Chives which is a close cousin of onion and garlic has wonderful medicinal uses and health benefits apart from imparting a wonderful flavour to food. I have always been interested in herbs and when I read about new herbs, I always wonder how it will smell and taste.
You will always find me asking my family members when they travel to new countries whether they smelt or tasted a herb that is well known in that country. Now I am so happy because we get many well known herbs in India and my latest obsession is chives.
The botanical name of chives is Allium Schoenoprasum and they belong to the Allium family and are closely related to onion and garlic. They are bulb forming perennial plants grown for the scapes (stems) and flowers.
They produce beautiful pale purple flowers and the stems are soft, hollow and tubular. I want to grow chives in my garden, hopefully I can update the above picture with beautiful chive flowers soon.
Chives Common Names:
Commonly chives are refered to as onion chives and garlic chives, they both do not refer to the same plant. Onion chives is Allium Scheonoprasum and garlic chives refers to Allium Tuberosum. Chives goes by the same name in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and all other Indian languages.
How To Use Chives?
I have been wanting to use chives in my cooking for a long time and the day I bought it, I made a potato souffle and adding chives took it to an other level.
Once my longing for using it in cooking was satisfied, I started looking out for all the medicinal uses and health benefits of chives and I have given all of them below. Chives have wonderful anti bacterial and anti inflammatory properties and can be used both externally and taken internally.
The easiest way to use chives medicinally is either by making a water decoction by boiling the cut chives in water or by extracting the fresh juice by pounding the fresh stem along with little water and then extracting the fresh juice, both are effective.
Where to Buy Chives?
Chives Side Effects:
10 Top Medicinal Uses Of Chives For Skin, Hair & Health:
1. Anti Inflammatory Properties:
Chives have anti inflammatory properties and is great for consuming when suffering from any kind of inflammations. The water extract got by steeping the fresh or dried stem in hot water can be used for reducing any inflammation. This has been proven by clinical research, you can read the study here.
2. Home Remedy For Sore Throat:
Chives have been used as a sore throat remedy from ancient times. As it has anti inflammatory properties, it helps reduce the inflammation and gives good relief from the pain. To use for sore throat, pour boiling water over finely cut chives, let it steep, strain and drink..
3. Antioxidant Properties:
Chives have wonderful antioxidant properties and including natural ingredients that have wonderful antioxidant properties is vital to prevent premature aging of the skin and hair. You can read the study that supports this claim here.
4. Anti Cancer Properties:
Chives have wonderful anti cancer properties and it is especially useful for preventing stomach and colorectal cancers. The protective effect is due to the oraganosulphur compounds present in chives which prevent carcinogenesis to a great extent. You can read the study that supports this claim here.
5. Anti Bacterial Properties:
Chives have anti bacterial properties and has been proven to be effective against five different kinds of bacteria when used in their raw form. They were shown to be effective against bacteria like staphylococcus, salmonella, E coli, etc…
6. For Hair:
Chives extract can also be used for promoting hair growth as it increases the blood flow in our scalp. It also treats scalp infections as it has anti bacterial properties. Chive extract can be used as a final hair rinse too. To make it, boil chives in water and strain. Once cool, add in a squeeze of fresh lime juice and use it as final hair rinse….
7. For Skin:
Since chives have anti bacterial and anti inflammatory properties, it can be used to reduce skin inflammations very effectively. Chive extract got by boiling chives in water can be used as a wash for wounds. Fresh chive extract got by pounding it in a mortar and pestle along with little water can also be used in face packs to treat skin breakouts like acne.
8. For Cardio Vascular Health:
Chives like it’s cousins garlic and onions has cardio protective properties as allicin present in chives reduces LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. Allicin present in chives also reduces oxidative stress and it also reduces high blood pressure.