The Health Benefits Of Chives

Chives – or Allium schoenoprasum – bloom in May and June. Chives are not only an appealing herb for beautifying the garden, they have an array of health benefits, many of which will be discussed in this article.

Chives are part of a large species of strong smelling perennials that have underground stems or bulbs. This group of herbs are known as allium herbs and include chives, leeks, garlic and onions. They all have undeniable health benefits. The strong odour emitted from these herbs is due to a number of sulphur compounds such as alkyl sulphoxides and allyl sulphides. These sulphurs are reportedly beneficial for the circulatory, digestive and respiratory systems.

Chives come from the same ‘family’ as onions and garlic, but chives do not possess as much sulphur as the aforementioned. Therefore their health benefits are not so strong. Still, chives have been reported to have anti-cancer, anti-clotting, antibacterial, antiviral and decongestant properties. Studies have shown that a greater intake of allium vegetables is associated with lower risk of several types of cancers, especially stomach and prostate cancer.

The leaves of chives have been found to have a high antioxidant activity and are also packed full of flavanoids.

In Chinese herbal medicine, chives are used to control bleeding and to treat fatigue. The leaves can be applied to insect bites, cuts and wounds and the seeds used for treating problems associated with the kidney, liver and the digestive system. Chives have also been shown to help lower cholestrol when included in a balanced diet. They are rich in vitamin A and C and contain a small quantity of iron.

Chives have many health benefits and have no obvious side effects. They would be a welcome addition to any diet. Add it to yours!

 

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