Chicory extracts from Cichorium intybus L. as potential antifungals

Mycopathologia. 2005 Aug;160(1):85-91. doi: 10.1007/s11046-004-6635-2.


In this work extracts from roots of the common vegetable Cichorium intybus L., highly appreciated for its bitter taste, were studied to investigate their possible biological activity on fungi from a variety of ecological environments: some are parasites on plants (phytopathogens) or of animals and humans (zoophilic and anthropophilic dermatophytes), others live on the soil and only seldom parasitize animals (geophilic dermatophytes). The extracts were ineffective on geophilic species and on tested phytopathogens, with the exception of Pythium ultimum, whereas they inhibited the growth of zoophilic and anthropophilic dermatophytes, in particular Trichophyton tonsurans var. sulfureum, whose treatment caused morphological anomalies, here observed by scanning electron microscopy. This behaviour is discussed on the basis of the presence in the chicory extract of the two main sesquiterpene lactones, 8-deoxylactucin and 11 beta,13-dihydrolactucin.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents*
  • Arthrodermataceae / drug effects
  • Arthrodermataceae / growth & development
  • Chicory*
  • Fungi / drug effects*
  • Fungi / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Roots


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Plant Extracts