Many people plant chives in the backyard as it is a plant easy to grow, especially in summer they will thrive very quickly. When the plant is mature, cutting the chives and using them in dishes, does not require the plant to be replanted. Chives are a very green and lush plant that is not only useful as an ingredient but also for decoration in the garden. In Chinese medicine chives are not only a good vegetable to eat but are also used for food diet therapy, especially for its warming effects.
- Causes of cold limbs
Many of my patients suffer from cold legs and feet. Sometimes these symptoms can be the main problem or may be part of a disease or internal organ disorder. Chinese medicine considers yang energy to supply warmth to the body and controls circulation. Kidney and spleen yang is important for warming the arms, hands, legs and feet. If the kidney and spleen yang is deficient, it will cause these areas to be cold and even painful.
- Symptoms of kidney and spleen yang deficiency
When people suffer from kidney and spleen yang deficiency they not only have cold hands and feet but also may have puffy ankles, lower back, knee or leg pain, lack of energy, frequent urination, insomnia, diarrhea, bloating, poor appetite, nauseous or wake early, for women the period may be delayed or with period pain (lower abdomen and back) and for men they can suffer from impotence or lowered libido. I realised in our clinic that some people who have kidney and spleen yang deficiency, sometimes also have combined arthritis, under-reactive thyroid, varicose veins and Raynaud’s phenomenon.
I suggest that if you have any of the symptoms above, you should find out the causes of this and certain medical attention should be payed. Whilst you are undergoing treatment, you can eat certain foods which will complement your treatment. Chives is one of these foods, I suggest a dish you can eat; stir fried chives and egg – please see the recipe below.
- Health effects of chives as food
Chives are spicy in taste and has warming characteristics. It acts to strengthen the kidneys, bringing yang and warmth energy to the lower part of the body to help improve circulation.
- i) Warming the circulation and hand & feet
As we mentioned above, the symptoms from kidney and spleen yang deficiency can be reduced or prevented if you add chives to your meals.
- ii) Helping to relieve joint pain during the cold season
As chives can warm and improve circulation around the body, it is an ideal food to eat during the cold season to reduce or prevent the following symptoms: Tightness and coldness around joints, pain in the joints especially being worse in winter or on a cold day.
iii) Help to improving sex drive
Chinese medicine considers, kidney yang to dominate sexual function. In Chinese herbal medicine they call chives the plant that “increases yang and sexual function grass”. If you suffer from impotence you can eat chives in your meals to help improve your condition if you having frequently and persistently, it will give you lots of benefits for your kidney and spleen yang weak, whilst you are undergoing treatment.
1) Stir fried chives and eggs
Small handful of chives chopped in 2 cm long
Fry the eggs so it becomes an omelet. Once this is cooked add chives and mix for 2 minutes. You can add salt for taste.
Effects: Strengthens kidney yang; warms circulation and feet.
This dish is very popular in China, after cooking it is a very attractive dish with its green and yellow colour. The smell and taste is also delicious. If you suffer from the conditions above you can eat this dish 2 or 3 times a week.
2) Chives are very easy to cook in many dishes such as soup, stir fry, pastas, salads or pizzas. To decrease the symptoms mentioned above one handful of chives is recommended to be eaten daily.
- i) If you have skin problems or your body has a fever or infection, it is best to avoid eating chives. As chives are spicy and warm.
- ii) It is best to eat chives cooked, if eaten raw only a small amount should be eaten as it may cause reflux.
iii) If you are unsure of your body constitution, you should seek a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner to find out.
If you enjoy gardening, try planting some chives to enjoy both of its beneficial effects of its look and diet therapy.