Chinese chives (Allium tuberosum), also known as garlic chives, are a well-known green vegetable in China used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat impotence and nocturnal emissions. Other allium plants have been shown to have kidney-protective effects. Therefore, researchers from Hefei University of Technology in China looked at the protective effects of Chinese chive extracts against chronic kidney failure in mice. (Related: Try this instead of oysters: Garlic chives are a natural way to increase libido and treat erectile dysfunction.)
In the study, the researchers administered adenine to mice to induce chronic kidney failure. They then treated the animals for five weeks with water or ethanol extracts obtained from Chinese chives. The administration of adenine caused damage to the kidneys of mice and increased the levels of creatinine and urea nitrogen in their blood. High levels of serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen indicate impaired kidney function.
However, these damages caused by adenine were reduced upon treatment with Chinese chive water extracts. The Chinese chive water extract significantly reduced renal pathological damages, serum creatinine, and blood urea nitrogen levels. At the same time, it significantly inhibited oxidative stress and inflammation in the kidneys of mice with chronic kidney failure. These results indicated that Chinese chive water extracts can improve kidney function in mice with chronic kidney failure by increasing the antioxidative activity and inhibiting inflammation in the kidneys. With these findings, the researchers concluded that Chinese chive water extracts may be used to develop a functional food supplement that can treat chronic kidney failure.
Chronic kidney failure affects about 30 million Americans. People with diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease, those who have a family member with kidney disease, and people aged over 60 have a higher risk of developing the condition. Many people who suffer from chronic kidney failure may also experience complications like anemia, bone disease, heart disease, high potassium, high calcium, and fluid buildup.
In addition to their kidney-protective effects, Chinese chives provide other health benefits. Chinese chives are rich in vitamin C, which helps protect against the common cold and fever. Chinese chives also have high amounts of beta-carotene, iron, potassium, riboflavin or vitamin B2, thiamin or vitamin B1, and vitamin A – all of which help increase blood count, regulate blood pressure, and boost immunity. Moreover, Chinese chives are low in fat, which means that they are safe for people suffering from obesity to consume.
Chinese chives are also rich in fiber, which can help prevent digestive problems like constipation, and lower the risk of developing colon cancer. The antioxidant effects of vitamin A and vitamin C, together with its high fiber content, enable Chinese chives to help prevent cardiovascular problems. In addition, these chives are also rich in protein, which works together with fiber to maintain a healthy and balanced metabolism.
These herbs are commonly used for cooking in China and other Asian countries. Chinese chives have a mild garlic flavor, which is a good choice for those who don't like the fuller flavor of garlic. Chinese chives are used the same way as regular chives; they can be added in salad dressings and soups, or used as a garnish. They are also used in spring rolls, chow mein, and scrambled eggs.
Read more about Chinese chives and other natural foods that can help with kidney problems at FoodScience.news.