Herb: Endive

Latin name: Cichorium endiva

Family: Compositae

Medicinal use of Endive:

The plant is used as a resolvent and cooling medicine, and in the treatment of bilious complaints. It has a similar but milder effect to chicory (Cichorium intybus) and so is a very beneficial tonic to the liver and digestive system. The root is demulcent and tonic. It has been used in the treatment of dyspepsia and fevers. The fruit (this probably means the seed) has been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, bilious complaints and jaundice.

Description of the plant:


100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)


Habitat of the herb:

Rocks and sand by the sea.

Edible parts of Endive:

Leaves - raw or cooked. Leaves of wild plants are very bitter but there are many named forms with only a slight bitterness. The leaves are quite large and often form a rosette like cabbages. They are very easy to harvest. Endive makes a very acceptable addition, in moderate quantities, to the salad bowl, though the leaves are too bitter for most tastes to be used as the main salad leaf. The leaves are often blanched (by excluding light from the growing plant) in order to reduce this bitterness, though this process also reduces the nutritional value of the plant.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow in situ early to mid July for an autumn and winter crop and up to mid August for succession. Seedlings can be transplanted. Successional sowings can also be made from April onwards for a summer crop though these plants are liable to bolt in hot weather or if there is a cold snap in late spring.

Cultivation of Endive:

Rocks and sand by the sea.

Known hazards of Cichorium endiva:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.