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Almost everyone knows that onions are very important for health. Onion is a daily must have which helps you stay away from many infections and diseases. If you are sick and you are looking for a quick heal medicine, then onions are your best option.
The pungent odour might keep you away from onions but they are totally worth it. They can be cooked in almost all the recipes and can be consumed very easily. Onions are loaded with many chemicals which keep you away from illness and also make you glow due to its detoxification properties. Below are a few well known health benefits of onions.
- Onions have anti-biotic, antiseptic, antimicrobial and carminative properties to help you stay away from infections.
- Onions are rich in sulphur, fibers, potassium, vitamin B, vitamin C and they are low in fat, cholesterol and sodium. Here is a detailed Onion Nutrition chart:
- It is an immediate cure for fever, common cold, cough, sore throat, allergies etc. A mixture of onion juice and honey can cure these problems easily.
- A small piece of onion can work against side effects of fever if it’s kept on the fore head.
- A small piece of onion when inhaled can stop or slow down the bleeding through the nose.
- An onion a day can cure insomnia or sleeping disorders. This will surely give you a good night sleep.
- Onions can improve digestive system. If you have digestion problem, then onions can cure it by increasing the release of digestion juices.
- Onion juice can cure burnt skin or an insect bite or a bee bite. It may burn more but it can heal it very effectively.
- Onions can be used to prevent cancers. It works against head, neck and colon cancers.
- You can protect yourself from Osteoporosis and Atherosclerosis by consuming onions daily.
- Onions increases insulin in the body and also treats diabetes by controlling the sugar levels in the blood.
- The bad cholesterol that causes heart problems can be burnt or removed if onions are consumed daily. It keeps you stay safe from the coronary diseases and also protects the good cholesterol.
- Inflammation from Arthritis in the joints which can be healed with onions.
- There is a small trick with onions to get some relief from body pains. Onions should be fried in sesame or castor oil and can be used to heal any aches.
- One of the well-known tricks to remove dark patches or pigments on your face is to apply onion and turmeric juice on that area.
- Onion juice is also used to cure ear and eye problems. This juice is used for infants as eye drops for clear vision.
- This is also used for toothaches and tooth decaying.
- Onions have rejuvenation properties on the body tissues.
- For few types of moles, onion juice works efficiently by removing them.
- For good memory and strong nervous system, consuming onions is your best bet.
- Onions cure menstrual disorders. Raw onions should be consumed before a few days at the beginning of your cycle.
- Use onion juice on the hair or the scalp to get rid of lice and hair fall. This is one of the most prominent of onion benefits for hair.
- Onions contain water, protein, fats, starch, fibers, minerals, calcium, vitamin C, iron and B complex.
You should consume between 100 – 150 grams of onions in any form depending on your likes and dislikes.
Onion: Skin Benefits
This humble vegetable can provide you with healthy and glowing skin, thanks to the presence of rich amounts of antioxidant vitamins A, C and E. Both consumption and topical application of onions can provide numerous benefits to your skin.
- Anti-ageing Benefits:
Onions possess enormous anti-ageing benefits. The antioxidant vitamins A, C and E fight against the damage caused by harmful UV rays as well as prevent free radical damage which is responsible for causing premature ageing of our skin. Onion is one of the richest sources of quercetin, the most powerful antioxidant that can keep your skin wrinkle-free. Vitamins and sulphur, on the other hand, protect your skin, and keep it soft and supple. The anti-ageing qualities of onion can be attributed to the presence of sulphur-rich phytochemicals. Massaging your skin with fresh onion juice helps increase blood circulation and improves the overall appearance of your skin by imparting a more youthful and radiant appearance.
- Treatment of Acne:
The anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities of onion can work wonders on your skin. It is a powerful antiseptic which protects your skin from acne-causing bacteria and other skin infections. Onions can be used in the treatment of acne and pimples. For this purpose, you can mix 1 tablespoon of onion juice or extract with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and apply it on your face. Leave it for 20 minutes and then wash off. Apart from topical application, regular consumption of onion can also give you miraculous results in case of acne.
- Lightens the Complexion:
Onions help in purifying your blood and supply your body with flavonoids which assist Vitamin C in its important functions. The consumption of onions can keep your skin healthy and glowing. You can prepare your own face mask by combining 1 ½ tablespoons freshly extracted onion juice with 2 tablespoons gram flour, ½ teaspoon milk and a pinch of nutmeg. Mix all these ingredients to form a thick paste and add some more milk if required to reach the desired consistency. You can also add few drops of lavender essential oil to beat the smell of onions. Apply it all over your face after cleansing and leave for 15 to 20 minutes or until it dries. Dab a cotton ball in milk and remove the pack by massaging in gentle circular movements. This will exfoliate the dead skin cells as well as lighten the skin tone.
- Treatment of Dark Spots and Pigmentation:
Onion juice is excellent for getting rid of dark spots and pigmentation. The rich variety of phytonutrients and antioxidants in onion nourish your skin while removing skin impurities. You can prepare a face pack by mixing equal quantities of onion juice and fresh yogurt. You can also add a few drops of any essential oil for a pleasant aroma. Massage your face with this mixture, using gentle circular movements for 10 to 15 minutes. This should be done daily for best results.
- Treatment of Stings and Bites:
Onions can be used to soothe stings and bug bites. All you need to do is place an onion slice on your sting or bite. The anti-inflammatory properties of onion help in reducing the burn, itchiness and swelling caused by insect and bug bites.
Onion: Hair Benefits
The benefits of onion do not end here. This layered vegetable is great for your hair as well. Onion juice is often used as a remedy for various hair problems. Some of the ways in which onion can benefit your hair are as follows.
- Treatment of Thinning Hair:
Onion is quite helpful in treating thinning hair. All you need to do is juice an onion in a juicer and add ½ teaspoon of honey to it. You can add any essential oil of your choice to suppress the smell. Apply this mixture all over your hair or onto the portions that appear thin. Leave it overnight and do not cover your head. Shampoo your hair the next morning. This should be done at least once to thrice a week for best results.
- Treatment of Hair Loss and Dandruff:
You can prepare a hair mask using onion to combat hair loss, dandruff and an itchy scalp. Onion juice is particularly beneficial for increasing the length of your hair. All you need to do is grind or mash an onion and strain it through a grinder to obtain the juice. Mix this juice with equal amounts of olive or coconut oil and apply it on your scalp and hair. Cover your head with a shower cap and leave it for 2 hours. Rinse it off with a shampoo to get rid of hair stickiness. This hair pack will improve the ability of your hair for re-growth besides imparting a shiny, glossy look to your hair. It should be applied twice a month for best results.
- Maintains Hair Color:
You can apply onion juice on your hair to impart a nice coppery shade as well as to make your hair glossy. However, if you wish to maintain the natural color of your hair, you can blend onion with adequate amounts of mustard oil and apply it on your hair. Mustard oil will suppress the color lightening effect of onion.
- Natural Conditioner:
To condition your hair naturally, you can apply a mixture of onion and fenugreek paste on your hair. Keep it for half an hour and wash off with a mild shampoo.
How to Select and Store?
Selection: Both dry and green onions are available all year round. While buying onions, choose the ones that are clean, well-shaped, with no opening at the neck. Their necks should be tightly closed and should not have a thick woody centre. They should be firm with crisp, dry, bright and shiny outer skin with a crackly feel. The base should be whitish in color, measuring about 2 to 3 inches. Avoid the ones with soft spots, damp and moldy patches as this is an indication of inferior quality. Sprouting onions should be avoided as this indicates age and poor storage. However, if sweet onions have been sprouted in your pantry, you can use the green sprouts as a substitute for scallions. There should not be dark powdery patches under the skin as this is an indication of mould which may spoil the flesh. They should have a mild smell.
Storage: Dry onions can be stored for several months. Whole onions should be stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place where they will last for about 4 weeks. Avoid refrigerating them as this will turn them soft. As they absorb moisture, they should not be stored below the sink. Often partial onions remain after the preparation of meals. These onions can be stored for reuse. They should be wrapped in a plastic or placed in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for use within 2 to 3 days. Besides proper storage, onions should be inspected regularly. Slimy or discolored onions should be discarded. Sprouting onions can be eaten after chopping away the green portion. Spring onions can be refrigerated for up to a week.
Tips for Usage (Cooking/Eating):
Onions are one of the most versatile vegetables that can be eaten both in the raw and cooked form. They can impart a unique flavor to any recipe. They can be cooked in various ways such as boiling, sautéing, frying or caramelizing. Given below are some tips for using onions.
- Raw onions can be added to salads. You can cut onions in rings and add them to chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and beets tossed in lemon juice. Spring onions can form part of green salads. You can prepare a classic Italian salad by combining sliced onions with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, tossed in olive oil.
- Chopped or sliced onions can be fried and used as a base for pasta sauces, stews and soups. Onions can be fried in butter or margarine over medium heat for about 3 minutes until they turn crispy and golden brown. They should be removed with tongs and placed on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Chopped onions can be combined with tomatoes, avocadoes and jalapenos to prepare a guacamole salsa dip. Even plain rice can be topped with green onions and sesame seeds to make it more interesting.
- Sautéed onions can enhance the flavor of any vegetarian dish. Sautéing enhances the texture and flavor of onions. This method involves browning the onions which creates a rich flavor. These can be added to sautéed veggies, soups and pasta dishes.
- Sweating involves gently cooking the onion to make it soft, sweet and reduce the sulphur content, imparting it with a milder taste. These onions are added to dishes such as risottos, rice pilafs and braised meats to impart a natural sweetness.
Obara Meji is a spiritualist, Ifa-Orisa practitioner, and teacher of metaphysics. Since 2011 she has used her online platform to share her personal experiences to those seeking answers about spirituality. Her teachings will expand into short stories, novels, and public speaking to continue her mission of bringing enlightenment to the world.