Can Chicory Help With Cancer?
My best friend’s mom always told me growing up, “If you want to keep friends, there are two things you don’t talk about….faith and politics.” Although she is a wise woman, I just can’t take her advice in the faith department. My faith is just who I am. It is part of every moment of my life.
For several years, I’ve been praying for a high school friend’s son; who has cancer. It isn’t one of those situations where I tell someone that I’ll pray for them, forget, and then remember sporadically depending on how tired my head is when it hits the pillow at night. I’ve prayed for this high school kid a minimum of daily up to continuously throughout the day; every day for four years. This morning while cooking breakfast, I became concerned about how he started college this past week. He just wants to be a normal kid and like any new college kid; he is going to want to eat and drink everything unhealthy. They don’t call it the “Freshman 15” for nothing. My fear is that his tumor will start growing again.
Then the smell of mildly sweet flowers from Chicory floats into my mind. Chicory’s flowers, roots, and leaves of this roadside herb are edible. In the alternative medicine world, Chicory has been around for a long time originating in Europe. Many of have incorporated Chicory into their meals or drinks to help with digestive issues, heart disease, arthritis pain, weight loss, constipation, immunity, anxiety, stress, and kidney health.
Today, I believe that Chicory has been placed in my mind for its role with cancer. Alternative medicine folklore says that Chicory has the ability to slow down cancer growth in tumors or even can prevent certain types of cancer like breast and colorectal cancer. But when I’m diving into the research on Chicory in relation to cancer, there isn’t a great deal of research at this time to back it up. You know me. I don’t like to mention a health benefit to an herb without research. But today while I’m cooking breakfast, God just keeps impressing upon my heart that I need to look a little further into Chicory for cancer.
In a few research studies involving mice, the properties in Chicory have been linked to the reduction in tumor growth. A report indicates that Chicory has fructans. Fructans have anti-tumor and antioxidant qualities. Chicory’s plant polyphenols also have a role also in battling inflammation. A 2011 Hungarian research study showed significant improvements in their volunteers in the areas of red blood cell deformability; which defines the body’s capability to respond to inflammation by repairing cells to their original state. With Chicory’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities, it may be providing the right environment for your body in its battle against cancer.
I know it would be really hard to convince a college student to take Chicory let alone ask them to eat healthy. But good news, there is a way to get Chicory into their system. Chicory is known as a non-caffeinated coffee substitute. Since it can act as a mild sedative in some, one can add this drink to their nightly routine before bed.
In the Nature Medicine Comprehensive Database, Chicory is relatively safe when consumed in amounts commonly found in food. The database states chicory as unsafe for pregnant woman because it may cause menstruation and cause a miscarriage. Chicory might trigger allergic reactions in people with ragweed allergies. It may also have a reaction to anti-diabetes drugs. Before starting any new herbal routine, I always strongly suggest talking with your doctor first.
I’m hoping in the coming years that research can find the benefits of Chicory in relation to cancer. Meanwhile, I guess we will have to rely upon Alternative medicine folklore and prayer.
Have a wonderful day. Blessings, Herbal Farmwife
DISCLAIMER: This information should not be considered to be healthcare advice, medical diagnosis, or treatment. This information is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other healthcare professionals. Always consult a healthcare professional first before trying any herbs, spices, vitamins, or minerals mentioned in this posting. This information is merely a discussion of “thoughts” among friends. Please note that none of these statements have been evaluated by the USA’s Food and Drug Administration.
Brinker F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. 2nd ed. Sandy, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications, 1998.