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International Journal of Pharmacology
Year: 2017  |  Volume: 13  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 351 - 360

Chicory (Cichorium intybus) Herb: Chemical Composition, Pharmacology, Nutritional and Healthical Applications

Muhammad Saeed, Mohamed E. Abd El-Hack, Mahmoud Alagawany, Muhammad A. Arain, Muhammad Arif, Muhammad A. Mirza, Muhammad Naveed, Sun Chao, Muhammad Sarwar, Maryam Sayab and Kuldeep Dhama    

Abstract: Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a perennial herbal plant of the dandelion family Asteraceae, usually with bright blue flowers, rarely pink or white. Several varieties are cultivated for salad leaves, chicons or roots which are baked, ground and used as a coffee substitute and supplement. It is also grown as a forage plant for poultry and animal. In addition, chicory herb plays a key role as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, sedative, immunological, productive and reproductive enhancer, cardiovascular, hypolipidemic, anticancer, anti-protozoal, gastroprotective, antidiabetic, analgesic, anthelmintic, antimicrobial, wound healing and bitter tonic without inducing therapeutic adverse effect. Regarding the hepatoprotective activity, chicory extract reduced the levels of hepatic enzymes such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP). Also, chicory plant is a good and very important protective source for hepatocytes and other liver cells as well as it is used as prebiotic against some species of pathogenic bacteria for both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, it enhances immunity and feed efficiency by decreasing pathogenic microorganisms of gastrointestinal tract. Cichorium intybus roots also were used for the relief of mild digestive disorders, such as feeling of flatulence, abdominal fullness, temporary loss of appetite and slow digestion. The present study highlights the importance of chicory as a feed additive used to improve growth and productive performance of poultry as well as salient beneficial applications in animals and humans. Furthermore, it explains the mechanisms of action underlying the beneficial effects of chicory and to find the effective level in poultry that would act as liver tonic.

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