It has been shown that Allium species may help to prevent tumor promotion, cardiovascular diseases and aging; all processes that are associated with free radicals. Therefore the Allium species of both cultivated species (Allium nutans L., Allium fistulosum L., Allium vineale L., Allium psekemense B. Fedtsch, Allium cepa L., Allium sativum L.) and wild species (Allium flavum L., Allium sphaerocephalum L., Allium atroviolaceum Boiss, Allium schenoprasum L., Allium vineale L., Allium ursinum L., Allium scorodoprasum L.) from various locations were investigated for their antioxidative properties. The leaves were examined for activities of antioxidative enzymes (catalase, peroxidase, superoxide-dismutase, glutathione-peroxidase), non-enzymic antioxidants (reduced glutathione and total flavonoids), content of soluble proteins, vitamin C, carotenoids, chlorophylls a and b, as well as the quantities of malonyldialdehyde and ·OH and O2· – radicals. Using a contemporary spectroscopic fluorescent method, lipofuscin, ‘plant age pigments’ were determined. ESR spectroscopy was used to follow the decrease of oxygen radicals in the presence of extracts of Allium species in phosphate buffer (pH 7). The results showed that all Allium species had strong antioxidative properties due to their high concentration of total flavonoids, high content of carotenoids and chlorophylls, and very low concentrations of toxic oxygen radicals. ESR signals of DMPO-OH radical adducts, in the presence of Allium extracts in phosphate buffer (pH 7), were reduced by up to 94.3%. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.