Cichorium intybus. Succory.
Nat. Ord. — Asteraceae. Sex. Syst. — Syngenesia Aequalis.
Description. — Succory, Chicory, or Wild Succory, is a perennial plant, having a spindle-shaped, fleshy, whitish, and milky root. The stem is solid, round, furrowed, hispid, very tough, growing two or three feet high. The radical leaves are spreading, above a span long, numerous, runcinate, toothed, roughish ; cauline leaves, smaller, sessile, less lobed, the uppermost cordate, acuminate, entire. Flowers large, one or two inches in diameter, axillary, in pairs, sessile, placed rather remote on the long rather naked branches, and of a beautiful bright-blue color. Corollas flat, five-toothed. Involucre roughish. Anthers and stigma blue.
History. — Succory is a native of Europe, but cultivated in this country, where it grows in fields, and in roads along the fences, in neighborhoods which have been long settled ; it bears large, compound, beautiful blue flowers, which appear in July and August. The root has a bitter taste, without any peculiar flavor, and imparts its virtues to water.
Properties and Uses. — Tonic, diuretic, and laxative. The decoction, used freely, is said to have proved serviceable in hepatic congestion, jaundice, and other visceral obstructions in the early stages ; also in hemorrhage, gout, cutaneous eruptions, and even hectic fever and other febrile diseases.
The usual form of administration is in decoction, an ounce or two of the root in a pint of water. When young and tender, the leaves are sometimes eaten as salad ; the root, when dried and roasted is much used as a substitute for coffee among the French, which it resembles in taste but without the aroma.
The Cichorium Endivia, or Garden Endive, is said, by some French physicians, to be a remedy for jaundice.