Spring is here! Wild garlic and onion chives are abundant. When foraging, be sure they smell like garlic/onion when you break them to avoid poisonous look-a-likes. And avoid collecting near busy, polluted roadsides, etc.
All parts of these plants are edible, and very nutritious and healing (antimicrobial, good for respiratory problems, etc.). They contain high amounts of vitamin C. It is helpful to have a free source of vitamin C, since research shows that this antioxidant is even more important to health than previously realized.
In one study, both regular garlic and wild garlic lowered insulin levels and blood pressure in hypertensive rats, compared to controls. But the beneficial effects of wild garlic were greater than regular garlic:
“Wild garlic has a greater effect than regular garlic on blood pressure and blood chemistries of rats…In addition, AU [wild garlic] decreased total cholesterol significantly and tended to increase HDL compared to AS [regular garlic].”
(Int Urol Nephrol. 2001;32)
These plants also have high antioxidant properties, etc:
“…extracts from different parts exhibited high free radicals scavenging activity.”
(Phytochem Rev. 2015)
“…we provided evidence for the hypothesis that A. ursinum leaves and flowers extract exerts anti-inflammatory activity…”
(“Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Allium ursinum”)
In conclusion, it appears that wild garlic and wild onions have all the beneficial properties of the domesticated species, yet in greater amounts!
[We recently used the wild chives to make a pesto sauce for homemade pizza. It turned out great. The wild chives are stronger, so use less than normal]