Chicory is a plant in the Asteraceae
family of plants. Other plants in this family include artichoke, camomile, lettuce, tarragon and sunflower seeds. Radicchio is the same plant as chicory, endive is a different species, Cichorium endivia
, but in the same genus as chicory and endive.
The leaves of the plant can be eaten as salad greens and the roots can be ground and used as an ingredient in teas and herbal remedies.
Inulin is a product extracted from many plants, but most commonly chicory root. It is used as a sweetener and as a source of fibre.
Like other plants in this family of plants it contains sesquiterpene lactone, which can cause skin irritation and allergic contact dermatitis.
Studies have shown chicory contains Bet v 1 - like proteins
. These are linked to Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome
Chicory and inulin are a high FODMAP
food as it is high in fructans. FODMAP stands for F
olyols. Foods high in FODMAPs can cause symptoms of food intolerance, affecting the gastro intestinal system and this can be mistaken for a true IgE food allergy.
Chicory and inulin are high in salicylates
. Salicylates have the potential to cause worsening of asthma, swelling, itching and hives as well as food intolerance symptoms in people who are sensitive to salicylates.
You can read more about Food Intolerances
on the dedicated Food Intolerance Page.
Chicory is linked to allergic contact dermatitis due to the sesquiterpene lactones in plant.
The Bet v 1 like proteins links this food as a possible trigger for Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome
If you are allergic to chicory, then you may not be able to eat other plants in the Asteraceae
family of plants, including artichoke, camomile, lettuce, tarragon and sunflower seeds.
Other foods which contain Bet v 1 include almond, apple, apricot, caraway, carrot, celery, cherry, dill, fig, hazelnut, jackfruit, kiwi, mango, parsley, peach, peanut, raspberry, soya, strawberry, tomato and walnut.
Note that the food lists are not completely exhaustive, visit the Cross Reactivity Tool to see the most up to date lists of which foods contain which allergens.
DermNet NZ - Compositae Allergy
Science Direct - Chicory
Science Direct - Inulin
Pollen Library - Chicory
FODMAPedia - Chicory
ATP Science - Salicylate Foods
Articles and Journals
The high dose of inulin exacerbated food allergy through the excess accumulation of short-chain fatty acids in a BABL/c mouse model, 2023
Dietary inulin fiber can promote allergy-related type of inflammation in the gut and lungs, 2022
The Common Cichory (Cichorium intybus L.) as a Source of Extracts with Health-Promoting Properties—A Review, 2021
Asteraceae species as potential environmental factors of allergy, 2019
A young child with anaphylaxis to inulin, a common substance in processed, high fiber foods, 2017
Occupational rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma caused by chicory and oral allergy syndrome associated with bet v 1-related protein, 2009
Hypersensitivity to Inulin: A Rare and Mostly Benign Event, 2008
Allergy to red chicory (Cichorium intybus var. sylvestre), 2004
Oral allergy syndrome to chicory associated with birch pollen allergy, 2003
Food allergy to Belgian endive (chicory), 1997
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