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Cichorium endivia Linn .

Ku ju

Scientific names Common names
Cichorium casnia Wall. Endiba (Tag.)
Cichorium casnia C.B.Clarke Endive (Engl.)
Cichorium crispum Mill. [Illegitimate] Escarole (Engl.)
Cichorium endivia L.  
Cichorium esculentum Salisb. [Illegitimate]  
Cichorium intybus var. endivia (L.) C.B.Clarke  
Cichorium endivia L. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
ARABIC: Hindiba, Kasiniyah, Sikuri.
DANISH: Endivie.
ESTONIAN: Endiiviasigur.
FINNISH: Endiivi.
FRENCH: Chicon, Chicorée blanche, Petite endive, Scarole..
GERMAN: Endivienwegwarte, Endivien, Endivie, Escariol.
ITALIAN: Indivia, Endivia.
JAPANESE: Kiku jisha, Fanna tsisa.
NEPALESE: Kassinii..
MALAY: Andewi.
POLISH: Endywia.
ROMANIAN: Andivia, Cicoare de gradina.
RUSSIAN: Endivij, Cikorij salatnyj.
SPANISH: Endivia, Escarola crespa.
TURKISH: Hindiba, Yaban marulu..

Endive is a cultivated plant growing up to 1 to 1.7 meters high, with a dense rosette of curly leaves arising from the base. Leaves are brittle, oblong, and lobed or cut. Flowers are purple or pale blue, the upper ones passing into leafy bracts.

- Cultivated around Manila and other large towns.
- Cultivated from imported seeds.
- Grows best in the Baguio area.

- Native of the Mediterranean region.

C. endivia and C. intybus
- There is confusion between Cichorium endivia and Cichorium intybus. Both are accepted names of separate species. (The Plant List)
- C. endivia var. crispum, C. endivia var. latifolium, and C. intybus var. endivia are synonyms and variants of Cichorium endivia.
- C. intybus var. endivia is a synonym/variant of Cichorium endiva rather than a variant of Cichorium intybus.
- The three main types of endives seen in the culinary setting are: (1) curly endive / frisée (2) broad-leaf endive / escarole, and (3) Belgian endive--each varying in taste and bitterness.
- Curly endive (Frisée) with the scientific name of Cichorium endivia var crispum, sometimes called chicory. It has a bushy head of curly greens, with bitterness more intense in the darker shade of green.
- Broad-leaved endive (Escarole) - it is a the same genus and species of the curly endive, but a different variant. The lighter colored leaves are less bitter.
- Belgian endive - it is a form of common chicory, Cichorium intybus, a different species from the two other endives. It is described as rocket-shaped--a small cylindrical head of lettuce with pale yellow leaves and slightly curly edges. (Endive / The Spruce) (11)

- Excellent source of calcium and iron.
- Leaves contain inosit, a bitter principle, ceryl alcohol, d- and B-lactucerol and traces of urea.
- Root yielded twelve known sesquiterpene lactones and a new guaianolide 10ß-methoxy-1α, 11ß,13-tetrahydrolactucin, together with three known phenolic acid esters. (1)

- 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. (see study below) (4)
- Nutritive value analysis per 100 g reveals nutrient values of 17 Kcal, carbohydrate 3.35 g, protein 1.25 g, total fat 0.20 g, cholesterol 0 mg, dietary fiber 3.10 g; vitamins: folates 142 µg, niacin 0.4 mg, pantothenic acid 0.9 mg, pyridoxine 0.02 mg, riboflavin 0.075 mg, thiamin 0.08 mg, vitamin A 2167 IU, vitamin C 6.5 mg, vitamin E 0.44 mg, vitamin K 231 µg; electrolytes: sodium 22 mg, potassium 314 mg; minerals: calcium 52 mg, copper 0.099 mg, iron 0.83 mg, magnesium 15 mg, manganese 0.420 mg, phosphorus 28 mg, selenium 0.2 mcg, zinc 0.79 mg; phytonutrients: carotene-ß 1300 µg. (7)

- Leaves of wild plants are very bitter.
- Considered resolvent and cooling.
- Roots considered tonic, demulcent, stimulant, and febrifuge.

Parts used


Edibility / Culinary
- Leaves eaten raw or cooked.
- Used for salads, like lettuce.
- Leaves have variable bitterness. Blanching which reduces bitterness may also decrease its nutritional value.
- 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.

Study of the roots isolated twelve known sesquiterpene lactones and a new gualanolid 10b-methoxy-1a,11b,13-tetrahydrolactucin with three known phenolic esters. (1)
Photoprotection: 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. (2)
Hepatoprotective / Anti-Oxidative on HepG2 Cells: 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. Results suggest CEE may be a valid safe remedy to cure liver disease. (4) Cichorium endiva extracts inhibited H2O2-injured HepG2 cells by reducing the ROS level. The CE extract's antioxidant mechanism may be closely related to the antioxidant defense mechanism associated with its activation of the Nrf2-ARE pathway in HepG2 cells. (10)
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. (5)
Antidiabetic / Ameliorative Effect of Leaves on Oxidative Stress / Leaves: 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. (6)
Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant: Study evaluated a hydroalcoholic extract of C. endivia leaves against acetaminophen-induced oxidative stress and hepatotoxicity in mice. Results showed hepatoprotective and antioxidant activity comparable to silymarin, a known hepatoprotective drug.


Updated March 2018 / May 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: Digitally modified and cropped / Pubic Domain (1) File:Cichorium endiva.jpg / Susan Boyer / Wikimedia Commons
IMAGE SOURCE: Photo id: 5287 - cultivated endive (Cichorium endivia) / Photo by Leo Michels. Usage: Public Domain / Foto visualizzata 13 volte / alterVISTA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Sesquiterpenoids and phenolics from roots of Cichorium endivia var. crispum / Wanda Kisiel and Klaudia Michalska / Fitoterapia Volume 77, Issue 5, July 2006, Pages 354-357 / doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2006.04.009 |
Photoprotection by Cichorium endivia Extracts: Prevention of UVB-Induced Erythema, Pyrimidine Dimer Formation and IL-6 Expression / C D Enk, M Hochberg et al / Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2004;17:1 (DOI:10.1159/000074056)
Sorting Cichorium names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher, / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.
Hepatoprotective Activity of Cichorium endivia L. Extract and Its Chemical Constituents / Chao-Jie Chen , An-Jun Deng , Chang Liu, Rui Shi, Hai-Lin Qin, and Ai-Ping Wang / Molecules 2011, 16(11), 9049-9066; doi:10.3390/molecules16119049
Molecular and biochemical evaluation of anti- proliferative effect of (Cichorium endivia, L.) phenolic extracts on breast cancer cell line: MCF7 / Ali Alshehri* and Hafez E. Elsayed / E3 Journal of Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Research Vol. 3(4), pp. 74-82, June 2012
Effect of Cichorium endivia Leaves on Some Biochemical Parameters in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats / Zeinab H. Kamel, Iman Daw and Mohamed Marzouk / Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 5(7): 387-396, 2011 ISSN 1991-8178
Endive (Cichorium endivia) Nutrient Analysis / USDA National Nutrient data base)
Hepatoprotective and Antioxidant Effects of Cichorium Endivia L / Sayed, M. M. A. A., and A. M. Soliman / Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences, 2011.
Cichorium endivia / Synonyms / The Plant List
Study on anti-oxidative effects of extracts from Cichorium endivia on HepG2 cells and its mechanism / Chen CJ, Zhan LJ, Wei JF, Jin HT, Qin HL, Wang AP /
China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica, July 2014; 39(14): pp 2716-2720
Endive: The Difference Between the Three Main Types of Endive
/ Danilo Alfaro / The Spruce

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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