Onions are typically available in three main colors – red, yellow and white. Red onions are used in most parts of the world for cooking which involves char-broiling and grilling. On the other hand white onions tend to impart a sweet flavor to the dish when they are sautéed and are a staple ingredient in most Mexican cooking. Similarly yellow onions are known to go well with almost any style of cooking on account of their wholesome flavor. The onion is one of the most commonly cultivated species of the Genus Allium which is also referred to by other names such as garden onion, bulb onion, common onion, shallots, green onion and spring onions. Onions are basically a group of modified leaves of the onion plant that are centred on a relatively short stem base. Besides the onion itself, another one of the useful parts of the plant are the stems which tend to be very tasty and beneficial to one’s health especially if they are consumed when they are tender and young. With regards to the nutritional and medicinal uses of onions, they are known to be an excellent source of fiber, chromium, biotin, vitamins B6 and C. Onions are also known to have a high content of vitamins K and B1 as well as folic acid. The various health benefits of onion juice or even whole onions are on a count of the presence of several organic compounds and flavonoids which are released when an onion is crushed or cut.

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses:

  • One of the benefits of raw onions is that it helps in the maintenance of good cardiovascular health of the individual. This is possible because of the sulphides that are present in onions that help in lowering the blood pressure and lipids. Thus onions and cholesterol are known to go hand in hand in terms of onions being used as a natural remedy for high cholesterol levels. Onions are also known to have anti-clotting properties because of the high sulphur content which prevent clumping of the platelets.
  • Onions are known to also be part of the dietary requirements of individuals who suffer from high blood sugar levels as they are known to naturally bring down these high blood sugar levels.
  • Medicinal uses of onions also include its effectiveness in the prevention of cancer. The sulphides present in onions are known to offer protection against the growth of tumors.
  • Benefits of onion juice also include the use of onions to increase bone density and strengthen connective tissue. Hence onions are usually recommended for women at the time of menopause as they tend to lose bone density.
  • The anti-inflammatory benefits offered by onions also contribute to yet another one of the medicinal uses of onions as this anti -inflammatory property is useful in dealing with allergic airway inflammation or rheumatoid arthritis.
Onions are also known to be beneficial for hair growth and prevention of hair loss when applied on the scalp on a daily basis and then rinsed off with some cool water. Onions also have non culinary uses wherein the onion skin is often used as a dye. Additionally since onions are known to have large cells they are very often used to demonstrate the usage of a microscope in science education.

Although onions are known to have various medicinal and non medicinal benefits, one should also bear in mind that the excessive consumption of onions may also result in diarrhea or nausea that is caused by gastrointestinal irritation or stomach distress.