Chives: the little herb with a big heart

johnnydodStarred Page By johnnydod, 16th Aug 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Gardening>Herbs

Lets take a look at a little herb that could be put to a lot more use

Part of the onion family

Chives are the smallest of the onion family, and have been used for Culinary and medicinal purposes for over 5000 years, it’s very easy to grow and needs little or no attention, in the late winter it has beautiful violet flowers these are often used in ornamental dry bouquets but they are also edible and can give a salad a whole different perspective.

In the summer the leaves can be cut from the base of the plant and used in Soups, Pancakes and sandwiches, they add flavour to scrambled eggs and omelettes or can be sprinkled on salads, fish, mashed or baked potatoes and cheese on toast, try adding it to pasta dishes or garlic bread if you have some plain cream cheese add some chives and see what a difference it makes in fact anywhere you might use onion you can use Chives.

Good for Bees bad news for Insects

This amazing little herb helps ward off insects in your garden, in fact they are repulsive to insects in general and many gardeners grow them just for this purpose, it’s because of their sulphur compounds that the insects hate them, however bees love them, which is also very beneficial to gardeners.

Anders Jahan Retzius a Sweadish professor of natural history and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences describes in his book "(Försök til en flora") how farmers would plant chives between the rocks making up the borders of their flowerbeds, to keep the plants free from pests, the French place them in the "Fines Herbes" category along with parsley, tarragon and chervil.

Flowers and flavour

Apart from being very tasty Chives have many medicinal properties as they are in the same class as garlic, chives are believed to have an advantageous effect on the cardiovascular system so if you have, or don’t want, a “Dicky Ticker” start eating them.
They are also a mild stimulant and diuretic (very good for the treatment of heart failure, liver cirrhosis, hypertension and certain kidney diseases) chives also have antiseptic properties, and are rich in vitamins A, C sulphur, calcium and iron.

So many uses

The juice from the leaves can even be used to fight fungal infections and mildew.
You can see chives grown in and around golf courses as this herb is very affective in fighting scab, a fungal disease not just in plants but also golf course grass.

As I wrote earlier there is no need to tender this herb, but you can if you so wish, cut it back to about 2 -5 cm when it starts to look a little old and tired, (Crumbs I hope they don’t do that to me)
One more thing about this powerful little plant is that it can easily be dry frozen, whole or snipped into pieces without losing any of its flavour. (Just cut them, place loosely so they won't stick together on a tray and place in a freezer when frozen place in a bag ready to be used later)
So you can make use of it all the year round, chives add that little extra on the Turkey at Christmas, I would love to hear if any of you have any more interesting uses for Chives.

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Comments

author avatar Nitul anand
16th Aug 2012 (#)

Thanks a lot for sharing a very informative page ...sir!!!
I am learning Indian Ayurveda ...

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
16th Aug 2012 (#)

Chives is one of my favourites especially with cheese. Nice to know its available wild and grows for free.

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author avatar Amruta Jadhav
16th Aug 2012 (#)

Well written...I didn't know it has so many uses..

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author avatar Ms. Ann
16th Aug 2012 (#)

This was a wonderful article. Thanks for sharing.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
16th Aug 2012 (#)

We planted some and they have taken over the yard. My wife asked that I include a warning -chives are very bad for most pets including cats and dogs.

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author avatar johnnydod
17th Aug 2012 (#)

Good point Mark, you are right Chives destroy red blood cells in dogs and cats and can cause anemia, weakness, and breathing difficulty. Even small amounts can cause cumulative damage over time. This includes onions or chives - raw, powdered, dehydrated, or cooked.

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author avatar Agnes Chin
17th Aug 2012 (#)

we normally add some in the hot soup. not bad with beef dishes too..

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author avatar yugasini
17th Aug 2012 (#)

very nice article with beautiful flowers, why we could not post more pictures except one only,even we have uploaded two or three?

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author avatar stevetheblogger
17th Aug 2012 (#)

Johnny great article I love chives in mash potatoes. My wife also soaks the flowers in vinegar for a couple of days makes a great salad dressing
Best Wishes
Steve

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author avatar Delicia Powers
1st Sep 2012 (#)

thanks johnnydod...

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author avatar Retired
2nd Sep 2012 (#)

;-))

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author avatar Retired
14th Dec 2012 (#)

Love the article - very well done.

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author avatar Araceli Gamboa
14th Jul 2013 (#)

Thanks for this great information about chives! I'll start planting them in my back yard this could probably solve my aphids issue on my fruit trees. I also use them for cooking, i could also share my extra chives to my friends & church members. :)

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