If vegetables could be superheroes, onions is certainly on top of the list. This root vegetable boasts an excellent host of health benefits. Onions are also endlessly versatile, and the fact that most of us have already got a few on hand at all times makes them an ideal home treatment you can whip up when a cold or flu is approaching. This article will share some amazing benefits of onions.
Health Benefits of Onions
Onions and garlic are both in the allium family and share a few of the same health benefits. The word allium literally means “I smell,” and all of us know onions are certainly recognized for their smelly odor.
Onions are strong in other ways too. They comprise high levels of vitamin C, folate, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. They are also high in the antioxidant quercetin.
Quercetin has been proven to defend against many extraordinary forms of cancer in the body, boosts immune response, and is even used to help with cataracts. The quercetin in onions has also been studied for its capability to enhance heart health, prevent heart disorder, and maintain blood flowing freely throughout the body when used every day.
Yellow onions generally have extra quercetin than red or white onions.
Some Interesting Facts about Onions
- Onions are high in sulfuric compounds that have been shown to kill even salmonella and E. coli. These compounds also help prevent cancer and heart disease.
- In the past it was suggested to place bowls of onions around the room so they could absorb any germs around.
- Onions build both bone and mineral density to help avoid osteoporosis.
- Onions are so healthy, that even in this study when they were fried, they elevated blood quercetin from 28.4 ng/ml to 248.4 ng/ml. It also improved participants’ overall antioxidant capability.
- Chewing on fresh onion will relieve a toothache, kill germs, and help prevent tooth and gum problems. Just make sure to brush your teeth properly afterward!
- Onions are full of fructooligosaccharides that encourage beneficial bacteria, yet target harmful micro organism in the intestines.
- Onions decrease blood sugar levels and enhance insulin levels.
7 Useful Onion Home Remedies
Onions can be used in many of distinctive home remedies. Here are seven examples:
1. Onion Poultice to Alleviate Congestion and Coughing
Onions work like an expectorant. They help disperse mucus and congestion in the chest and decrease spasmodic coughs.
Onions work best for a chest poultice if they’re heated first. To disintegrate chest congestion and soothe a spastic cough, you can apply a poultice externally, or take an onion syrup or tincture internally.
How to make an onion poultice:
- Slice or dice an onion, add 1 tablespoon of water, and cook till the water evaporates.
- Allow the onion to chill to a comfortable temperature, then wrap the onion in a small towel, like a tea towel. Collect the ends of the towel together and secure with a rubber band.
- Place the poultice on the chest or back and leave it for 30 minutes, repeating the method every 3 hours or until the symptoms are gone.
An onion poultice is stinky for sure. Sometimes apply the poultice to the feet, wrap them in cloth or plastic, and cover with socks.
2. “Fire Cider” Immunity Booster
Fire cider is an age-old treatment made from onions, horseradish, garlic, cayenne pepper, and other aromatic plants steeped in apple cider vinegar. Onions are used in this recipe due to their amazing antiviral and antibacterial compounds and their potential to aid the immune system.
3. Onion Honey Syrup
An onion syrup is a delicious way to take your medication. Some people use sugar to make a more traditional syrup but I opt to use raw honey for even more health benefits. Take onion honey syrup for any cold or flu, particularly if a cough or congestion is present. You can also take a spoonful each day throughout the winter months to help keep illness away.
Don’t go overboard with drinking this, though, as too much can cause digestive problems.
How to make an onion honey syrup:
- Thinly slice an onion and add it to a saucepan. Pour honey over the onion, just until covered. You should only need about ½ cup, maybe less.
- Gently heat the honey over very low heat until the onions are soft and translucent. You don’t want the mixture to get over 115 degrees, or the honey will no longer be raw.
- Take a spoonful of the onion honey every 3-4 hours, or until symptoms subside. To use as a preventative measure, take a spoonful or two each day during flu season.
4. Onions for Ear Infections
You may have used garlic oil for an ear infection in your kids before, however onion can be used in much the same way. A roasted or baked onion half can be cooled to a comfortable warmth and placed on the ear. This helps to alleviate painful irritation and fight the bacterial or viral infection in the ear. You can also squeeze the juice from the onion and place a few drops in the ear.
Ensure that the onion mixture is properly strained, since you don’t want any onion pieces in the ear. And never put anything in the ear if you suspect that there’s a possibility of a ruptured ear drum!
It’s always best to deal with both ears even if your child only complains of pain in one, since the infection frequently spreads to both ears sooner or later.
5. Onion Soup
Soup is one of the easiest and tastiest ways to get more onion into your food regimen. Save your onion peels and add them to chicken bones and other veggies when you make bone broth. Researchers in this study thought that the onion as a whole, including the onion skin, consists higher levels of quercetin than just the onion alone. This means that saving your onion skins for a nutritious broth not only adds taste, but probably boosts the nutritional value more than the part you would consume.
The healing goodness of onion soup not only enables the body fight colds and flu but also bladder, kidney, and chronic urinary tract infections.
6. Onions for Sore Muscles, Sprains, and Strains
Onions are rubefacient, which means they draw blood to the surface of the skin and increase circulation. The ancient Greeks rubbed onions on sore muscles to stimulate and warm them. Onions also decrease swelling, making them best for bruises, strains, sprains, and even rheumatism. Just apply an onion poultice (above) to the affected region.
7. Onions to Draw Out Infection
Onions have been used for hundreds of years to eliminate infection from damaged skin. Their properties will draw out pus from boils, bee stings, and the poison from an insect bite or bee sting. You can apply a raw onion slice or onion poultice to the affected region.
The onion is an amazing food. You can see how beneficial it is to your health. Now you know some great benefits of onions. So don’t wait! Start putting onions to work for your health today!