Chives: Health Benefits

The Romans seem to have believed that chives could relieve a sore throat and sunburns1. Later generations believed that they could send harmful vapors up to the brain2. There were also unsubstantiated beliefs in the effect of chives to increase blood-pressure as well as to induce urination3.

Chives Flowering Image

Because they are not generally eaten in large quantities, one serving of chives is considered to be only 1 tablespoon (3 grams). Probably the most prominent vitamin contained in chives is vitamin K (8% of daily recommended amount per serving). They also contains vitamins A and C (3% each). Calcium is the most prominent mineral with 2.8 mg. There are also small amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium4. Chives are very nutritious, and should be classified as a vegetable in the food pyramid.

Chives are known to be a mild anti-inflammatory. They also have some antibiotic properties, like the other plants in the allium group (onions, garlic, et al). Some studies indicate that they may have some cancer-fighting properties especially in stomach and colorectal cancers. It seems that chives contain organo-sulfur compounds and allyl derivatives that "inhibit carcinogenesis"5. But the quantities in which these substances would have to be consumed to have the optimum effect are not yet known.

Studies also indicate that chives as well as other vegetables in the onion family might be effective in fighting prostate cancer. However, chives were shown not to be as effective as garlic in this regard. Nevertheless only a small intake is sufficient to have a positive effect6.

Chives are also effective against many strains of salmonella. An extract of chives could actually be applied to different foods. However, this extract when exposed to temperatures greater than 121° Fahrenheit (49° Celsius) lost its protective quality.7

Next Page: Chives in the Kitchen

  1. Selfsufficientish
  2. Recipeland
  3. Ref to: - History of Herbs
  4. Nutrition Data
  5. Nutra Ingredients
  6. Health and Age
  7. Ref to:


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