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Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Alba, alliinase, Allium schoenoprasum, Allium tuberosum, Alliaceae (family), allyl methyl disulfide, anthocyanins, biogenic amines, blue spear, carotenoids, Chinese chive, curly mauve, diallyl sulfides, ferulic acid, he (Vietnamese), kaempferol glycosides, Liliaceae (family), linoleic acid, mannose-binding lectin, marsha, methiin, methyl allyl disulfide, onion, palmitic acid, p-coumaric acid, serine acetyltransferase sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol, siu heung (Chinese), snowcap, sulfur, sulfur-containing compounds, tsung (Chinese).

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Chives are native to Europe, Asia, and North America. They are small, bulbous perennials that are commonly used as culinary herbs to impart a mild onion flavor to many foods, including salads, soups, vegetables, and sauces (1). Chives (e.g., Allium schoenoprasum) belong to the Alliaceae family, although they are sometimes grouped together with the onion family (Liliaceae). When grouped with the onion family, Allium schoenoprasum is the smallest of 500 species of perennials that contain bulbs or underground stems. Chives contain a pungent volatile oil, rich in sulfur.
  • Chives and other members of the larger onion family have been used for many centuries for their pungency and flavoring value in food, and for their medicinal properties, including relief from sunburn and sore throat. In some parts of the world, the use of chives also has religious connotations; Romanian gypsies (Romani) have used chives in fortune-telling, and others have suggested that hanging chives around the house wards off disease and evil.
  • Based on in vitro study, chives may exert antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral effects. Chives may also have some anticarcinogenic effects. In a population-based, case-control study conducted in Shanghai, China, an association was made between the consumption of Allium vegetables, including chives, and a reduced risk of prostate cancer (2).
  • At this time, there is a lack of high-quality human trials supporting the efficacy of chives for any indication.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.