The garlic chive is a member of the onion family. It is native to Europe and Asia, where it grows wild in fields and meadows. Garlic chives have long been used medicinally. They contain vitamin A, C and E, folic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. They are cultivated throughout the world. In China, they are believed to bring good fortune and longevity.
The young shoots of garlic chives make a great garnish for salads. You can also use the leaves as a substitute for scallions.
Garlic chives are easy to grow from seed or division. Plant them in full sun in rich soil that has not received much fertilizer. Water regularly during dry spells. Harvest when the tops begin to die back. The plant will continue to produce new growth until frost kills it.
Garlic Chives are an annual herbaceous perennial vegetable crop grown worldwide. In addition to being used as a culinary ingredient, garlic chives are used medicinally as both food and medicine. They are considered one of the most nutritious vegetables.
A bulbous plant with a stout stem that can grow up to 1 meter tall. The leaves are alternate, compound, pinnate, with 2-5 leaflets. Each leaflet has 3 or 5 lobes. The flowers are white, tubular, about 4 mm long, borne singly on short stalks. The fruit is a small round capsule containing numerous seeds. The root system is shallow and fibrous.
In cultivation, garlic chives prefer full sun but will tolerate light shade. They do not require much water once established. Planting time varies depending on location. In temperate climates, plants should be planted in spring after soil temperatures reach 50° F. In tropical areas, planting may occur at any time of year. Plants need to be watered regularly during dry periods.
Moist, well drained, fertile, organic matter rich soils work best.
Use organic fertilizer. Apply when seedlings emerge.
Keep evenly moist during warm weather. Water less frequently during cool weather.
When mature bulbs form, harvest by cutting off the entire stalk above ground level. Harvest before frost.
Store in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.
Garlic chives are high in vitamins A and C, folate, thiamine, niacin, pantothenic acid, copper, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. They also contain fiber, protein, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids and antioxidants.
Garlic chives are used as medicine since ancient times. They are known to improve digestion, boost immunity, reduce cholesterol levels, treat colds, coughs, sore throats, ulcers, wounds, burns and insect bites.
Chives are used medicinally for treating colds, coughs, sore throats, indigestion, and other ailments. They also help prevent heart disease and cancer.
The best way to use them is to chop up some fresh chive leaves and add them to soups, stews, salads, and sandwiches.
Dr. Vandana K.