Cichorium intybus (chicory) is an interesting medicinal plant which contains a wide range of potentially therapeutic phytochemicals. These phytochemicals accumulate as secondary metabolites within the plant, as a product of the plants own metabolism. Researchers have analysed the phytochemistry of cichory and found it to contain sesquiterpene lactones, including lactucin, lactucopicrin, 8-desoxy lactucin, and guaianolid glycosides (including chicoroisides B and C, sonchuside C), caffeic acid derivatives (including chiroric acid, chlorogenic acid, isochlorogenic acid, di-caffeoyl tartaric acid), inulin, sugars, proteins, hydroxycoumarins, flavonoids, alkaloids, steroids, terpenes, volatile compounds, coumarins, vitamins, and polyynes. These phytochemicals may explain the hepatoprotective, gastroprotective, cardiovascular, antioxidant, hypolipidemic, anticancer, reproductive, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, sedative, immunological, antimicrobial, anthelmintic, anti-protozoal and wound healing effects.
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