Categories
Herbs & Plants

Garlic Chives (Alum Tuberosum)

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Botanical Name: Allium tuberosum
Family: Alliaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Genus: Allium
Species: A. tuberosum, A. ramosum
Common Name: Garlic Chives
Other Common Names: Chinese Chive, Chinese Chives, Chinese Leek, Chiu, Feng Pen, Garlic Chives, Nira, Oriental Garlic Chives

Habitat:Cultivated Beds.According to official records,  it is often cultivated as a garden plant. This is surprising, considering its aggressive nature. However, the webmaster has observed clumps of naturalized plants that were growing in 3 different locations in the Champaign-Urbana area in Champaign County, Illinois . Garlic Chives has naturalized in parts of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nebraska, and it seems likely that this plant has naturalized in other counties of Illinois as well. It is native to China and parts of SE Asia. So far, habitats in Illinois include a degraded meadow in a wooded area, the bank of a drainage ditch, and the edge of a yard along a sidewalk. Several clumps of Garlic Chives have persisted in the meadow for several years.

Description:
Plant Type: Perennial
Where To Plant: Full Sun to Partly Shady
Soil Types: Average
Germination: Easy
Uses: Culinary
Notes: Good pot plant, can grow in windows, good in cooking.
ALLIUM TUBEROSUM.  Has the same great garlic flavor as the previous form but features attractive mauve flowers. The most delicate member of the onion family. Chopped leaves offer great improvement to salads, soups, vegetables, omelet’s, and cheese dishes. Essential kitchen herb! Palatable as it is to humans, nasty insects stay away in droves from it and neighboring plants....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

. The plant has a distinctive growth habit with strap-shaped leaves  unlike either onion or garlic, and straight thin white-flowering stalks that are much taller than the leaves. It grows in slowly expanding perennial clumps, but also readily sprouts from seed. Besides its use as vegetable, it also has attractive flowers

The cultivated form is Allium tuberosum while the wild form is placed as A. ramosum. Older references list it as A. odorum but that is now considered a synonym of A. ramosum. Some botanists would place both wild and cultivated forms in A. ramosum since many intermediate forms exist.

A relatively new vegetable in the English-speaking world but well-known in Asian cuisine, the flavor of garlic chives is more like garlic than chives, though much milder. Both leaves and the stalks of the flowers are used as a flavoring similarly to chives, green onions or garlic and are used as a stir fry ingredient. In China, they are often used to make dumplings with a combination of egg, shrimp and pork. They are a common ingredient in Chinese jiaozi dumplings and the Japanese and Korean equivalents. The flowers may also be used as a spice. In Vietnam, the leaves of garlic chives are cut up into short pieces and used as the only vegetable in a soup of broth and sliced pork kidneys.

Many garden centers carry it as do most Asian supermarkets.

A Chinese flatbread similar to the green onion pancake may be made with garlic chives instead of scallions; such a pancake is called a jiucai bing  or jiucai you bing . Chives is also one of the main ingredient used with Yi mein dishes.

Garlic chives are widely used in Korean cuisine, most notably in dishes such as buchukimchi ( garlic chive kimchi), buchujeon (garlic chive pancakes), or jaecheopguk (a guk, or clear soup, made with garlic chives and Asian clams).

Other Uses:
The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles

Medicinal Uses:
Antibacterial; Cardiac; Digestive; Stomachic; Tonic.

The whole plant is antibacterial, cardiac, depurative, digestive, stimulant, stomachic and tonic. It is an anti-emetic herb that improves kidney function[238]. It is used internally to treat urinary incontinence, kidney and bladder weaknesses etc.

The seed is carminative and stomachic. They are used in India in the treatment of spermatorrhoea.

The leaves and the bulbs are applied to bites, cuts and wounds
In Chinese herbal medicine, garlic chives have been used to treat fatigue, control excessive bleeding, and as an antidote for ingested poisons. The leaves and bulbs are applied to insect bites, cuts, and wounds, while the seeds are used to treat kidney, liver, and digestive system problems.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


Resources:

http://www.sandmountainherbs.com/chives_garlic.html
http://www.mountainvalleygrowers.com/alltuberosum.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garlic_chives
http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Allium+tuberosum
http://www.eol.org/pages/1085072

Categories
Fruits & Vegetables

Onion

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You are what you eat. Some of the gravest health problems can be caused by food and yet, food can also be a cure for many an ailment.

CLICK & SEE THE ONION PLANT 

Onion, like its cousin garlic, is a member of the Allium family. It is rich is certain sulphur-containing compounds. It is these compounds that are responsible for the pungent smell and fumes as well as the various health benefits,

It is Rich in chromium, Vitamin C and dietary fibre.

– Onions have blood sugar regulating effects due to its chromium content as well as increasing insulin availability. This makes it a friend of diabetics.
– Regular consumption of onion reduces bad cholesterol and high blood pressure. It also reduces atherosclerosis.
– Eating onions as little as 2-3 times a week significantly reduces risk of colon cancer
– Onions have this compound that inhibits the breakdown of bone cells thereby reducing osteoporosis.
– The anti bacterial property of onion has long been recognised by Ayurveda. The anti-inflammatory agents present in onions help reduce the cell-inflammation in conditions like asthma and respiratory tract infection. Onion soup could be nature’s own remedy to soothe a cold!

If you ignore the slight side-effect of onion-breath, onions can be just good for you.

Onions have been used for their medicinal properties for centuries. A paste or Ointment made out of onion is said to prevent infection in wounds and burns. Another use externally for age spots, warts, or freckles is to mix onion juice with vinegar and rub on the affected areas. One amusing bit of folklore says that if you put onion juice on your head and then sit out in the sun, you can cure baldness….

Onions and all the other members of the Allium family are thought to have some impact on high cholesterol and blood pressure. An onion Tea can be made and used daily, but I’m not sure how that would taste. The prudent thing for blood pressure and high cholesterol is probably to just include onions in your diet at every opportunity. Unfortunately, the down side to this is that onion compounds travel through the body when ingested and it takes time to process them out through sweat or breathing. Just brushing the teeth doesn’t make the odor go away. So, you’ll live to a ripe old age, but nobody will want to be around you…..

In Ayurveda both Charaka and Shushruta believed onion to be a strengthening food.

*Drinking the mixed juice of onion and bitter gourd cures severe indigestion.
*The juice of a boiled and crushed onion clears phlegm.
*Eating onion helps to clear phlegm from the throat and mouth. Teeth turn brighter. It sharpens the memory and strengthens the nerves.
*One spoonful of onion juice eliminates worms in the stomach of children

Handling onions
Next time you chop an onion and it stings your eyes, remember this is the compound that makes you cry and bestows so many benefits.

Some people soak the halved onion pieces in water before chopping it. But this process causes a loss of nutrients and you may not reap the full benefits of this vegetable. The best way to avoid the tears is to chill the onions for some time before you start chopping. Also, chopping onions in standing position will keep your eyes away from the line of fumes and lessen the eye irritatio.

Some ways to use onion in your diet:

*Use sliced onions in salads with tomatoes, cucumber slices and feta cheese, flavoured with salt, pepper and juice of a lime.
*Roast onion slices in an oven and use them as a garnish on curries and gravy vegetables.
*Make a paste of onions, tomato, garlic, ginger, red chillies and salt. Saut in a little oil and use as gravy for your favourite vegetables.
*Sliced onions can be cooked with any vegetable like cauliflower, gourds, peas, ladys finger, etc., to make a dry curry.
*Mix finely chopped onions in whole wheat flour, with a sprinkling of salt, pepper, ajwain (omum). Bind the dough and roll out into chapattis/parathas.
*Sliced onions can be added to any cooked lentils/ beans like tur dal, rajma, Kabuli chana, chana dal, black-eyed peas.
*Add finely chopped onions to fresh curds with some grated carrots to make a refreshing raita (pachadi).
SOME HEALTH BENEFITS OF EATING RAW ONIONS:-

Health benefits of eating raw onions: Cures constipation:

The fiber in raw onions help flush out toxins and hard food particles that get stuck in the intestines. If you are suffering from constipation, have raw onions.

An Ayurveda medicine for sore throat: If you are suffering from cold, cough and a sore throat, have fresh onion juice. Add jaggery or honey to the onion juice.

Remedy for bleeding problems: Have a bleeding nose or suffer from piles? Have raw onions. It is one simple and effective home remedy to cure piles naturally. To cure a bleeding nose, cut a raw onion and smell it for some time. The white onions can help cure bleeding problems.

Controls diabetes: This is one of the health benefits of eating raw onions. If consumed raw, onions increase the production of insulin. So, if you are diabetic, you have a good reason to munch crisp raw onion salad regularly.

Protects the heart: Regular consumption of raw onion protects the heart from coronary diseases. It control high blood pressure and also opens blocked arteries. This is one of the known health benefits of eating raw onions.

Controls cholesterol levels: The small herbaceous plant vegetable has a very good health benefit for obese people and heart patients. Raw onions control cholesterol by reducing the bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. It has methylallyl sulphide as well as the sulphur-containing amino-acids that lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol (HDL) levels.Prevents growth of cancer cells: Onion is rich in sulphur compounds. Sulphur protects the body from stomach, colon, breast, lung and prostate cancer and prevents the growth of cancer cells. It also helps cure urinary tract disorders.

We often see tears flowing from the eyes while chopping onions. The sulphur-containing oils and organic sulphides lead to tears once it enters the nostrils. These oils help treat anemia. Note that the oils and the effect of organic sulphides reduce when the onions are cooked. So, to treat anemia, have raw onions. These are few health benefits of eating raw onions. You can have raw onions in sandwiches, mix with your vegetable salad or use as toppings for hamburgers and chaats. To prevent the strong and pungent mouth odor of raw onions, brush your teeth and have some mouth fresheners like cardamom or clove

Ext.from:/www.chennaionline.com/health and http://www.gardensablaze.com/VegOnion.htm

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