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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Therapeutic Value of Different Foods >>  Vegetables >>  Onions


Onion, allium cepa, belongs to the lily family and is similar to garlic. Onions are used in almost every recipe across the world’s cuisines and are considered an integral part of daily diet. Onions contain cysteine and sulfoxides, which are the prime cause for its flavor. This is what makes your eyes water when you cut onions. The rich content of potent sulfur gives it its pungent smell, but it also adds to its health benefits.

Onion is packed with natural chemicals such as allyl proply disulphide, flavonoids, chromium, and quercitin that help to fight infections and aid in healing in the human body. Onions are also a potent source of vitamins A, B, and C and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, chromium, iron and dietary fiber. There are innumerable health benefits of onions, some of them have been listed below.

Health benefits of Onions

  • Onion is rich in iron and helps to treat anemia.
  • Raw onion acts as an anti-coagulant and prevents heart attack.
  • Its anti-inflammatory properties make it useful for reducing inflammatory conditions like arthritis and gout.
  • Owing to its anti-septic nature, onion fights infectious bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella, and other bacteria that cause infections in the urinary tract.
  • It is very effective against tuberculosis.

Other onion benefits include lowering blood pressure, lowering bad cholesterol, relieving chronic constipation, bringing down insulin levels in diabetes, and blood cleansing. Onions are also diuretic in nature. The fructo-oligosaccharides present in the Onion stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the colon, thereby reducing the risk of developing tumors in the colon. The presence of flavonoids and quercitin makes onion to boost gastrointestinal health. Onion also contains gamma-L-glutamyl-trans-S-1-propenyl-L-cysteine sulphoxide that helps in maintaining healthy bones. Thus, it curbs osteoporosis in women in the menopausal stage.

Onion Home Remedies

Onions are used widely as home remedies for different ailments.

  • Ringing in the ears can be stopped by using onion juice. Dip a cotton wool into onion juice and put it into the ear.
  • Onion juice is found to be an effective hair tonic that helps in hair regrowth. Dandruff, lice, and other scalp infections like itchy scalp, dry scalp can be treated with onions.
  • Onion is an effective skin care product. It can be used to remove moles and skin patches, and can be used as a great skin tonic.
  • The sulfur that makes your eyes water helps to shed excess pounds. Onion is a fat-burning food and a diuretic. The minerals and oils present in the onion helps to break down the fat deposits and boosts metabolic activities of the body resulting in weight loss. Onion is a good source of quercitin, an antioxidant that can increase energy expenditure. Thus, onion acts as a great fat-burning food.
  • Onion can kill the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Thus, chewing a raw onion for three minutes helps to prevent dental problems as it kills the germs in the mouth. Placing a piece of onion helps to relieve toothache.
  • Eating onion regularly is an effective home remedy for asthma as onions contain quercetin, sulfur, and capsaicin that are known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Onion juice can be used to soothe a bee sting and is traditionally used as home remedies for infected sores and boils.

Apart from above said the health benefits of onions, onion has other uses also. The smell of fresh paint can be removed by placing a piece of onion. In order to prevent heat stroke, an easy and effective way is keeping an onion in pocket. Onion can also be used as a mosquito repellent.

Even though onions can be used raw or cooked as an ingredient, to get the most out of all nutrients, eating it raw is the best option as upon cooking some of the nutrients get destroyed.


Submitted on January 17, 2014