Chicory extract is a product that is often used as a food additive or as a supplement in a high-fiber diet. It is made by first drying and grinding chicory root. The resulting product is then mixed with water, which helps to filter out all of the soluble materials. Chicory root extract is rich in inulin, which is a naturally occurring polysaccharide that belongs to a class of naturally occurring plant fibers.
For many people chicory is synonymous with coffee substitutes. Although it has a taste similar to coffee, chicory does not contain caffeine. While many people do use chicory as a coffee substitute, this is just the use of chicory granules, not the extract that can be taken from the plant. The extract is used quite differently than the granules.
This extract has a number of uses. It can be used to treat a number of ailments including stiff joints, rheumatism, upset stomach, and gout. It is also believed to help cleanse the liver, kidneys, and gall bladder, and to work well as a diuretic and laxative. Some people also use chicory extract because they believe that it helps to cleanse the blood. In fact, it is believed that for thousands of years this extract has been used as a purifying tonic intended to cleanse the blood.
Chicory extract is especially useful for those who need to counteract the effects of eating too much rich food, especially food that leads to an excess of stomach acid. There are also recent studies that indicate that chicory extract may be used to help fight fat. If the indications of these studies are confirmed to be true, not only will this extract be useful for people who are trying to lose weight, but it will also be good for the heart. By fighting fat, the blood cholesterol levels can decrease, which is good for the heart. Chicory extract is also sometimes used to help control a rapid heartbeat.
As with all natural and homeopathic remedies, it is important to use chicory extract only after consulting a medical professional. Heart and stomach conditions as well as rheumatism and joint pain can be very serious and should be addressed by a trained physician. After such a consultation, chicory extract can be used as long as the medical professional believes that it will be helpful and that it will not negatively interact with any present medications or other medical conditions.