Monday, December 29, 2008
Onions are so commonplace in today's society that we tend to forget their importance and the variety of uses they have. They are valuable culinary vegetables, and also have medicinal value. Some make ornamental contributions to the garden, and they are important Companion Plants for other vegetables.
Onion is being used for centuries not just to add flavor to foods but also for its therapeutic properties. Onion have an antibacterial and antifungal properties. Some people mixed vinegar with onion juice and apply it in their freckles and warts, it is believed that it can remove/reduce this skin problems.
The World Health Organization (WHO) supports the use of onions for the treatment of poor appetite and to prevent atherosclerosis. In addition, onion extracts are recognized by WHO for providing relief in the treatment of coughs and colds, asthma and bronchitis. Onions are known to decrease bronchial spasms. An onion extract was found to decrease allergy-induced bronchial constriction in asthma patients.
The health benefits of Onions:
Like garlic, onions too, have significant health benefits. For instance, they can:
1. Boost good-type HDL cholesterol (particularly when consumed raw)
2. Reduce total cholesterol levels
3. Increase blood-clot dissolving activity
4. Reduce the risks of diabetes
5. Attack bacteria that cause infection
6. Reduce the risk of certain cancers
Scientific tests have further identified a compound in onions called "quercetin" which is a powerful antioxidant and cancer-attacking agent.