Apr 072010
 

Wide-ranging claims have been made for the effectiveness of onions against conditions ranging from the common cold to heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and other diseases.

They contain chemical compounds believed to have anti-inflammatory, anticholesterol, anticancer, and antioxidant properties such as quercetin. However, it has not been conclusively demonstrated that increased consumption of onions is directly linked to health benefits.

Some studies have shown that increased consumption of onions reduces the risk of head and neck cancers.

In India some sects do not eat onion due to its alleged aphrodisiac properties.

In many parts of the world, onions are used to heal blisters and boils. A traditional Maltese remedy for sea urchin wounds is to tie half a baked onion to the afflicted area overnight.

An application of raw onion is also said to be helpful in reducing swelling from bee stings.

In the United States, products that contain onion extract are used in the treatment of topical scars; some studies have found their action to be ineffective, while others found that they may act as an anti-inflammatory or bacteriostatic and can improve collagen organization in rabbits.

Onions may be especially beneficial for women, who are at increased risk for osteoporosis as they go through menopause, by destroying osteoclasts so that they do not break down bone.


An American chemist has stated that the pleiomeric chemicals in onions have the potential to alleviate or prevent sore throat.

However onion in combination with jaggery has been widely used as a traditional household remedy for sore throat in India.

Shallots have the most phenols, six times the amount found in Vidalia onion, the variety with the lowest phenolic content.

Shallots also have the most antioxidant activity, followed by Western Yellow, pungent yellow (New York Bold), Northern Red, Mexico, Empire Sweet, Western White, Peruvian Sweet, Texas 1015, Imperial Valley Sweet, and Vidalia. Western Yellow onions have the most flavonoids, eleven times the amount found in Western White, the variety with the lowest flavonoid content.

For all varieties of onions, the more phenols and flavonoids they contain, the more antioxidant and anti-cancer activity they provide. When tested against liver and colon cancer cells, Western Yellow, pungent yellow (New York Bold) and shallots were most effective in inhibiting their growth. The milder-tasting varieties—Western White, Peruvian Sweet, Empire Sweet, Mexico, Texas 1015, Imperial Valley Sweet, and Vidalia—showed little cancer-fighting ability.

Shallots and ten other onion (Allium cepa L.) varieties commonly available in the United States were evaluated: Western Yellow, Northern Red, pungent yellow (New York Bold), Western White, Peruvian Sweet, Empire Sweet, Mexico, Texas 1015, Imperial Valley Sweet, and Vidalia. In general, the most pungent onions delivered many times the benefits of their milder cousins

LEFTOVER ONIONS CAN BE POISONOUS!

I have used an onion which has been left in the fridge. Sometimes I don’t use a whole one at one time, so I save the other half for later. Now with this info, I have changed my mind. I will buy smaller onions in the future

Onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion, it’s not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator.

It’s already contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit, that it can be a danger to you (and doubly watch out for those onions you put in your hotdogs at the baseball park!)

Please remember it is dangerous to cut onions and try to use it to cook the next day.

It becomes highly poisonous for even a single night and creates toxic bacteria which may cause adverse stomach infections because of excess bile secretions and even food poisoning.

I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion. Put one end on a fork, and then place the forked end into an empty jar, place the jar next to the sick patient at night.

It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs. Sure enough, it happened just like that, the onion was a mess

They have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.

The moral of the story is, buy some onions and place them in bowls around your home. If you work at a desk, place one or two in your office or under your desk or even on top somewhere.

If this helps you and your loved ones from getting sick, all the better. If you do get the flu, it just might be a mild case. Whatever, what have you to lose? Just a few bucks on onions!

Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved many from the black plague years ago.

However, recent evidence has shown that dogs, cats, and other animals should not be given onions in any form, due to toxicity during digestion. Yet, the scent of the onion is beneficial to kittens adjusting to new environments and is often recommended to adopters when bringing them into a new home away from the mother cat.

Historical uses

It is thought that bulbs from the onion family have been used as a food source for millennia. In Bronze Age settlements, traces of onion remains were found alongside fig and date stones dating back to 5000 BC.

However, it is not clear if these were cultivated onions. Archaeological and literary evidence such as the Book of Numbers 11:5 suggests cultivation probably took place around two thousand years later in ancient Egypt, at the same time that leeks and garlic were cultivated. Workers who built the Egyptian pyramids may have been fed radishes and onions.

The onion is easily propagated, transported and stored. The Ancient Egyptians worshipped it, believing that its spherical shape and concentric rings symbolized eternal life. Onions were even used in Egyptian burials, as evidenced by onion traces being found in the eye sockets of Ramesses IV.

In ancient Greece, athletes ate large quantities of onion because it was believed that it would lighten the balance of blood. Roman gladiators were rubbed down with onion to firm up their muscles. In the Middle Ages, onions were such an important food that people would pay their rent with onions, and even give them as gifts.

Doctors were known to prescribe onions to facilitate bowel movements and erections, and also to relieve headaches, coughs, snake bite and hair loss.

Onions were also prescribed by doctors in the early 1500s to help with infertility in women, and even dogs, cats and cattle and many other household pets.

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