Chiccory, Or Succory (Cichorhim In Tybus), or the wild endive, a plant belonging to the same family as the dandelion, found growing wild in most parts of Europe, and in England in great profusion. It is also naturalized in this country, and is seen in the fields and roads along the fences in neighborhoods long settled. It blossoms in August and September, and may be easily recognized by its bright blue flowers. In its natural state the stem rises from 1 to 3 ft. in height, though under cultivation it may be brought to a height of 6 ft. The root is fleshy and milky. Chiccory was formerly used to a considerable extent for medicinal purposes, and is still thought by some to be beneficial, if taken freely, in the early stages of jaundice and visceral obstructions, etc. It is employed almost exclusively of late as a substitute for coffee, or in the adulteration of this article. When prepared for this purpose, the roots are dried and reduced to powder, which resembles in color ground coffee, but it has neither the essential oil nor aromatic flavor of coffee. Its cheapness recommends it to the poor, and the beverage is by no means unpleasant.
Large crops of chiccory are raised in England for the acknowledged purpose of adulterating coffee, and the sale of this mixed article is legalized, under the proviso that each package be labelled "Mixture of Coffee and Chiccory." By chemical analysis, it has been found that chiccory possesses few elements in common with coffee, and contains very little of the nutritive properties of which so high an opinion is sometimes entertained. In cases where it is used for a long time its effects are often deleterious, especially upon the nervous system. Notwithstanding the great cheapness and abundance of chiccory it does not escape adulteration. The substances used for this purpose are roasted wheat, rye, acorns, carrots, and a variety of similar articles, and even, it is said, exhausted tar, or "Croats," and oak-bark powder.