Its botanical name is Allium schoenoprasum but is better known as "chives".
It is a herbaceous plant, native to China but widespread throughout the world, which belongs to the Liliaceae family. On the etymology of his name there are several assumptions. For some it may derive from the Latin "allium" or garlic, while others attribute it Celtic origins due to the pungent smell and taste: "all" in fact would mean warm or better something burning.
In ancient times it was considered a plant with magical properties, already known in the Middle Ages.
Today it is practically indispensable in the kitchen where all parts of the plant, leaves, bulbs and flowers can be used. It is cultivated in wetlands and blooms in spring. After buying it fresh or freshly picked, the chives must be consumed in a short time or stored in the freezer to preserve their nutritional properties. Dried instead loses the aromatic essence. It is generally used to flavor soups or soups, meat or fish dishes and cheeses, but it can also be added to the salad because it has a less intense flavor than that of the classic onion. It can also be blended with other herbs to make delicious sauces. After eating it raw, however, the breath will certainly not be perfumed. To avoid this problem one could, for example, chew two cloves. In addition to its aromatic essence, chives are rich in vitamin C and trace elements, including magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. It also contains vitamins A and B. It has digestive, diuretic, healing, antiseptic and mucolytic properties. It is therefore recommended to eat chives when you have stomach pain and abdominal bloating and also in case of colds. It has in fact a disinfectant action and favors the decongestion of the upper airways. Finally, the chive has hypotensive properties (it lowers the pressure) and is therefore suitable for those suffering from heart problems and hypertension.
The beneficial effects of chives are obtained both when it is eaten and when it is used for external applications. In this regard, the oil obtained from the juice of the plant is very useful, which can be applied to the skin to eliminate unsightly stains, thus having a keratolic effect. The fresh juice of the chives, obtained with the typical centrifuge, can also be passed on the skin to remove mosquitoes. The frictions performed on the scalp instead stop hair loss. Finally, the flesh of this plant can be used to heal sores and wounds or to make pimples mature. The infusions are obviously more known. To obtain the diuretic effect, it is advisable to drink, in the morning on an empty stomach, a decoction obtained by boiling ten grams of chives in one hundred ml of water. Against intestinal infections and also to eliminate uric acid, responsible for gout, you need to drink at least three cups a day, adding a little lemon juice. Instead, to have the mucolytic action and therefore to expel the phlegm more easily, four or five cups a day of a hot infusion, prepared with twenty grams of this herb and a hundred ml of water, are recommended. The infusion however must last at least a quarter of an hour. Finally, to get a mild laxative effect, you can eat a plate of boiled and seasoned chives with oil and salt every day before the evening meal.
The chives, we have said, is very similar to the onion both for the taste and for the pungent smell that is also attached to the hands and to the dishes that are used in the kitchen.
Here are some practical tips for slicing it without crying. For example you can cut it and put it in cold water with vinegar for ten minutes, or keep it in the freezer for a few minutes before using it. The classic remedy of the grandmother is to wet the blade of the knife or to look at the running water while cutting it. However, this is only recommended for cooks or for those who are familiar with the knife, as there is a risk of cutting your fingers. The last suggestion is to dip the onion first in boiling water and then in the cold one for a few moments. Another suggestion concerns the consumption of raw "onion" in salad. To make it more digestible you could, in fact, put it in salt for a few minutes and then rinse it. And finally, to remove the bad smell from your hands you can use Marseille soap, adding a teaspoon of ground coffee. To eliminate instead the "stink" from the dishes you can rub the object (the knife or the cutting board) with a carrot.