Alliums are a special group of plants that have been known, and used, for their medicinal purposes for thousands of years. The word “Allium” is Latin for garlic, one of the most famous and well-respected Alliums. Onions, shallots, leeks, and chives are also all members of the Allium family. They all have two defining characteristics: a bulbous body and a sulfurous nature – which gives them their distinctive flavour and aroma. Alliums appear in nearly every cuisine around the world and are the building blocks of many cooking traditions.
Along with the Brassicas, this group of vegetables contains organosulfur phytonutrients that have antioxidant properties that play an important role in keeping the body healthy and protecting it from cardiovascular disease as well as other chronic diseases including cancer. These sulfur-based compounds are sticky and “catch” and destroy harmful things floating in the body, including free radicals, heavy metals and other toxins. Alliums also generally have anti-allergy, antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties.
These are some of our favourite members of the Allium family: