[a medicinal cooking blog: using food as medicine to treat whatever may ail you]

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Circulating Chives

Chives are another of the lovely young onions popping up in the Spring. Along with their magenta colored flowers they are a wonderful addition for the culinary and medicinal palate. In Chinese Medicine chives specifically target the kidneys, liver, and stomach. Which means, they can influence those organs specifically along with influencing the functions of those organ systems. Chives dry dampness (dampness can manifest as lethargy, obesity, loose stools, cloudy-mindedness, phlegm, and sluggishness). According to Paul Pitchford chives are also excellent in the treatment of bruises and swellings from injury, you can apply them directly (crushed and juiced) onto the affected area and/or consume 2-3 cups of chive tea per day (or consume 2 ounces fresh). Chives increase the circulation and warm up the body. The purple color of the flowers places it in the category of being further influential on the circulation of blood, as red colored foods often will be. The acrid taste is also very moving, you can almost feel this as you bite into a fresh chive and it emits warmth and spice.

Chives are thermally warm so they can treat cold conditions such as arthritis that is affected by cold, or a digestive system that is cold in nature (whereby you may get instant loose stools upon ingesting a cold beverage). You should avoid chives if you are experiencing any outwardly hot condition such as red inflamed acne, red eyes, or red inflammations. If you want to learn how to grow chives (which can be dried and stored for winter use), then go here.

You can add chives to virtually any dish it seems. I like them in scrambled eggs. I've also been adding them to salads and salad dressings, sprinkled over a meat dish, and chopped into soups. Do with them as you wish, but definitely have some on hand for your medicinal and tasty arsenal. If you have any additional chive recipes or wisdom please do share below!

Scrambled Eggs with Chives

farm fresh eggs
chives with flowers

1. Gently saute eggs on a low heat and add chives half way through. Salt and pepper to taste. If you want to cut the onion taste a little with sweetness, add a dollop of goat cheese.

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