Onion’s medicinal uses in Chinese medicine are its role in enhancing chi or energy. They induce urination and perspiration. It is recommended for consumption when the weather is cold. Mixed with garlic and sugar, onion ameliorates respiratory stress induced by cold weather.
Herbal medicine systems of both China and India regard it as beneficial to the cardiovascular system. Other onion medicinal uses are reducing blood platelet aggregation and cholesterol levels. The herb, ripe and green, is said to help improve digestion. They also keep oral bacteria under check.
Shallots have higher phenolic content and high levels of antioxidants. These antioxidants are preserved if cooked in low heat. Onions are anti-inflammatory and can help reduce arthritic and associated pains in bones and joints.
Both Chinese and traditional Indian herbal medicine systems claim that herbs and its seed enhance libido. Hot water extracts are an aphrodisiac for both men and women. Onion is used to treating colds and improve digestion, heart ailments, blisters, boils, and topical scars. Fresh onion is consumed to ameliorate amenorrhea, menstrual and uterine pains. Mixed with Adhatoda vasica and honey, it is recommended as a treatment for tuberculosis. Unani and Ayurveda doctors use it in dried, roasted, fresh, and juice forms to treat respiratory, gastric, and eye diseases and diabetes.
Kumar et al. (2010) recommend using fresh extracts for coughs, colds, and other respiratory ailments. WHO (World Health Organization) supports their use to treat appetite loss and prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries)
Allium cepa is recommended in cases of flu and gastrointestinal ailments in homeopathy. Onion and garlic are rich in sulfur compounds. They possess anti-diabetic, antibiotic, hypocholesterolemic, and fibrinolytic properties (Augusti, 1996).
Allium cepa extract was shown to have anti-microbial action against Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (Eltaweel, 2013). Azu et al. (2006) Experiment demonstrated the anti-microbial properties of the herb and ginger extracts against other bacteria like Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi (causes typhoid), and Bacillus subtillis.
Votto et al. (2010) studied the anti-cancer property of onions. Their experiments showed that cell death occurs when exposed to onion extract due to damage caused to the DNA.
A randomized, controlled, single-blind study revealed that eight weeks of application of a proprietary onion extract gel (once a day) significantly reduced scar tissue in patients. Animal trials have validated the anti-diabetic properties of the plant (Jevas, 2011).
In traditional Chinese medicine, onion is yang food. In Ayurveda, too, onion is said to stimulate the human body. Herbal medicine systems of both China and India regard onion as beneficial to the cardiovascular system. WHO (World Health Organization) supports using onions to treat appetite loss and prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries).
Onion and garlic are rich in sulfur compounds. They possess anti-diabetic, antibiotic, hypocholesterolemic, and fibrinolytic properties (Augusti, 1996).
The German Federal Health Agency’s Commission has approved onion as an antibacterial agent. The Commission has concluded that onion is a healthful vegetable that may have many medical benefits. The plant is rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds.
The above content has been drawn from my book Asian Herbs.