One of my favourite herbal drinks at this time of year - rich, earthy roasted Chicory root coffee. The bitter and sweet flavours are brought out by the slow roasting process, making a great full bodied drink to kick start your digestion in the mornings. Autumn is the perfect time to harvest our root herbs, and this common edible weed offers us an abundance of support to help us maintain our well being at this changing time of the year. Like other bitter herbs, Chicory stimulates the cleansing action of our liver, improving our ability to process toxins effectively. High in antioxidants, Chicory has also been shown to reduce inflammation and protect our liver from chemical and free radical damage. These important qualities offer us valuable support in preventing and treating the many chronic health conditions that inflammation and toxicity can underlie. Chicory root is also the highest source of inulin of any food or herb. Sweet tasting inulin is a prebiotic that feeds our good gut bacteria, again boosting our first line of immune defense, and is a type of soluble fibre that supports gut health, lowers high cholesterol levels and improves diabetes. Finally, Chicory has also been shown to have anti bacterial, anti fungal and anti viral effects - all helping our immune system to deal with pathogens. All of this from a common garden weed!
We will be harvesting and preparing roasted root coffee with another wonderful healing weed at our upcoming Autumn Herbal Medicine Making Workshop - the wonderful Dandelion! We have been growing a garden bed full of Dandelions in nice loose soil for easy harvesting for two years. I look forward to sharing this delicious herbal beverage and all it's wonderful healing properties with you at the workshop.