May 28, 2016

Onion

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What other names is Onion known by?

Allii Cepae Bulbus, Allium cepa, Cebolla, Échalote, Green Onion, Oignon, Oignon Vert, Onions, Palandu, Piyaj, Shallot.

What is Onion?

Onion is a plant. The bulb (rounded underground part) of the onion is used to make medicine.

Onion is used for treating digestion problems including loss of appetite, upset stomach, and gallbladder disorders; for treating heart and blood vessel problems including chest pain (angina) and high blood pressure; and for preventing "hardening of the arteries" (atherosclerosis). It is also used for treating sore mouth and throat, whooping cough, bronchitis, asthma, dehydration, intestinal gas, parasitic worms, and diabetes. Some people use it as a diuretic to increase urine output.

Onion is applied directly to the skin for insect bites, wounds, light burns, boils, warts, and bruises.

In foods, onion is used in many recipes.

In manufacturing, the oil is used to flavor foods.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Scarring. Most research suggests that applying onion extract, usually as a specific product containing heparin and allantoin (Contractubex), to the skin for 10 weeks to 6 months improves scar color and appearance, as well as pain and itching, in people with scars due to burns, tattoo removal, injuries, or surgical removement of tissue. However, using a specific product containing onion exract and allantoin (Mederma, Merz Pharmaceuticals) for 4-11 weeks does not seem to improve the appearance of new surgical scars.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Hair loss (alopecia areata). Early research suggests that applying onion juice to the scalp for 8 weeks might improve hair growth in people with hair loss due to a condition called alopecia areata.
  • Diabetes. Early research suggests that adding onion three times daily to a specific diet for 8 weeks might reduce blood sugar in people with diabetes.
  • High blood pressure. Early research suggests that taking a specific product containing onion, olive oil, grape skin extract, L-carnitine, vitamin E, vitamin C, lycopene, and folic acid daily for one week might lower systolic blood pressure (the top number) but not diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) in people with high blood pressure.
  • Asthma.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Fever.
  • Colds.
  • Cough.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the mouth and throat.
  • Wounds.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Preventing hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of onion for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


Therapeutic Research Faculty copyright

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