Kasani (Chicory), commonly known as Kasni, is the all-time preferred herb by the Ayurvedic physicians for its medicinal benefits. Kasni grows throughout India, especially in the northwestern and southern parts of the country. This plant has its origin in Europe and now has spread all over the world.
HISTORICAL AND MYTHOLOGICAL REVIEW:
The chicory plant is one of the earliest cited in recorded literature. Horace mentions it in reference to his own diet, which he describes as very simple: "Me pascunt olivae, me cichorea, me malvae" ("As for me, olives, endives, and mallows provide sustenance").In 1766, Frederick the Great banned the importation of coffee into Prussia, leading to the development of a coffee substitute by Brunswick innkeeper Christian Gottlieb Förster (died 1801), who gained a concession in 1769/70 to manufacture it in Brunswick and Berlin. By 1795, 22 to 24 factories of this type were in Brunswick. Lord Monboddo describes the plant in 1779 as the "chicoree", which the French cultivated as a pot herb. In Napoleonic Era France, chicory frequently appeared as an adulterant in coffee, or as a coffee substitute.Chicory was also adopted as a coffee substitute by Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War, and has become common in the United States. It was also used in the United Kingdom during the Second World War, where Camp Coffee, a coffee and chicory essence, has been on sale since 1885.
The cultivated chicory plant has a history reaching back to ancient Egyptian time. Medieval monks raised the plants and when coffee was introduced to Europe, the Dutch thought that chicory made a lively addition to the bean drink.
In the United States, chicory root has long been used as a substitute for coffee in prisons. By the 1840s, the port of New Orleans was the second-largest importer of coffee (after New York). Louisianans began to add chicory root to their coffee when Union naval blockades during the American Civil War cut off the port of New Orleans, thereby creating a long-standing tradition.
A common meal in Rome, puntarelle, is made with chicory sprouts The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reports that chicory is a native plant of western Asia, North Africa, and Europe.
Chicory is also mentioned in certain silk-growing texts. The primary caretaker of the silkworms, the "silkworm mother", should not eat or even touch it.
The chicory flower is often seen as inspiration for the Romantic concept of the Blue Flower (e.g. in German language Blauwarte ≈ blue lookout by the wayside). It could open locked doors, according to European folklore.
Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Species: Cichorium intybus
Kasni, Hinduba, Kasni English:
endive, chicory Hindi:
Kashi, Kaasni, Kssni, Hinduba Urdu:
Cicori, Kasini, Vittulu Bengali:
Kashi, Kaasni, Kssni, Hinduba Marathi:
Kashi, Kaasni, Kssni, HindubaTamil:
- ಚಿಕೋರಿ CikōriPunjabi:
Gul, hand, kasni, suchalSindhi:
-achicoria, escarola Japanese:
-チコリ, 植物の種 Chinese:
-endive; chicorée German:
Varities: There are two varieties of the plant, a cultivated sweet variety, and the wild bitter variety.
Both the varieties bear broad leaves near stem, and thin leaves above. Cultivated variety is relatively more cold, and moist.
Frisée (curly Endive)
Escarole (also called Batavian)
Pan di Zucchero (Italian for “Sugarloaf” , a very mild chicory with a huge, swirling head of green)
Chioggia Radicchio (most common type of radicchio, with baseball-sized red and white heads)
Treviso Radicchio (romaine-shaped heads of red and white)
Castelfranco Radicchio(baseball-sized heads of red and green)
Dandelion (our cultivated variety has larger leaves than the garden weed and is less bitter)
Common chicory is also known as blue daisy, blue dandelion, blue sailors, blue weed, bunk, coffeeweed, cornflower, hendibeh, horseweed, ragged sailors, succory, wild bachelors buttons, and wild endive. (Note: "Cornflower" is commonly applied to Centaurea cyanus.) Common names for varieties of var. foliosum include endive, radicchio, radichetta, Belgian endive, French endive, red endive, sugarloaf, and witloof (or witlof).
Synonyms in Ayurveda:
-Cichorium intybus, Chicory, Succory, Blue sailor, Radicchio, Hinduba, Kasni, Chikory, Cikkari, Chikkari, Kachani, Kashini, Kasini, Kacini, Kasini-virai, Kasini-vittulu, Kaasni
Guna: Laghu Ruksha
Kasani or Chicory is a well known coffee substitute and has various nutritive properties. The phytochemicals are present throughout the plant but the main constituents are present in the root. Chicoric acid is the major chemical constituent of Kasani. Kasani has anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. It helps to manage liver diseases, constipation, flatulence and slow digestion
Chicory is a native of Eurasia that was taken later to America by the Europeans. Today it is found growing naturally there. In India chicory grows mostly in the northwest and southern parts. It is cultivated for its leaves, roots and seeds. Chicory grows well in well-drained soil where too much water cannot accumulate like sandy and chalky soil.
Propogation:Seed - sow in situ. Seedlings can be transplanted. Successional sowings can be made.
Roots can be harvested from fall through early spring. Although you can harvest chicory leaves at any time during the growing season, they are less bitter in early springtime. Summertime is ideal for blanching chicory or collecting seeds.
Chicory herb contains inulin in the root, coumarins (chicoriin, esculetin, esculin, umbelliferone and scopoletin), sesquiterpene, lactones (including lactucin and lactucopicrin), and series of glucofructosans. Leaves of the plant contains sulphates and phosphates of sodium, magnesium and potassium as well as potassium nitrate. It also contains a bitter glycoside named cichorine.
Raw Chicory root contains only citric and tartaric acids whereas the roasted contains acetic, lactic, pyruvic, pyromucic, palmitic and tartaric acids.
Analysis of the seeds shows oil 4.7%, Fatty acid composition, Saturated 21.7%, Unsaturated 78.3%.
1. LIV 52
2. Bonnisan drops
Parts used for medicinal purpose
- Leaf juice extract - 12-24 ml
- Root powder - 3-6 gram
- Powder of seeds - 3-6 gram
Substitute:Chicory is used as a substitute of coffee. Though it does not contain caffeine, it gives similar effects as the original beverage
In Albania, the leaves are used as a spinach substitute
Chicory roots are an "excellent substitute for oats" for horses due to their protein and fat content.
In Napoleonic Era France, chicory frequently appeared as an adulterant in coffee,
-Interestingly, it is partially within the argument for whether or not chicory root helps digestive health where the controversy lies, and other health experts believe that it might actually cause more harm than good to the gut. It’s important to understand that chicory root is a processed, isolated fiber unlike whole food sources such as ground flax seed, for example.
The shorter chains of inulin are called Fructooligosaccharides, or FOS for short. FOS naturally occurs in a variety of plants like onion, leeks, garlic, asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke, and chicory root. While many of the health benefits mentioned above such as better gut health and more balanced blood sugar (in comparison to other types of non-caloric, artificial sweeteners), there is also the potential that FOS can cause some digestive distress.
One study found that FOS increased symptoms of cramping, diarrhea, bloating and loose stools, particularly in subjects that had an intolerance to fructose. Furthermore, those with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) could react poorly to FOS ingestion.
While less common, other studies have shown that chicory might cause an allergic reaction in some people, especially anyone with an allergy to birch pollen or ragweed. Symptoms can include an itchy, tingling mouth, pain and swelling. Lastly, pregnant women are advised to avoid chicory root as it has potentially been linked with miscarriage, and more research is needed as to its safety during breastfeeding.
On the flip side, inulin-containing foods like chicory root have also been very promising in their potential to support health, particularly looking at a balanced gut microbiome, decreased cholesterol levels and promotion of regular bowel movements in those who deal with constipation.
The roots have the potential to be used for the production of biomass for industrial use. They are rich in the starch inulin which can easily be converted to alcohol. A blue dye has been obtained from its leaves. The flowers are an alternative ingredient of QR herbal compost activator. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost.
Morphology: It is a bushy perennial plant that attains a height of 1 to 3 feet. The stem has edges having hard branches. Leaves are sphere shaped having a bitter taste. Flowers are of blue of lavender color having a diameter of 1 to 1 ½ inch, which is bit thicker at the center. Fruit is angular, having light color. Root is like a tail of a cow and is fleshy having brownish color from outside and white color from inside. It has a length of 2 ½ feet and has a bitter taste. The other related species that is cultivates is Cichorium endivia. It is generally found in cultivated lands and gardens.
-Leaf anatomy - The lamina has an adaxial and abaxial epidermis, each one - cell thick , separated by mesophyll cells. The lamina is wider where there are vascular bundles which contain xylem tracheary elements and phloem. The walls of the epidermal cells above and below the vascular bundles are thicker than in the rest of the lamina. In the midrib, there is a distinct hypodermis beneath both abaxial and adaxial epidermis. the midribs contain several vascular bundles which are larger and better defined than in the lamina. Large parenchyma cells occupy most of the region between the two hypodermal layers.
Geographical distribution:In India plant is found in the northwestern regions like Kashmir and Punjab and in area of south India. In western countries is now a days cultivated with the name endive. It is cultivated in completely black outed area to make leaf soft and pale in appearance. This plant has it origin in Europe and now has spread all over world.
-Cichorium species originated in Mediterranean Europe, but has been popularized in Africa, North America, and Australia. Though it is called a weed in North America, it is named an endive (small, bitter-leafed vegetable) in Europe. It is found near roadways most often. Cichorium can tolerate most soils, but grows exceptionally well in soils rich with lime. Cichorium intybus is able to grow in fertile soil or sandy loam, but grows optimally in a moist meadow soil with bountiful amounts of lime. Cichorium requires a lot of sunlight and must be kept in a sunny window or garden
Plant conservation:Shelf life of Kasani powder is approximately 6 months. Store it in a airtight container at room temperature.
- It Pacifies Pitta and Kapha doshas
- Gives relief in pain, burning sensation and swelling in digestion.
- Has Sedative action
- Deepana दीपन (promote appetite but do not aid in digesting undigested food)
- Good for heart and heart disorder
- Abortifacient - causes abortion.
- Antimicrobial - active against disease causing microbes.
- Anthelmintic - expel parasitic worms (helminthes) and other internal parasites from the body which cause various infection.
- Analgesic - it relieves pain and act as analgesic
- Antiulcer - help in healing ulcers.
- Antimalarial - effective against malaria.
- Ant diabetic - control blood sugar levels in body.
- Cholagogue - promotes the discharge of bile from the liver, purging it in downward direction
- Anti-inflammatory action - it reduces inflammation in body.
- Hepatoprotective - it prevent damage to the liver and improve its function
- Diuretic property - promoting urine excretion and act as agent that increases the amount of urine excreted. Thus can be used in kidney function.
- Demulcent - relieving inflammation or irritation of skin
- Emmenagogue - it stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus in women.
- Gastro protective - protects gastric mucosa and prevent gastritis.
- Hypoglycemic - helps in blood-sugar lowering.
- Hypocholesterolemic - Lowers the cholesterol level and maintains healthy heart.
- Hypolipidemic - lipid-lowering
- Laxative action - tending to stimulate or facilitate evacuation of the bowels. Hence effective in constipation.
- Sedative - promoting calm or inducing sleep. Has a sedative action on body
- Tonic - Restore or improve health or well-being.
The extract of Kasni leaves relieves pain & inflammation both when applied to an affected area.
The aqueous extract of Kasni roots is a very good remedy & even a kind of tonic for eye troubles.
A decoction of Kasni seeds during sleep helps improving irregular periods & other menstrual disturbances.
Half a teaspoon of Kasni root powder, mixed with honey, could be taken thrice a day for immediate relief from constipation.
For relief from painful inflammation of the joints, apply a paste of boiled leaves and flowers of the Kasni plant.
In the case of Poisoning, the extract of Kasni leaves with the mixture of olive oil proves very much beneficial.
The leaves of Kasni relieves mouth bleeding if chewed.
The nervous system of the body gets stronger with the regular intake of Kasni juice when mixed with other fruit juices, such as carrot, celery, and parsley.
A headache produced due to a hot climate is quite relieved by the application of the paste on the forehead prepared with its leaves, vinegar, and sandal. The same combination is effective in Urticaria and prickly heat.
Administration:1. Kasani Juicea. Take 2-3 teaspoon of Kasani juice.b. Add the same quantity of water and take it on an empty stomach once a day.2. Kasani Churnaa. Take ¼ - ½ teaspoon of Kasani churna.b. Add honey or water and take it twice a day after taking lunch and dinner.3. Kasani Capsulea. Take1-2 capsule of Kasani.b. Swallow it with water twice a day after taking lunch and dinner.4. Kasani Arka. Take 6-10 teaspoon of Kasani Ark (Chicory Distillate).b. Add the same quantity of water to it and take it before lunch and dinner twice a day.
Pharmacological:It is kapha and pitta suppressant. It is relaxant and induces sleep. It acts as pain reliever and anti inflammatory agent. It works as appetizer, liver stimulant and increases digestive powers. It acts as blood purifier and provides strength to heart. It is a diuretic. Its roots reduce menstrual disturbances. It has good effect in lowering down the burning sensations in the body. It also helps in lowering the blood pressure. It decreases the raised body temperature in fevers.
1. A Study of Chicory for Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Hip or Knee University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
2. Effects of the extract from roasted chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) root containing inulin-type fructans on blood glucose, lipid metabolism, and fecal properties
Mie Nishimura,a Tatsuya Ohkawara,a,b Toshiyuki Kanayama,a Kazuya Kitagawa,c Hiroyuki Nishimura,d and Jun Nishihiraa,∗
Street RA, Sidana J, Prinsloo G.Cichorium intybus: Traditional uses, phytochemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology.Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.2013.
Nwafor IC, Shale K, Achilonu MC.Chemical composition and nutritive benefits of Chicory (Cichorium intybus) as an ideal complementary and/or alternative livestock feed supplement.The Scientific World Journal.2017.
Pregnant women should avoid consuming chicory as it could up the risk of having a miscarriage by stimulating menstruation.People suffering from gallstones should not consume this plant in excess as it would aggravate the situation.
Chicory though has a truck load of benefits, like everything else it has drawbacks too. If you are allergic to marigolds, ragweed and daisies you might also be allergic to chicory as they are closely related.
Use in other system of medicine:
In Muslim traditional knowledge Kasni is known as “The Plant of Life.”
Kasni is known as Hindba in Arabic and popularly called Bazrullah.
Mohammed Bin Abu Bakr Al-Qayyim quoted three Hadiths in relation to Hindba.
· East Kasni and do not shake its leaves because no day is passed without showering on it the water of paradise.
· One who ate Kasni and slept, the poison and evil spirit would not affect him.
· None of the leaves of Kasni is there--which has not been showered by the paradise water drops.
Kasni is of two kinds Wild, and Cultivated. In Unani, the cultivated variety is called as Bustani, Hindba e Shami-o-Hashmi-o-Balaqhi, and wild variety is called as Dashti, Hindba e Baqhal, and Tarakhshaqaq.
Both the varieties bear broad leaves near stem, and thin leaves above. Cultivated variety is relatively more cold, and moist.
According to Unani System of Medicine it removes the visceral, hepatic, and vascular obstruction. It is a good but not very strong astringent. It is used as plaster in case of gout.
The latex of the wild variety removes opacity of the cornea. Purging cassia is dissolved in its juice, and used as gargle in pharyngitis. It relieves nausea, and counteracts the ill effects of excessive yellow bile, it strengthens the heart.
The Chicory plant is native to the temperate parts of the World, and is cultivated in many countries. It is an erect woody perennial herb, around 1 m in height with a fleshy taproot of up to 75 cm in length, and large basal leaves, and smaller upper leaves. It can bear extreme temperatures during both vegetative, and reproductive growth stage. It has azure blue flowers. Its roots resemble those of dandelions. The Chicory root stump are dug before the flowering.
The tap roots are the most commonly used part of the plant. The root is fleshy, and tapering, wrinkled longitudinally, and brown on the outside. The root has bitter, and mucilaginous taste.
KEY WORDS: kasani Cichorium intybus Linn.