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The onion, a plant with a rich history and firmly anchored in folk medicine worldwide, is often inconspicuous in our kitchens. But this plant, scientifically known as Allium cepa, is a treasure trove of nutrients and offers a multitude of health benefits. In this article, we look at the discovery, uses, health benefits, complementary supplements and foods and possible side effects of the onion, as well as its importance as a natural remedy.

The discovery of the onion

The onion is one of the oldest known useful plants and has a history dating back several thousand years. Archaeological finds indicate that it was already used as a food in prehistoric times. In ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Babylonia, India and China, the onion was valued for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Its versatility and shelf life made it a staple food for travelers and sailors.

Forms and dosage

Onions can be consumed in a variety of ways: raw, cooked, as a powder or juice. The dosage varies depending on the form and purpose:

  • Raw: A few slices a day, ideal in salads or on sandwiches.
  • Cooked: In a variety of dishes, adapted to personal taste.
  • Powder/capsules: According to the manufacturer’s instructions, often between 500 and 1000 mg per day.
  • Juice: One to two tablespoons a day, diluted in water.

Onion: Complementary food supplements and foods

For maximum effect, onions should be combined with other supplements and foods that are also rich in antioxidants and nutrients:

  • Garlic: Provides similar health benefits and belongs to the same plant family.
  • Ginger: Aids digestion and has an anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Turmeric: Contains curcumin, a potent antioxidant.
  • Dark leafy greens: Provide an abundance of vitamins and minerals.

Foods rich in these components include berries, nuts, seeds, citrus fruits and dark leafy vegetables.

Possible side effects

Onions are safe for most people, but can cause side effects in some people, especially if eaten raw:

  • Digestive problems: Onions can cause bloating or heartburn, especially in sensitive individuals.
  • Allergic reactions: Rare, but possible are skin rashes or breathing difficulties.
  • Odor nuisance: The strong odor and resulting bad breath can be socially unpleasant, but can be mitigated by good oral hygiene and eating parsley or apples.

Onion: Natural medicine and applications

In natural medicine, onions have been used for centuries as a remedy for a variety of ailments. Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties make it an excellent remedy for colds, coughs and to promote wound healing. Onion juice, often mixed with honey, is used as a home remedy for coughs. Due to its sulphur-containing compounds, it can also be applied externally to insect bites or minor burns to relieve pain and speed up the healing process.

Summary and conclusion

The onion, often underestimated and regarded merely as a kitchen ingredient, has enormous potential for our health. Whether as a food, in capsules or as juice – its many forms and applications make it a valuable part of a balanced diet and natural healing methods. Together with complementary supplements and foods, the consumption of onions can make a positive contribution to our overall health and increase well-being. Despite their many benefits, it is important to be aware of possible side effects and to enjoy onions in moderation, especially if you are sensitive to them.

The onion thus combines food and medicine in one and exemplifies the power of nature to support human health and well-being. Its long history and widespread use in various cultures underline its importance and versatility. As part of a healthy diet and as a natural remedy, the onion offers a wealth of benefits to be discovered and utilized.

Published on: 20. March 2024


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