In today’s post we take a look at the humble onion and in particular how it may help treat certain ailments. As always please do use this information in conjunction with advice from your doctor. If you have any health concerns at all your first port of call should be your doctor. Natural remedies should be used in conjunction with modern medicine on the advice of expert practitioners.
Onions are vegetables, known as bulb onions or common onions, the one mostly cultivated being the Allium genus. You get different types of onions; the white, the red and the yellow, and each one is as healthy as the other. In fact, they are super healthy. Why? Because Victoria Jarzabkowski, nutritionist, from the University of Texas, along with many other nutritionists say that they offer people abundant sources of vitamin C, flavonoids, phytochemicals and sulphuric compounds. Phytochemicals occur naturally in veggies and fruits, triggering healthy reactions in the human body. It is the flavonoids in vegetables and therefore onions that help with major diseases such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and cardiovascular disease. One excellent flavonoid that is found in onions is called quercetin, acting just like an antioxidant which we know protects against cancer. Quercetin reduces bladder infection symptoms; it promotes prostate health and lowers blood pressure. There are also sulfides in onions, so important to build healthy cell structures in the body.
A long and healthy history
Onions go back far in time, originating from the far reaches of western and eastern Asia. All over the world now, you will find different species of the onion, probably being cultivated all over the work more or less at the same time. There are records showing that onions were probably used in China as far back as 5000 BC proving just how durable and versatile they are. In ancient Egypt, the onion was revered because is spherical shape was considered a sign of eternal life.
- They are low in calories (only 45 calories in a serving)
- Contain no cholesterol or fat
- Healthy whether your cook them or eat them raw
- The flavonoids are in those outer layers of the onion so you don’t want to remove too much when you peel it
Let’s check out just 12 ailments and how onions can help with these ailments, although there are many more:
- Cancer is on the increase but onions are known to help
A study concluded by the University of Guelph depict that it is the red onion which is so effective in killing colon and breast cancer cells because of the high levels of anthocyanin, quercetin, and anthocyanin. Eating onions, you make your body more environmentally unfavorable towards cancer cells communicating favorably with each other, inhibiting their growth.
- Matters of the heart
Flavonoids, also in the red onion, help your heart stay healthy because they have organosulfur compounds in them which helps prevent heart disease. When you ingest organosulfur compounds, you cut your risk of getting cardiovascular disease. Another thing an onion acts like a blood thinner, reducing your risk of stroke and heart disease. French people are known to eat a lot of onions as part of their French cuisine – apparently, their hearts have low incidences of heart disease, even though their calorie intake is high. The flavonoids help to keep bad cholesterol at bay, preventing blood platelets from clotting, and keeping high blood pressure under control.
- Good news for bone health
Research shows that onions have the ability to prevent osteoporosis. Swiss researchers show that there is a special compound called GPCS that is found in white onions that have the ability to promote bone health. Other studies reveal that women who eat plenty of onions were found to have more bone mass by as much as 5% than those who didn’t or who ate less. Beneficial effects were seen in the bone health of women over 50. The Arthritis Foundation says that quercetin in onions inhibits inflammation activity in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
- Antibacterial properties for sinus sufferers
When you cook with onions you open up the sinuses and drain them, clearing the nasal passages from congestion. With their antibacterial properties, onions are known to protect against the bacteria that creates dental caries and allergies. In fact, in Russia, the onion is considered as an herb where it is used to treat flu and colds, and people have been known to sleep with onions under their feet to strengthen the immune system. If that doesn’t appeal to you, slice up an onion, boil it up in water and drink it as a tea, to protect you against the flu. Onions certainly have anti-inflammatory properties to help with asthma, thanks to quercetin
- For disorders of the ear
Many parents swear by onions to cure an earache in their children. They say you heat up an onion and extract the juices, pouring a couple of drops into the affected ear – this treatment goes back to the 19th century.
- Better vision
It is the sulfur in onions that feeds the lens of the eyes, stimulating protein production called glutathione, like an antioxidant. Glutathione is noted to reduce glaucoma, cataract problems, and macular degeneration. There is also selenium to be found in onions which supports vitamin E needed for eye cell health.
- Aids in the treatment of Cholera
Because onions contain antibiotic, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties, they are capable of alleviating symptoms of Cholera-like restlessness, thirst and a dry mouth. There are phytochemicals in onions which improve immunity. Onion juice soothes the inflammation, killing the harmful bacteria lurking in the stomach. For cholera, just take one teaspoon of raw onion juice each morning on an empty stomach.
- Do you suffer from blood clots?
Because onions have rutin in them, they are able to prevent your blood from clotting. On tests conducted on mice, it was found that rutin had strong abilities to protect against thrombosis. Clots occur in the veins and arteries, but rutin helps to block the enzymes which get released when blood clots form.
- Diabetes kept under control with intake of onions
The Plant Resources Research Institute in Korea discovered that extracts from the onion help with fighting diabetes. This is because they could be effective in lowering concentrations of plasma glucose and helps you in losing weight. Onions certainly are a natural and effective way of controlling blood sugar levels in your bloodstream; preventing insulin resistance. Onions also have chromium in them, beneficial for controlling blood glucose.
- Treating acne
Because the onion has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, it can do wonders for acne. Take a tablespoon of onion juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Mix the two and apply over your face, leaving on for 20 minutes before washing off. Not only that topical application but regularly consuming of onions can also give outstanding results when it comes to acne. Some people say that rubbing raw onions over your face also brings good results.
- Treating bites and stings
Onions are excellent for soothing stings and bites from bugs. All that is needed is to place one onion slice over the bite or sting because the anti-inflammatory properties get down to work and reducing burning, itching, scratches, and bites.
- Get rid of ugly moles
Onion juice is known to get rid of moles because it contains acid and combined with the chemical in the onion, heals the mole as well. Just dab some fresh onion juice on the mole allowing it to be absorbed. It is estimated that a mole can disappear in as short a time as a month.
The onion is an ancient highly nutritious vegetable with a long and highly successful history. Just remember with this veggie to remove as little of the skin as possible because it is the outer layers that are thought to have all the extra nutrients with the highest amounts of flavonoids, more concentrated in the outer layers. Just even a bit of over peeling can eliminate the flavonoids. The ancients knew about the benefits of the onions – it was the Greeks who used the onion to fortify their athletes in preparation for the Olympic Games. In fact, before any competition, the athletes ate plenty of onions, drank plenty of onion juice and rubbed onion juice all over their bodies. And it was General Ulysses S Grant who declared that he would not move his army at all without onions. He knew his soldiers, plagued with dysentery, etc. depended on the life-giving health benefits of onions. His demands were met and he was sent 3 train cars packed with the onion bulbs. After all, one small onion has about 28 calories, it has 7 grams of carbs, has vitamin A, Vitamin B complex and also vitamin C, iron, potassium and folate. An onion is the real deal – from slowing down or stopping nosebleeds to preventing depression, it’s a vegetable to keep you smiling with relief.