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-in
Among all varieties, Asian white onions have the most eye irritating chemical reaction.
In India some sects do not eat onions as they believe them to be an aphrodisiac various schools of Buddhism also advise against eating onions and other vegetables of the Allium family
In many parts of the undeveloped 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. A similar traditional cure is known in Bulgaria. Half-baked onion with sugar is placed over the finger and fingernail in case of inflammation.
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 organisation in rabbits.
Onions may be beneficial for women, who are at increased risk for osteoporosis as they go through menopause, by destroying osteoclasts so they do not break down bone.
An American chemist has statedthe pleiomeric chemicals in onions have the potential to alleviate or prevent sore throat. 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 reputed antioxidant and anticancer activity they provide. When tested against liver and colon cancer cells in laboratory studies, ‘Western Yellow’, pungent yellow (New York Bold) and shallots were most effective in inhibiting their growth. The milder-tasting cultivars (i.e., ‘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 effects of their milder cousins.
The 3-mercapto-2-methylpentan-1-ol in onion was found to inhibit peroxynitrite-induced mechanisms in vitro
While members of the onion family appear to have medicinal properties for humans, they can be deadly for dogs, cats, and guinea pigs The toxicity is caused by the sulfoxides present in raw and cooked onions, with typical toxic doses of 5