Chive (Xi Xiang Cong)
Botanical Name: Western – Allium schoenoprasum. Eastern – A. tuberosum, A. ledebourianum.
Chives are in the Allium family that also contains garlic, scallions, and leeks. There are two types of chives, onion or common chives (Allium schoenoprasum) and Chinese chives (also called garlic chives/A. tuberosum). While common chives have long thin hollow leaves or stalks, Chinese chives have flat leaves or stalks. Both varieties are useful for eliminating parasites, boosting heart and immune health, and aiding digestion. Chives also support bone health. A. ledebourianum is a variety of giant chive that is native to Siberia.
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Remember to check with your doctor before trying new medicines or herbal remedies, especially if you are taking other medication where drug interactions are possible.
Below is an overview of chives, combining the best of Western Science, Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore, and a wide range of healing modalities. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of chives.
How to take FULL advantage of Chive's healing powers...
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Also Known As: Common Chive
Organs/Systems: Intestines, Digestive System, Immune System, Muscular-Skeletal System, Bladder
Key Actions: Antiparasitic, Diuretic, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Antimicrobial, Detoxifying, Anticancer
Medicinal Uses: Cancer, colds and flu, high blood pressure, intestinal parasites, edema, atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, arthritis, lowers cholesterol levels, prevents stroke and heart attack, immune enhancing, bone health, cataracts, macular degeneration, urinary dysfunction, eye disorders.
Also Known As: Gu Cai, Chinese Chive, Nira, Garlic Chive, Xie Bai (Chive Bulb)
Meridians: Stomach, Kidney, Liver
Key Actions: Tonifies Yang, Warms the Middle Jiao, Tonifies the Kidneys, Tonifies the Spleen, Moves Qi, Moves Blood, Clears Cold, Stops Bleeding, Expels Parasites
Medicinal Uses: Colds and flu, regulates blood pressure, joint pain, bone health, nausea, poor appetite, muscle aches, heart health, indigestion, nose bleeds, incontinence, impotence, cold hands and feet, difficulty urinating, edema, coughing, wheezing, stifling sensation in the chest, abdominal cramping or pain, diarrhea, worms.
Chives is a member of the lily called family Allium, which includes scallions, garlic, and leeks. They are a bulbous plant with lavender blossoms. Chives grow in grass-like clumps, but unlike other onions, they do not contain the same underground bulb. Chinese chives have white flowers instead of purple and flat leaves instead of long thin stalk-like leaves.
Common chives are native to Europe, especially the Mediterranean region, and Chinese chives are native to Asia. Chives are now found all over the world.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Stalk, Bud, Flower
Flavors/Temps: Pungent, Acrid, Slightly Bitter, Warm
Caution: Considered safe. Chives are not generally considered to be an allergenic substance, but eating large amounts may upset your stomach.
Key Constituents: Choline, Sulfur, Allyl Sulfide, Allicin, Quercetin, Carotenes (including Lutein and Zeaxanthin), Protein, Iron, Potassium, Calcium, Copper, Manganese, Selenium, Zinc, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Fiber, Folate, Niacin, Thiamine, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K
History/Folklore: Chives have been used for over 5,000 years with common chives, Allium schoenoprasum, being cultivated in Europe starting in the 5th century or early Middle Ages. They have similar medicinal properties as garlic, though they are not as potent. The allyl sulfides found in chives have antibacterial properties that can help eliminate a wide range of bacteria, particularly in the Salmonella family. They also increase the nutrient uptake in your gut.
Chinese chives, A. tuberosum, are characterized by their unique garlic flavor, white flowers, and flat leaves. Common chives have long hollow leaves or stalks and lavender flowers, with a more oniony flavor.
A Roman poet said that “He who bears chives on his breath, is safe from being kissed to death.” The Romans believed that chives could relieve pain from sunburn and sore throat. They also used it for its mild diuretic properties.
In the 19th century, Dutch farmers fed chives to their cattle to give their milk a different taste.
Early colonists to America brought chives with them to use for medicinal purposes.
The meaning of the word ‘chives’ derives from the Latin word ‘cepa’ meaning onion.
The compound allicin, found in chives is known to reduce LDL (“bad’) cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Combined with chive’s potassium content, which has powerful vasodilatory effects, chives become an effective promoter of heart health. Allicin releases nitric oxide, reducing the stiffness in blood vessels and helping to improve blood pressure.
The unopened flower buds can be dried and ground into a spice.
In China, chives bulbs (Xie Bai) are also used medicinally. They are considered pungent, bitter, and warming. They Unblock Yang, Disperse Cold Phlegm, Direct Qi Downward, and Eliminate Stagnation. They are used for treating chest pain, angina, upper back pain, cough, wheezing, and diarrhea.
Chives are often used to flavor food. They have a mild, oniony flavor that makes a wonderful garnish on foods and in salads.
Chives can be frozen, but chefs generally prefer fresh cut chives. As they are readily available year round, freezing them may not matter.
Planted in your garden chives help prevent soil erosion and make wonderful companion plants as well as attracting bees, butterflies and birds.
How to use Chive (Xi Xiang Cong) and take FULL advantage of it's healing powers!
Find out how to safely use this powerful herb and get specific recipes you can make use of immediately. Dive deep into Eastern and Western perspectives about HOW and WHY this herb works. Includes uses, benefits, essential oils, gardening tips, and much, much more.
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