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Onions Have Lots of Health Benefits

Updated on November 23, 2017

Onions, A Universal Vegetable Item

The onion is perhaps the most common item in the vegetable group throughout the world. I think every culture throughout the world is familiar with onions. Onions are used universally for food preparation in various forms. However, many people are still not aware of the many health benefits of onions. Onions are usually used as a side-ingredient, meaning that they are added to the main dish for extra taste, or as garnishing, or for reducing the strong smell of fish and meats. A unique information worth noting is that many Indian vegetarians do not consume onions, purportedly because of the onion’s strong chemicals that are believed to increase aggressive and negative behavioral patterns.

Onions belong to the lily family, same group as garlic, leeks, scallions, shallots and chives. Its scientific name is Allium Cepa. There are many types of onions, given that there over 600 species throughout the world. The main varieties of onions are the red onions, white onions, yellow onions and the green onions. Each variety has its distinct taste from the very pungent flavor to the very mild and sweet taste.

Onions Have So Many Health Benefits

The most prominent substance found in the onion is the eye-irritating compound called cysteine sulfoxides, which is also responsible for the onion’s distinct pungent smell. Onions are packed with medicinal properties because they contain numerous nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and notably sulphuric compounds. Let us now consider the many health benefits of onions.

Onions have antibacterial and antimicrobial ingredients. Sulphides and thiosulfinates in onions help prevent illnesses like E. coli, bacillus subtilis and salmonella.

Onions have detoxing properties. Methionine and cystine are two sulphur-containing amino acids which can remove heavy metals like mercury, lead, and cadmium from the body.

Onions strengthen the immune system. Phytochemicals present in onions act as a stimulant to vitamin C in the body, thereby strengthening the body immune system. Any infections are able to heal faster.

Onions improve cardiovascular health. Onions have large amount of flavonoids which prevent cardiovascular disease. The sulphur compounds in onions lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Onions have anticoagulant properties, also called “blood thinners” preventing blood clots, thereby assuring better blood circulation resulting in less risk of suffering from heart attack. Onions contain the flavonoid, quercetin, which helps reduce blood pressure and inflammation. Eating raw onions can increase the production of good cholesterol (HDL).

Onions may help prevent osteoporosis, and reduce pain and inflammation of joints or in gout and arthritis.

Onions help relieve sinus problems. Onions can help loosen the mucous, and clear the nasal passages for easier breathing.

Onions can relieve pain from bee stings and other insect bites. Apply chopped onion bits or onion juice to the affected area to relieve itchiness and pain from insect bites and bee stings.

Onions are good as insect repellent. The pungent smell of the onions acts as a good insect repellent.

Onions can relieve earache. If you have “ringing” sound in the ears, dip cotton bud with onion juice and apply it to the ears. There is another suggestion that if you have acute earache, try apply a few drops of onion juice into the affected ear. Honestly, I wouldn’t try this. Personally, I would prefer to see my doctor.

Onions can relieve stomach ache. The anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties in onions can relieve stomach upset, and also reduce the risk of developing gastric ulcers.

Onions are good for children too. Apply onion juice on hair to eliminate lies. Onions can also eliminate worms in children’s stomachs.

Onions aid oral health. Onions can prevent tooth decay and oral infections. Chewing onions for 2 to 3 minutes will kill the germs and bacteria in your mouth.

Onions can treat cough and sore throat. Try taking a mixture of equal amount of onion juice and honey for treating cough and sore throat.

Onions can treat skin redness and swelling, and acne. Just mix onion juice with honey or olive oil and apply on affected area.

Onions for treatment of anemia . Anemia or iron deficiency is a condition of decrease in red blood cells. Taking onions with jaggery and water will increase iron mineral which helps in producing more red blood cells.

Onions can treat urinary disorder. If you suffer from burning sensation during urination, try this treatment. Drink water boiled with 6 to 7 grams of onions.

Onions can boost sexual drive. I don’t know about this, but you can always try. Take 1 tablespoon of onion juice with same amount of ginger juice, three times a day. And wallah! Apparently sperm count will also increase.

Onions can regulate blood sugar level. The chromium in onions ensures a gradual release of glucose to the body. Taking onions reduces the risk of diabetes.

Onions can prevent cancer. The flavonoid quercetin is a very powerful antioxidant compound which strengthens the immune system and inhibits the development and spread of cancerous cells and tumors.


Beware Of Internet Hoax About Onions Absorbing Flu Virus

There is a viral email message about how onions if left in a room, can absorb flu virus and other bacteria. Onions left in the room will not prevent you from getting flu or other illnesses. So the next time you receive such viral email about onions absorbing viruses and bacteria, remember, it's a hoax.

This is a myth and not true.


The information provided in this article is sourced from the internet, from friends and contacts, and from personal experience. This article does not claim the information provided is totally accurate and reliable. The purpose of this article is merely to share health information which I deem useful.

You are therefore advised to consult your registered medical physicians as a matter of due diligence.

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Onions - Health Benefits


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    • Good Guy profile image

      Justin Choo 14 months ago from Malaysia

      Hi CYC,

      Thanks for your encouraging comment.

    • profile image

      CYC 14 months ago

      Great article appreciate the health information regarding eating onions! I like your honesty as well, I would not put onion juice in my ears either for ear aches.

    • Good Guy profile image

      Justin Choo 15 months ago from Malaysia

      Hi Ramesh,

      I am sorry I am not qualified to give you specific advice. I merely share info which I deem useful.

    • profile image

      Ramesh R 15 months ago

      I am Diabetic patient, and eat medicine for BP and Blood clotting..

      please guide me, how many onions need to take a day to controlling my health problems. need some tips...

    • Good Guy profile image

      Justin Choo 3 years ago from Malaysia

      Good evening vocalcoach,

      Yes, I think it is preposterous too. I have lost most of my hair, but I am not going to be a fool trying this. By the way, losing my hair doesn't bother me. It is part of aging, very natural.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I recently read a post about how rubbing an onion on bald spots will slowly grow new hair. (Slice the onion in half.) It sound preposterous. Anyhow, enjoyed reading about the benefits of onions and liked the video.

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 3 years ago from Singapore

      Very topical and educative post. Glad that I love onions

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Glad to hear all this for I absolutely love onion! ^+

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 3 years ago

      let them not b pricy too