Endive – nutrition, proven benefits uses

Endive Leaves

The scientific name of the endive is Cichorium endivia Linn . It is  known as ku ju in Chinese.

Other names include

ARABIC: Hindiba, Kasiniyah.
DANISH: Endivie.
ESTONIAN: Endiiviasigur.
FINNISH: Endiivi.
FRENCH: Chicorée blanche, Petite endive, Scarole..
GERMAN: Endivienwegwarte, Endivien, Endivie, Escariol.
ITALIAN: Indivia.
JAPANESE: Kiku jisha.
NEPALESE: Kassinii..
MALAY: Andewi.
POLISH: Endywia.
RUSSIAN: Endivij.
TURKISH: Hindiba, Yaban marulu..

Endive is a cultivated plant consisting of a dense rosette of curly leaves arising from the base. Leaves are brittle, oblong, and lobed or cut. Flowers are purple, the upper ones passing into leafy bracts.


– Native of the Mediterranean region.

Nutrition/ Constituents

Excellent source of calcium and iron.

– Leaves contain inosit, a bitter principle, ceryl alcohol, d- and B-lactucerol and traces of urea.

Medicinal Properties of endive

– Considered resolvent and cooling.

– Roots considered tonic, demulcent, stimulant, and febrifuge.

Parts used



– Used for salads, like lettuce.

Folkloric traditional medicine uses, remedies and benefits of endive

– Much valued by the Hakims as a resolvent and cooling medicine and prescribed in bilious complaints.

– Roots used for dyspepsia and fever, as a tonic and demulcent.

– Root considered warm stimulating, and febrifuge.

– Fruit is a cooling remedy for fevers, headaches and jaundice.

Endive Flower

Scientific proven health benefits and uses of Endive


Study of the roots isolated twelve known sesquiterpene lactones and a new gualanolid 10b-methoxy-1a,11b,13-tetrahydrolactucin with three known phenolic esters.


Application of a root extract on the skin prior to UVB irradiation totally prevented erythema. Study suggests C. endivia extracts might possess sun-protective qualities that make them potentially useful as sunscreens.

Hepatoprotective/ protects liver:

Study evaluated the in vitro and in vivo hepatoprotective properties of C. endivia extract. Results showed CEE significantly blocked oxidative stress and cytotoxicity induced by t-BPH in HepG2 cells. Phytochemical screening yielded five compounds: 2-furanmethanol-(5’→11)-1,3-cyclopentadiene-[5,4-c]-1H-cinnoline, 2-phenylethyl-β-D-glucopyranoside, kaempferol-3-O-β-D-glucoside, kaempferol, and adenosine. Results suggest CEE may be a valid safe remedy to cure liver disease.

Antiproliferative / Breast Cancer:

The anticancer activity of root extract was examined on a breast cancer line MFC7 and compared with anticancer 5FU (5-fluorouracil). The expression of DNA markers was high both in cells treated with 5FU and root extract. Results show C. endivia contains a combination of phenolic compounds and presents as anticancer especially for breast cancer.


Study evaluated the antidiabetic effect of an aqueous suspension of CE leaves powder in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Results indicated the role of oxidative stress in diabetes induction and showed a protective and/or ameliorative effect of CE, similar to glibenclamide.



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