Siddha Tamil Kasinikkeerai

Action ► Diuretic, laxative, chol-agogue, mild hepatic. Excites peristalsis without affecting the functions of the stomach. Used in liver congestion, jaundice, rheumatic and gouty joints.

Key application (herb and root) ► In loss of appetite, dyspepsia. (German Commission E.)

The herb contains inulin (up to 58% in the root); sesquiterpene lactones (including lactucin and lactucopicrin); coumarins (chicoriin, esculetin, es-culin, umbelliferone and scopoletin); the root includes a series of glucofruc-tosans. Raw chicory root contains only citric and tartaric acids; roasted chicory contains acetic, lactic, pyru-vic, pyromucic, palmitic and tartaric acids. The carcinogenic hydrocarbons and floranthene are also reported in the chicory (a potent carcinogen 3,4-benzpyrene has been detected).

Added to coffee, chicory root counteracts caffeine and helps in digestion.

An alcoholic extract of the plant was found effective against chlorproma-zine-induced hepatic damage in adult

Cinchona officinalis Linn. 147

albino rats. The cholagogue activity is attributed to polyphenols.

The sedative effect of chicory is attributed to lactucopicrin. The sedative effect antagonizes the stimulant effect of tea and coffee. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)

The extracts of roots were found to be active against several bacteria.

Dosage ► Seed—3-6 g powder; leaf—10-20 ml juice; root—50-100 ml. (CCRAS.)

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