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Wild chicory  RSS feed

 
N Thomas
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Hi everyone,
Are there any safety issues with eating raw wild chicory? FYI-I've eaten it before without issue (in salad-sized amounts) but thought it would be prudent to confirm its safety. I'd be picking plants with the distinctive, identifiable blue flower.
 
Ray Moses
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Location: Brighton, Michigan
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It is as safe as eating lettuce, I eat it all the time. Not as a salad green necessarilly because unless you eat it when it is real young it gets tough pretty fast. I  harvest the whole plant and let it dry and grind it up for a infusion for a coffee substitute. I have used the roots before but that is a lot of work for not a lot so the whole plant either blended with or used by itself makes a pretty thick infusion that helps me cut down on drinking so much coffee. 
 
William Bronson
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Rebecca Norman
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If it gets bitter and tough when it gets old, perhaps you should only eat it when it's young. Especially if you have food sensitivities and a proclivity to enjoying foods that are too bitter for most other people (as on your thread about mugwort), you might want to stick to eating the young plant.

There are many resources available online and in books about edible wild plants. For example, www.eattheweeds.com by Green Deane, and lots of books. Read up on the plants and at first try following the suggested time of collection (spring shoots, mature plant, whatever) and suggested method of use (salad, cooking green, medicinal tea, whatever). Once you've tried it a few times and you don't have a negative reaction, and if you like it a lot, then maybe try eating more of it. But the fact that you chowed down on mugwort as a salad three meals in a row suggests to me that you don't have the aversion to bitter plants that most people do, so you should read up and use caution. Especially since you have other food allergies already.
 
Ray Moses
Posts: 97
Location: Brighton, Michigan
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William Bronson wrote: Is it bitter like the domesticated stuff?


Yes, it is bitter just like the domestic stuff. I grew the domestic chickory a few years ago in my garden and it has the same bitterness however the wild chickory gets really tough fast and some of it has a pubescence on the leaves that are coarse in the mouth. A lot of bitter wild greens there are recommendations to boil in several changes of water to get the bitterness out. But bitter greens you usually mix with mild greens. On wild greens that get tough fast like dandelion and chickory, plantain etc. , you need to harvest them early in the basal roseatte stage.
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