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Chives is the name given to the smallest species of the onion family, which also includes onions, garlic, shallots and leeks. Chives have long, hollow, grasslike stalks that get up to about 24 inches long. They generally grow in clumps.

When the stalks are eaten they have a light but oniony flavour. The leaves of chives are used, after shredding.

The Latin name for chives is Allium Schoenoprasum.

When left to flower, they develop light lavender, pom-pom-like flower.


The first recorded use of chives occurred in China in about 3000 B.C.. Some say that Marco Polo brought the idea to use chives back with him from the East. (Marco Polo is credited with many of these types of idea migrations).

In any case there is no real evidence for their common use until about the 1500s when they found their way into both dishes and herb gardens.

Like many of our words for herbs, “chive” comes to us from the Latin and via Old French. It originally comes from cepa (Latin) and cive (Old French). The first recorded use for the world in English was around 1400. The botanical name actually comes from the Greek meaning, “reed-like.

Chives are native to both Europe and Asia. It grows wild all across both regions, but there are slight variations in different locations. A variety found in the Alps is the one nearest to what is generally cultivated today. Medieval gardeners often planted chives around the borders for both decoration and to ward off harmful insects. It was thought that hanging bunches of chives around a house could also ward off evil.


The nutritional value and health benefits of chives makes them ideal for maintaining optimum health and weight loss.

Don’t include too many chives in your diet if you’re interested in weight gain.

Nutritional Profile

Chives are low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium and high in dietary fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, thiamine, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus and zinc.


The information provided is for educational purposes only and must not be taken or interpreted as a suggestion or as medical advise.

If you have any medical conditions, you should consult your health care professional.

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