be roasted until they lose 140 out of 500 parts. The pieces are then easily ground in a mill, and afford a yellowish-brown powder. (Ph. Cb., 1850, 688.) For methods of detection in ground coffee, see P. J., 1867, 141; also Alien (Corn. Org. Anal., 2'd ed., vol. iii, part 2, 540), and J. R. Leebody (Chem. News, 1874, 243); see also paper by LaWall and Forman (A. J. P., 1913, 535). A glucoside has been obtained from the blossoms of Cichorium Intybus by Nietzki (A. Pharm., (3) 8, 327), to which the formula C34H34O19 is assigned. On boiling with dilute acids it yields glucose and a compound, C20H14O9. This decomposition product seems to exist in the blossoms ready formed along with the glucoside. The garden endive is also a species of cichorium, C. Endivia L.