Chives are in the Allium
family, this group also contains onions
Patch testing using chives can cause false-positive reactions because of diallyl disulfide which is released when the herb is chopped. This chemical acts as an irritant on the skin. Diallyl disulfide is used as a garlic flavouring in food and garlic oil.
An allergy to chives after ingestion is more commonly linked to Non-IgE allergy than a true IgE allergy. It is important if you think you are allergic to complete a food diary to ensure you are not eliminating large groups of food unnecessarily. There are tips on how to make a Food Diary
Chives are one of the few fresh foods that contain a moderate amount of sulphites
. Sulphites are inorganic salts commonly used in pickles and preservations and have the potential to cause symptoms of food intolerance to those sensitive to sulphites. This food intolerance is more common in asthmatics. Most people see an improvement in symptoms after a change to a low sulphite diet.
Chives are also a low FODMAP food. FODMAP
stands for F
olyols. Foods high in FODMAPs can cause symptoms of food intolerance, affecting the gastro intestinal system and this can be mistaken for a true IgE food allergy.
Chives are a food low in salicylates. Salicylates
can cause gastrointestinal food intolerance symptoms in people who are sensitive to salicylates. Chives can be eaten by those following a low salicylate diet.
You can read more about Food Intolerances
on the dedicated Food Intolerance Page.
An allergy to chives is associated with contact dermatitis and urticaria (hives and wheals on the skin).
Chives are in the Alliaceae
plant family, other plants in this family are garlic, leeks and onions. If your allergy is severe these plants may also cause allergic reactions.
Anaphylaxis Campaign - Onion & Garlic Allergies
Science Direct - Diallyl Disulfide
DermNet NZ - Chives
ATP Science - Salicylate Food List
Healthline - FODMAP Foods
Articles and Journals
Garlic Allergy, 2023
Onion and garlic polysaccharides: A review on extraction, characterization, bioactivity, and modifications, 2022
A case of contact urticaria inducing anaphylaxis due to liliaceae vegetables in a hand eczema patient 2015
Contact dermatitis caused by spinach, hedge mustard and chives, 2003
Food allergy and IgE sensitization caused by spices: CICBAA data (based on 589 cases of food allergy), 2002
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