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Benefits of Chives
61. About This Plant
Once you plant chives in your garden, chances are youll always have them. Chives are hardy perennial plants and can be easily dug up and divided when they get too large. Plus, the attractive purple flowers scatter their seeds, so you likely see numerous chive seedlings each spring.
62. Site Selection
Choose an area in full sun to part shade. Chives prefer rich soil and will tolerate either moist or dry conditions. The leafy greens contain several vital vitamins such as pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin in healthy proportions.
63. Planting Instructions
Start plants from seed, purchase a plant or two, or dig up part of a clump from a neighbors garden. If seeding, plant in midtolate spring. Sow in clusters 1 to 11/2 feet apart. They also have some other essential vitamins such as vitamin C, and K, in fact; chives are one of the richest sources of vitamin K, comparatively more than that of in scallions.
Water young plants throughout the growing season. Once established, mature chive plants need minimal care. Remove flowers after they bloom to prevent plants from selfsowing. Small clumps of chives potted in the fall will grow indoors. Divide the plants every three or four years.
You can begin harvesting about six weeks after planting or as soon as established plants resume growth in the spring. As you need leaves, cut the outer ones right back to the base. Use them fresh or frozen; they do not retain their flavor well when dried.
The plant cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. Chives may be propagated by planting seeds but are cultivated more commonly by dividing the clumps and planting the tiny bulbs.
Sweet and pungent in flavor, warm in nature, it is related to the liver, stomach and kidney channels. The whole plant, seeds and root are used for medicinal purposes, or used as a main dish, or for seasoning foods, particularly eggs, soups, salads, and vegetables. Both the slender, vividgreen stalks and the lavender flowers are edible.
Warms the middle region, helps appetite, invigorates qi, activates the blood, benefits the kidneys, supplements yang. The whole plant is also used for constipation and gastroenteritis (inflammation of the lining membrane of the stomach and the intestines).
Generally, roots off chives are used for activating blood, trauma, difficult swallowing and bleedings, including nasal bleeding, hemoptysis (expectoration of blood from some part of the respiratory tract) and prolapse of anus. Chive root is good for all kinds of bleeding.
70. Dosage and Administration
Rinse fresh chives in cold water just before using. Snip fresh chives into omelettes or soups, add them to cheese or tofu spreads, or toss the flowers into salads. Add fresh chives toward the end of cooking time to retain their flavor and keep them from turning bitter.
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