Cichorium intybus



  • Antibacterial
  • Antidiabetic
  • Wound-healing
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiseptic
  • Analgesic
  • Antioxidant
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antihelmintic
  • Antigout
  • Gastroprotective
  • Kidney-protection
  • Hepatoprotective
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is an erect, woody perennial herb, that is historically known for its use as a coffee substitute in many countries. Different preparations of chicory are used to treat various symptoms and ailments in traditional medicines. Over 100 individual compounds have been isolated from C. intybus. The roots contain up to 40% inulin, a natural food component used to increase dietary fiber, replace fats or carbohydrates, and acts as a useful prebiotic to stimulate beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal (GI) system.
Chicory also contains chicoric acid, which is a major compound in methanolic extracts. Chicoric acid has shown vasorelaxant activity against nor-epinephrine-induced contractions in isolated rat aorta strips. The flowers of chicory contain saccharides, methoxycoumarin cichorine, flavonoids, essential oils, and anthocyanins contributing to the blue color of the perianth. Specific applications studied in poultry include:
  • Liver protection: A study conducted in rats administered extracts of dried chicory demonstrated that it might possess significant protection for the liver.
  • Gut improvement:
    A study conducted on young broiler chickens revealed that adding 60-120 g/kg of chicory forage to their diet was beneficial for the gastrointestinal system.
  • Antimicrobial:
    Different parts of chicory were found to be active against different pathogenic microorganisms.
    • Seed extract: Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Candida
    • Root extracts: Bacillus subtilis, S. aureus, Salmonella typhi, Micrococcus luteus, and E. coli
    • Leaf extract: S. typhi

Poultry Specific Studies

TypePlant PartDosageSpecific useResultsRef
Chickensforage and root60-120 g/kg dietfiber-rich feedchicory forage is a potentially useful fiber-rich feed ingredient with high palatability for broiler chickens.H Liu et al., 2011
Broilers1 kg/ton of dietGI healthincreased the duodenal villus height, villus width and villus height to crypt depth ratio and decreased the villus height and crypt depth in both jejenum and ileum. Furthermore, dietary chicory relatively modified the small intestinal electrogenic transport of glucose in broilers.W Awad et al., 2011
Hensfresh forage8% of dietGI healthincreased egg weight, yolk colour, total amino acids and delicious amino acids in muscles, and decreased abdominal fat yield compared to the control. However, increased average daily feed intake, increased feed conversion ratio, increased mortality and decreased eggshell strength were observed in chickens fed chicory forage than in those fed a basal diet. Dietary supplementation of chicory forage stimulated the proliferation of the Lactobacillus in ileum and the Bacteroides in caecum, and depressed pathogenic microbes including the Rikenella, thereby further improved intestinal health and nutrient utilisation.M Zheng et al., 2019
Chickensroot extract500 mg/kg of dietantioxidantcould enhance broiler chicken growth performance, carcass characteristics, liver function, lipid profile, and antioxidant status. These extracts could be utilized as natural feed additives and growth promoters for broiler chickens.H Gazwi et al., 2022
Chickensroot powder1% of dietGI healthWhen combined with probiotic and coriander seed powder, significantly lowered the pH in the gut, increased Lactobacillus counts, and reduced E. coli and Salmonella counts in the ileum.S Gurram et al., 2022