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Family Liliaceae
Allium ramosum Linn.


Scientific names  Common names
Aglitheis tatarica (L.f.) Raf. Gana (Bis.)
Allium beckerianum Regel Kieu-tsai (Chin.)
Allium diaphanum Janka Kuchai (Tag.)
Allium lancipetalum Y.P.Hsu Kuchay (Tag.)
Allium odorum L.. Kutsai (Chin.)
Allium potaninii Regel Chinese chives (Engl.)
Allium ramosum L. Flowering leek (Engl.)
Allium senescens Miq. Flowering garlic chives (Engl.)
Allium tataricum L.f. Fragrant flowered garlic (Engl.)
Allium umbellatum Haller f. ex Steud.  
Allium weichanicum Palib.  
Moly odorum (L.) Moench  
Allium odorum L. is a synonym of Allium ramosum L. The Plant List
Allium ramosum L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Nian hua, Nian hua jiu cai, Nin fa kau ts'oi (Hong Kong), Kieu-tsai, Jia cai hua, Ye jiu.
GERMAN: Listiger lauch, Nausdauernder Lauch, Schnittporree.
INDIA: Maroi-nakuppi.
KOREAN: Butschu.
RUSSIAN: Luk dushistyi.
SPANISH: Pererro.
SWEDISH: Doftlok.

Kuchai is a kind of leek, ranked-scented, green, growing 20 to 40 centimeters high. Bulbs are small, white and clustered. Leaves are green, grasslike, narrowly linear, flattish, 15 to 30 centimeters long, 3 to 6 millimeters wide. Umbel has a few to many white flowers. The perianth is bell-shaped. Fruits are on pedicels of 2 to 3 centimeters long, obovoid, 3-lobed, 5 to 7 millimeters in diameter. Seeds are black, depressed, globose or reniform, 2.5 to 3 millimeters in diameter. In the Philippines, the plant seldom flowers.

- Cultivated in the Manila area by the Chinese.
- Probably introduced in early times.
- Native of China and Japan.

- Vegetable ingredient is characterized by high protein and high carbohydrate and fructose. It has a high vitamin C content, 460±46 mg/100g; vitamin E, 3.3±0.96 mg/100g, and zinc, 8.87±0.55 mg/100g.  (9)
- Physiochemical composition of dry Allium odorum per in g/100 g: (1) dry matter 89.70±1.95; (2) fat, 0.60±0.06; total protein, 23.00±1.30; total carbohydrates, 56.25±2.60, minerals, 9.85±0.98, saccharose 5.6±0.23, glucose, 60.3±0.1; galactose, 5.8± 0.081, fructose 4.6±0.08, vitamin C 460.00±46.00 mg/100g, vitamin E 3.33±0.96 mg/100g. (9)
- Amino acid analysis yielded 30 free amino acids with a total concentration of 3124±1.43 mg/100g, with high concentrations of asparagine (572.2±0.08 mg/100g), glutamine (486.3±0.01 mg/100g), and alanine (250.9±0.03 mg/100g). (9)
- In analysis of fatty acid composition, palmitic acid was highest in concentration (30.55±0.01 g/100g. High concentrations were also recorded for tetracosenoic fatty acid. Polyunsaturated fatty acids yielded linoleic acid, linolenic acid, docosadienoic acid, and tetracosodienoic acid. (9)
- Nutritive analysis of leaves yielded crude protein 17.006 ± 0.072%, crude fat 2.133 ± 0.042 %, ash 1.567 ± 0.026 %, moisture 71.960 ± 0.115%, crude fiber 5.204 ± 0.005 %, total carbohydrate 7.344 ± 0.096 %, nutritive value 1166.933 ± 7.215 cal Kg. Elemental composition (mg/100g) yielded Ca 72.427 ± 0.455 mg, Mg 32.320 ± 0.640 mg, Mn 0.217 ± 0.027 mg, Ni 0.079 ± 0.028 mg, Cu 0.231 ± 0.012 mg, Zn 0.127 — 0.006 mg, Fe 1.072 ± 0.070 mg. (10)
- Phytochemical screening of water and ethanol extract yielded saponins, tannins, phenols, volatile oils, and amino acids; only the water extract yielded flavonoids. (11)

- Excellent source of calcium, phosphorus and iron.
- Bulbs considered antiseptic and vulnerary.

- Whole plant considered diuretic, digestive, carminative.
- Studies have suggested antioxidant, antifungal, antihypertensive properties.

Parts utilized
- Leaves, bark, bulb, whole plant.

Edibility / Culinary
- Used like onion or food flavoring spice.
- Leaves used in the preparation of Chinese dishes, and often cooked with liver.

• Externally, the fresh leaves and bulbs are used as antiseptic and vulnerary.
• Used for wounds and bruises.
• Leaves taken internally, act as a cordial.
• Bark used for urinary tract infections by the Ifugao-migrants of the Sierra Madre.
• In Indo-Chiina, whole plant used as a diuretic.
• In Manipur, used for hemolytic anemia and insomnia.
• In Peru, used for bronchitis and asthma: fresh, whole plant diced, boiled with sugar and ginger until thick, and taken a spoonful every six hours for one week.
• An ingredient of a herbal formulation (Allium odorum, Allium sativum, Tinospora cordifolia, Adhatoda vasica and Tridax procumbens) to treat coccidiosis.

Antioxidant: Study showed part of the Allium family possess antioxidant capability. Heat treatments reduced the antioxidant activity for most foods. (1)
Antifungal: Study of extracts of 7 Allium plants, including Chinese chive, were examined for antifungal activity against three Aspergillus species: A niger, A flavus and A fumigatus. All the plants possessed antifungal activity, the inhibitory activity decreased with increasing incubation and heating temperature. Acetic acid plus heat treatment of the extracts resulted in greater inhibition. (2)
Hypotensive / Antihypertensive: Study of ethanol extract of Chinese chives (Allium odorum) showed hypotensive and antihypertensive effect. (3)
• Antibacterial: Study evaluated the phytochemical constituents and antibacterial properties of aqueous and ethanol extracts of Z. armatum, E. foetidum, and Allium odorum. Antimicrobial activity was tested against two gram positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus) and two gram negative bacteria (Klebsiella pneumonia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa). A. odorum was next to Z. armatum in antibacterial activity. (see constituents above) (11)


Extracts and seeds in the cybermarket.

© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Updated May 2018 / November 2015

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Seeds / Allium odorum L. - Chinese chives ALOD2 / Tracey Slotta @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Antioxidant Activity of Several Allium Member / J. Agric. Food Chem., 1998, 46 (10), pp 4097–4101 DOI: 10.1021/jf980344x

Inhibitory effect of seven Allium plants upon three Aspergillus species / Mei-chin Yin and Shih-ming Tsao / International Journal of Food Microbiology, Volume 49, Issues 1-2, 1 August 1999, Pages 49-56
Sorting Allium names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / A Work in Progress / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne
Medicinal plants used in Peru for the treatment of respiratory disorders / Rainer W. Bussmann* and Ashley Glenn / Rev. peru. biol. 17(2): 331 - 346 (Agosto 2010)

The use of medicinal plants by Ifugao-migrants in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountain range.
/ Jasper Wester
A herbal formulation to treat coccidiosis WO 2012131731 A / 1 / Patents
Allium ramosum L. / Synonyms / The Plant List
Incorporating Allium odorum as a Vegetable Ingredient of Processed Cheeses. / Alimardanova MK, DA Tlevlesova*, Zh Simov, D Dimitrov, AI Matibayeva / Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences, May-June 2015, 6(3).
PROXIMATE ANALYSIS AND MINERAL (ELEMENTAL) COMPOSITION OF CERTAIN SPICES OF MANIPUR, INDIA / Somananda K.. Ahongshangbam / International Research Journal of Pharmacy (2017); 8(1)
Pharmacognostical evaluation and antibacterial activity of medicinally important spices occurred in local area of Manipur / Longjam Usharani, Wahengbam R. C. Singh, Sh. Surodhani and W. N. Singh / Asian Journal of Plant Science and Research, 2016, 6(2):42-45

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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