Allium Tuberosum (韭菜)

Allum tuberosum or garlic hives is cultivated throughout Asian countries and it is one of those common vegetables in Asian kitchens.

Garlic chives and garlics have the same healing effects. Its special powerful scent can enhance appetite and also our energy. Although it is beneficial to consume garlic chives and garlics, consumption of vegetables with strong aromatic scents is prohibited by Buddhist precepts. There is a story that being passed down:

There were many bhiksu (monks) and bhiksuni (nuns) practising dharma with the Buddha. Within the group, there was a bhiksuni who did not like to follow the rules and she always got into troubles.

One day, this bhiksuni went to a vegetable garden and the gardener gave her some garlic chives and garlics. The bhiksuni tasted the herbs and liked them so much and finished consumed all.

Feeling that she wanted more garlic chives and garlic, the bhiksuni returned to the farmer to request for more. The good hearten farmer told the bhiksuni: "If you like the vegetables so much, I can give you some everyday."

Another day later, the bhiksuni and her companions visited the vegetable garden again but the owner was not around. Despite being dissuaded by the watch keeper, the bhiksuni proceeded to plug out all of the garlic chives and garlic plants from the garden.

When the Buddha learnt of the behaviour of the bhiksuni, he summoned the group and scolded them: "This is not a proper behaviour of a person practising dharma!"

In another occassion, a bhiksu was a little jumpy and he could not sit quietly during the Buddha's dharma talk after consuming some garlic chives. 

Hence gave forth the precept of no garlic chive and garlic consumption.

Having said so, in a seperate occassion; a bhiksu was sick and the doctor advised him to eat garlic chives. Due to the precept, this bhiksu refused to follow the doctor's advice and his sickness worsened.

When the Buddha learnt of the incident, he again said: "It is allowed to consume garlic chives or any aromatic plants for healing purposes."

So said, after this bhiksu was finally cured, he continued to advocate the garlic chives treatment method but due to his bad breathe, people dislike to get near him.

Again the Buddha learnt about the incident and he set up new precepts: "Any sick bhiksu or bhiksunni who has consumed garlic, he or she must not enter the temple within 7 days. If onions are consumed, then 3 days. Otherwise if garlic chives instead, 1 one day.

The benefits of garlic chives included:

  1. Normalizing of intestinal functions
  2. Curing food poisoning or suffering diarrhea due to stomach being chilled
  3. Anti bacterial
  4. Detoxing gastrointestinal mucosa