Chives, which are perennial plants, are in the same family as Chinese onion, garlic, scallion, and shallot. They are commonly found in several parts of Asia, North America, and Europe.
Some of the most essential health benefits of chives include their ability to boost immunity, protect against cancer, boost eyesight, improve bone health, regulate digestion, support heart health, and prevent birth defects.
The health benefits of chives include:
Chives, like other members of the Allium genus, are effective in preventing certain types of cancers. Research is still ongoing, however, preliminary results suggest that quercetin, a component in chives, can effectively curb a host of different cancers, including prostate, breast, ovaries, lungs, and colon. In fact, the antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin K present in the herb help to lower levels of free radicals in the body. These free radicals are known to speed up the proliferation of cancerous cells. Other antioxidant compounds like Zeaxanthin and lutein present in chives also help to reduce the risks of oral cancers.
Apart from its organic properties, chives also possess some essential nutrients as well. The herb is very rich in vitamin C which helps in boosting immunity by inducing the production of white blood cells and stimulating collagen, which are important components for the production of new cells, muscles, blood vessels, and tissues.
Chives are made up of antibiotic, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. According to some studies, the antibiotic properties present in the herb, when used with the vitamin C, can eliminate dangerous microbes and treat yeast infections.
Treating Digestive Issues
The allyl sulfides in chives, just like garlic, are effective in easing indigestion. Additionally, chives contain natural antibacterial abilities that can kill an extensive range of bacteria, especially those found in salmonella. As a matter of fact, chives can improve the quantity of nutrient your body absorbs and make sure that you get as much nutrient as it is possible from the food you eat.
Improving Sleep and Mood
Chives are excellent sources of choline, a nutrient that aids in restful sleep. The folic acid found in chives also helps to improve the production of feel-good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine that improve your mood.
Detoxifying the Body
Chives contain some diuretic properties and when used in combination with the other eliminators of free-radicals and bacterial, the herb can help detoxify the body. It stimulated urination, and so, rids the body of excess fat, water, salt, and toxins. Chives help to keep the systems of the body running properly and flushes out substances that are harmful to the body.
Enhancing Heart Health
Allicin, an essential organic compound present in chives, can reduce cholesterol levels in the body and improve heart health. The compound, when used in combination with potassium, is also known to lower blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. Also, quercetin, another compound in chives, can reduce plaque in the arteries and lower cholesterol levels, curbing atherosclerosis and reducing the chances of heart attacks and strokes.
Preventing Birth Defects
One other essential nutrient found in chives is folic acid, which is needed by pregnant women to ensure the healthy development of the fetus. In fact, folic acid prevents defects in the neural tube in newborn babies. Yes, the herb is a good source folic acid for pregnant mothers.
Supporting Hair Health
Although research is still ongoing on this, chives are known to stimulate hair growth and prevent hair breakage. The herb strengthens the hair roots by increasing blood flow to the scalp. In fact, with a chive oil hair mask, you can effectively improve dull hair too. Simply boil chives for about 30 seconds in water, after which, you can cool them in cold water. Then, dip the herb in a cup of olive oil. You can apply to your scalp after making a puree. Leave for 30 minutes and then shampoo.
Improving Bone Health
Chives contain a range of vitamins and minerals, including the very important vitamin K, which is effective in maintaining bone integrity and bone mineral density. As we get older, the bone mineral density begins to reduce and can result in health conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis. As a matter of fact, vitamin K helps to produce osteocalcin, which plays a major role in the maintenance of bone mineral density.
Chives are high in of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that makes the skin radiant and healthy. It is also effective in the treatment of acne. The vitamin C in the herb contains antioxidants that provide anti-aging effects. Yes, chives can help minimize some of the most evident signs of aging–wrinkles and fine lines. Simply apply a chive face mask on your face and leave it on for about 30 minutes. Wash it off, dry your face, and apply a moisturizer.
Chives contain carotenes such as zeaxanthin and lutein that are effective in reducing oxidative stress in the ocular system and slowing the occurrence of cataracts in the eye. The herb also helps to delay or totally prevent macular degeneration and strengthen vision even in old age.
Side Effects and Precautions
There have been only very few reports of negative reactions to chives as the herb is not generally known to be an allergenic substance. Notwithstanding, since chives contain a high concentration of organic compounds, an excessive use of the herb can lead to an upset stomach
The herb may seem safe when taken in small amounts but not much is known of the consequences of larger amounts. And so, pregnant women and nursing are also advised to be wary of chives or stick to small amounts.
For people who are allergic to onions or any of the Allium genus, it is smart to talk with a medical professional before incorporating chives into your diet.