Onions can be underestimated. Onions come in all shapes and sizes. We use red, yellow, and white onions, shallots, chives, and green onions in our salads, soups, and everyday dishes. Onions are readily available, one of the oldest plants that have been used and cultivated. Onions are simple food that has over 3700 species that we use in cooking and food preparations. Throughout the past years, it has been known that onions are beneficial for our health because they contain phytochemicals. Phytochemicals like flavonoids that are found in high levels in onion husk are beneficial antioxidants that are retrieved from fruits and vegetables.
Have you wondered what happens to all the onion husks and all the other parts of the onion that are not consumed? They become a waste product, yet they have wonderful health benefits for us.
Multiple studies have found the benefits of using onion including a study: Spice plant Allium cepa: Dietary supplement for treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus by Akash and colleagues in 2014. The study found that onions are beneficial in decreasing lipids and blood sugar which helps in the treatment of diabetes.
A recent study in 2021 looking at the Antioxidant effect of ethanolic onion (Allium cepa) husk extract in aging rats by Chernukha and colleagues found that onion husks contain multiple vitamins and antioxidants including vitamin B1 also known as thiamine, B2: riboflavin, B3: nicotinic acid, B6: pyridoxine, B9: folic acid, H: biotin and vitamin C. The study has found beneficial effects of using onion husk in the liver and the brain of the observed animals. The study was also addressing the issue of waste and how using the waste of onion husk can be used for the benefit of health as well as reducing waste products.
Another study published in 2021 by Marefati and colleagues was: A review of the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory effects of Allium cepa and its main constituents. In the study, it was found that onions have antioxidant effects, anti-inflammatory effects as well as immunomodulatory effects. Immunomodulation is working with the immune system to regulate by increasing or decreasing stimulation and support our wellbeing by having a direct effect on our cells that help form our immune reaction to the disease. The study describes that onions were used in ancient times to help with inflammation and work against bacteria. They have been used against multiple diseases including liver disease, infections, and stomach problems.
The study by Marefati mentioned that in Chinese medicine tea form is used to treat multiple disease forms including using tea against headaches, the common cold, and arthritis for example.
Interestingly I have been making and drinking onion husk tea in the last few months using up the onion husks instead of just throwing them out. Then, I compost the leftover husks. My favorite option is coupling the onion husk with lime or Meyer lemons creating a wonderful yet gentle and quite flavorful tea.
The study by Marefati states:” The highest level of flavonoids such as quercetin is observed in the dry skin and thus, peeling may significantly decrease these components and affect health benefits of onion” The idea is to use the onion husk as well not just the inside of the onion.
The onion husk has many wonderful benefits for us. Try an onion husk tea just by pouring hot water over the husks and letting it sit for 3-5minutes, if you feel it is too strong, you can dilute it with more water. If you let the husk sit too long in the water or if the tea is too concentrated, it can have a bitter taste.
I hope you have enjoyed this article. Please subscribe to my stories and Newsbreak below. Gabriella’s website is www.gabriellakorosi.org. Gabriella also writes on Medium, has a YouTube Channel and has her publication Dancing Elephants Press. Gabriella is the author of multiple books with topics on addiction, health and wellness, and poetry.
Akash M.S.H., Rehman K., Chen S. Spice plant Allium cepa: Dietary supplement for treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nutrition. 2014;30(10):1128–1137. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.02.011 Retrieved 10/1/2022 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25194613/
Chernukha, I., Fedulova, L., Vasilevskaya, E., Kulikovskii, A., Kupaeva, N., & Kotenkova, E. (2021). Retrieved 10/1/2022. Antioxidant effect of ethanolic onion (Allium cepa) husk extract in ageing rats. Saudi journal of biological sciences, 28(5), 2877–2885. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2021.02.020.
Marefati, N., Ghorani, V., Shakeri, F., Boskabady, M., Kianian, F., Rezaee, R., & Boskabady, M. H. (2021). Retrieved 10/1/2022. A review of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory effects of Allium cepa and its main constituents. Pharmaceutical biology, 59(1), 287–302. https://doi.org/10.1080/13880209.2021.1874028
Science Direct. Phytochemical. Retrieved 10/1/2022 from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/phytochemical
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