Chicory embodies a tale of wasted love. A pretty girl, who had set her eyes and hopes on a particular suitor, refused all other offers and attempts to win her heart. Finally her father grew impatient with her and tried to force her to take someone that he deemed suitable. But the girl refused and exclaimed that she would rather stand by the road to wait for her chosen man forever than to accept another. And no sooner had she uttered her final word when she was turned into the beautiful Chicory flower. To this day she stands by the side of the road, waiting for her perfect prince. Wild Chicory is the parent plant of several cultivated vegetables. Wild Chicory does not produce many leaves, but they can be eaten either boiled or as salad. The roasted roots have can serve as an alternative to coffee. Dr. Bach made a flower remedy from Chicory to help people, who are stuck on the level of selfish love, those who need to be needed and are hurt if their over-caring and over-protective demeanour is not appreciated. Chicory helps such individuals to let go of their clinginess and to allow others their own independence.
Chicory is characterised by its bitterness, which acts on the digestive system, increasing the flow of bile and reducing the heat of congestion. Chicory root supports the process of breaking down food and absorbing its nutrients. It is considered blood cleansing and acts as a gentle decongestant. Decocted in wine it is said to clear lingering fevers.
The ancients had a high regard for this beautiful herb. Especially the root of the white variety was highly prized. Collected with the proper rituals it was thought to protect against all dangers, and especially against wounds inflicted by knives, swords or other kinds of blades. When wrapped in linen it was said to protect women at their most vulnerable time, while giving birth. Powdered and secretly added to the dish of an unfaithful lover was believed to ‘save’ them from infidelity, or, if the trespass had already occurred, that it would bring them back to their true lover.