Herb latin name: Allium thunbergii
Synonyms: Allium taquetii
Family: Alliaceae (Onion Family)
Medicinal use of Allium thunbergii:Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Low mountains, C. and S. Japan. Forest margins, slopes and pastures from near sea level to 1300 metres.
Edible parts of Allium thunbergii:Young plants and leaves - raw or cooked in soups etc. The raw leaves have a pleasant mild onion flavour and a good fibre-free texture. Bulbs - cooked. They can be pickled in brine, vinegar and syrup. The bulbs are up to 2cm in diameter. Flowers - raw. A pleasant mild onion flavour, they make an attractive garnish in salads etc.
Other uses of the herb:The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.
Propagation of Allium thunbergii:Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle - if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season and the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required.
Cultivation of the herb:Low mountains, C. and S. Japan. Forest margins, slopes and pastures from near sea level to 1300 metres.
Known hazards of Allium thunbergii:Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in very large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.