Food Power | Recipes and World Cuisine

43 Surprising Benefits Of Onions (Pyaz) For Skin And Health

Almost everyone knows that onions are very important for health. An onion, also known as ‘pyaz‘ or ‘kanda‘ or ‘Dungri’ (Hindi), Nirulli / Ullipayalu / Yerra Gaddalu (Telugu), ‘Vaengayam‘ (Tamil), ‘Savala‘ (Malayalam), Ulligadde / Erulli / Neeruli (Kannada), Pyajj / Piyaz (Bengali), Dungri / Kanda (Gujarati) , ‘Kandaa’ (Marathi) is a daily must-have that helps you stay away from many infections and diseases. If you are sick and are looking for a quick heal medicine, then onions are your best option.

1.Onions have antibiotic, antiseptic, antimicrobial and carminative properties to help you stay away from infections.


2.Onions are rich in sulphur, fibers, potassium, calcium, vitamin B, vitamin C and they are low in fat, cholesterol and sodium.


3.It is an immediate cure for fever, common cold, cough, sore throat, allergies, etc. A mixture of onion juice and honey can cure these problems easily.


4.A small piece of onion can work against side effects of fever if it is kept on the forehead.


5.A small piece of onion, when inhaled, can stop or slow down the bleeding through the nose.


6.An onion a day can cure insomnia or sleeping disorders. This will surely give you a good night’s sleep.


7.Onions can improve the digestive system. If you have a digestion problem, then onions can cure it by increasing the release of the digestion juices.



8.Onion juice can cure burnt skin or an insect bite or a bee bite. It may burn more but it can heal it very effectively.


9.Onions can be used to prevent cancers. It works against head, neck and colon cancers.


10.You can protect yourself from osteoporosis and atherosclerosis by consuming onions daily.



11.Onions increase the insulin in the body and also treat diabetes by controlling the sugar levels in the blood.


12.The bad cholesterol that causes heart problems can be burnt or removed if an onion is consumed daily. It keeps you safe from the coronary diseases and also protects the good cholesterol.


13.Inflammation from arthritis in the joints can be healed with onions.


14.There is a small trick with onions to get some relief from body pains. Onions should be fried in sesame or castor oil and can be used to heal any aches.


15.One of the well-known tricks to remove dark patches or pigments on your face is to apply onion and turmeric juice on that area.


16.Onion juice is also used to cure ear and eye problems. This juice is used for infants as eye drops for clear vision.


17.This is also used for toothaches and tooth decaying.


18.Onions have rejuvenation properties on the body tissues.


19.For a few types of moles, onion juice works efficiently by removing them.


20.For a good memory and a strong nervous system, consuming onions is your best bet.


21.Onions cure menstrual disorders. Raw onions should be consumed before a few days of the beginning of your cycle.


22.Use onion juice on the hair or the scalp to get rid of lice and hair fall. This is one of the most prominent of onion benefits for hair.


23.Onions contain water, protein, fats, starch, fibers, minerals, calcium, vitamin C, iron and B complex. You should consume between 100 – 150 grams of onions in any form depending on your likes and dislikes.


24.Type-2 diabetes does not usually have the same characteristics like its better-known cousin. Consequently, it is more difficult to diagnose. Black seeds can help reduce FBG (fasting blood glucose), decrease insulin

resistance and increase ß-cell functions in your pancreas. Black onion seed thus helps Type-2 diabetic patients. A controlled study of 100 patients concluded that 2 gm of black onion seed daily might enhance oral hypoglycemic agents. (1)


25.Many children who suffer from epilepsy resist conventional treatment. Black onion seed offers the perfect solution. It is known to have anti-convulsive properties. A scientific study concluded that black onion seed could reduce the frequency of refractory seizures. Its antiepileptic properties have been proven to help epileptics (2).


26.MRSA or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a staphylococcal infection that repels antibiotics and has emerged as one of the commonest pathogens in medicine. Research aimed to determine how black onion seeds could help cure MRSA. It was found that black onion seeds inhibit MRSA, making them an effective treatment for MRSA (3).


27.Black onion seeds contain thymoquinone, an antioxidant, which has analgesic and anticonvulsant properties. The antioxidant properties of thymoquinone help protect the heart from myocardial injury, helping reduce the risk of heart attack. It protects the heart from isoproterenol induced injuries (4).


28.Black onion seeds contain an antioxidant called thymoquinone. It has been known to combat neurotoxic effects of lead. Thymoquinone protects the brain from damage caused by lead toxicity. Black onion seeds in turn help prevent brain damage caused by lead (5).


29.Thymoquinone is the superstar ingredient of black onion seed. It triggers apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancerous cells and helps cure oral cancer. Thymoquinone’s anti-tumor characteristic stimulates the downregulation of p38ß MAPK and inhibits the spread of cancerous cells (6).


30.Black onion seeds are a known antiasthmatic. ‘Phytomedicine’ published a study on the antiasthmatic effect on asthmatic airways. The study also claimed that black onion seeds could be considered superior to conventional treatments for cancer(7).


31.Onion seed is an amazing antibiotic that heals fever. It also offers relief from pain and inflammation caused due to fever. Thus, it is an amazing antipyretic remedy against tropical fevers and seasonal flicks. Essential oils in onion seeds give the antipyretic properties to these healing seeds.


32.Onion seeds are also revolutionary anti-inflammatory agents. They reduce the inflammation caused due to infections in the body. As a result, these seeds also reduce headaches caused due to inflammation. They are potential analgesics those can cut the sensation of pain upon consumption.


33.Worms in stomach and intestines are sure a cause of worry. This condition is accompanied by stomach cramps, vomiting and nausea. Onion seeds are strong worm repellents. They kill the disease-causing parasites in the stomach and intestines. Hence, they also offer relief from pain and nausea caused due to worms.

34.Inflammation is a major reason behind bone disorders like arthritis. It leads to pain in the affected joints and tissues. Onion seeds offer strong healing attributes to such patients. They are amazing anti-inflammatory agents and analgesics too. Thus, they reduce inflammation and pain in the affected joints and tissues. This relieves arthritic condition without much difficulty.



Skin Benefits

This humble vegetable can provide you with a healthy and glowing skin, thanks to the presence of rich amounts of the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E. Both the consumption and the topical application of onions can provide numerous benefits to your skin.


35. Anti-Aging Benefits

Onions possess enormous anti-aging benefits. The antioxidant vitamins A, C and E fight against the damage caused by the harmful UV rays as well as prevent free radical damage that is responsible for causing premature aging of our skin. Onion is one of the richest sources of quercetin, the most powerful antioxidant that can keep your skin wrinkle-free. Vitamins and sulphur, on the other hand, protect your skin, and keep it soft and supple. The anti-aging qualities of onion can be attributed to the presence of sulphur-rich phytochemicals. Massaging your skin with fresh onion juice helps increase the blood circulation and improves the overall appearance of your skin by imparting a more youthful and radiant appearance.


36. Treatment Of Acne

The antimicrobial, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities of onion can work wonders on your skin. It is a powerful antiseptic that protects your skin from acne-causing bacteria and other skin infections. Onions can be used in the treatment of acne and pimples. For this purpose, you can mix 1 tablespoon of onion juice or extract with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and apply it on your face. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then wash off. Apart from topical application, the regular consumption of onion can also give you miraculous results in the case of acne.


37. Lightens The Complexion

Onions help in purifying your blood and supply your body with flavonoids that assist Vitamin C in its important functions. The consumption of onions can keep your skin healthy and glowing. You can prepare your own face mask by combining 1 ½ tablespoons of freshly extracted onion juice with 2 tablespoons of gram flour, ½ teaspoon of milk and a pinch of nutmeg. Mix all these ingredients to form a thick paste and add some more milk, if required, to reach the desired consistency. You can also add a few drops of lavender essential oil to beat the smell of onions. Apply it all over your face after cleansing and leave for 15 to 20 minutes or until it dries. Dab a cotton ball in milk and remove the pack by massaging in gentle circular movements. This will exfoliate the dead skin cells and lighten the skin tone.


38. Treatment Of Dark Spots And Pigmentation

Onion juice is excellent for getting rid of dark spots and pigmentation. The rich variety of phytonutrients and antioxidants in onion nourish your skin while removing the skin impurities. You can prepare a face pack by mixing equal quantities of onion juice and fresh yogurt. You can also add a few drops of any essential oil for a pleasant aroma. Massage your face with this mixture, using gentle circular movements for 10 to 15 minutes. This should be done daily for best results.


39. Treatment Of Stings And Bites

Onions can be used to soothe stings and bug bites. All you need to do is place an onion slice on your sting or bite. The anti-inflammatory properties of onion help in reducing the burn, itchiness and swelling caused by insect and bug bites.


Hair Benefits

The benefits of onion do not end here. This layered vegetable is great for your hair as well. Onion juice is often used as a remedy for various hair problems. Some of the ways in which an onion can benefit your hair are as follows.


40. Treatment Of Thinning Hair

Onion is quite helpful in treating thinning hair. All you need to do is juice an onion in a juicer and add ½ teaspoon of honey to it. You can add any essential oil of your choice to suppress the smell. Apply this mixture all over your hair or onto the portions that appear thin. Leave it overnight and do not cover your head. Shampoo your hair the next morning. This should be done at least once to thrice a week for best results.


41. Treatment Of Hair Loss And Dandruff

You can prepare a hair mask using an onion to combat hair loss, dandruff and an itchy scalp. Onion juice is particularly beneficial for increasing the length of your hair. All you need to do is grind or mash an onion and strain it through a grinder to obtain the juice. Mix this juice with equal amounts of olive or coconut oil and apply it on your scalp and hair. Cover your head with a shower cap and leave it for 2 hours. Rinse it off with a shampoo to get rid of the stickiness in the hair. This hair pack will improve the ability of your hair to regrow besides imparting a shiny, glossy look to your hair. It should be applied twice a month for best results.

42. Maintains Hair Color

You can apply onion juice on your hair to impart a nice coppery shade as well as to make your hair glossy. However, if you wish to maintain the natural color of your hair, you can blend an onion with adequate amounts of mustard oil and apply it on your hair. The mustard oil will suppress the color lightening effect of onion.


43. Natural Conditioner

To condition your hair naturally, you can apply a mixture of onion and fenugreek paste on your hair. Keep it for half an hour and wash off with a mild shampoo.


Besides having nutritive values, onion has some side effects also. The same onion which provides several health benefits can also cause side effects in certain cases.


1. Drastic Decrease In Blood Sugar Levels

Onion decreases blood sugar levels so diabetics should check their blood sugar before consuming it because it might lower their blood sugar level too much.


2. Gastric Burning

Although onion is used in treating several gastrointestinal disorders, excess consumption may cause gastric irritation, vomiting, nausea and burning. If you experience any such conditions regularly from onion usage, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider.


3. Skin Irritation

Some people may experience face or skin irritation and rashes on applying onion juice on the skin. So it is advisable to test it on a small area of your skin before its application.


4. Pregnant And Nursing Women

Pregnant and nursing women should limit the amount of onion consumption as it often causes heartburn during these stages.


5. Heartburn

Uncontrolled intake of onion can lead to heartburn. Thus, it can cause adverse effects to people with heart ailments. Quick medical attention is required in such a condition.


6. Bad Breath

Onion often leaves a bad breath after its consumption due to its strong aroma which can be attributed to its high content of sulphur.


7. Blood Pressure

Onion may reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Thus, those taking medications for blood pressure, should exercise caution in its consumption.


8. Anticoagulant Property

Use of onion may inhibit blood clotting because of its anticoagulant property. Supplementing onion with other anticoagulant medications might increase the risk of bleeding and bruising. Hence, one should be aware of this serious side effect of onion consumption.


9. Increased Sensitivity

People who are allergic to onion should not take aspirin and onion together as aspirin increases onion sensitivity.


10. Increased Lithium

Onion may decrease the capability to remove lithium from the body. So if you are taking any lithium medication supplement of onion, it may increase the lithium amount in your body. It is advisable to consult a doctor before taking any lithium medications while consuming onion.


How To Select And Store?

Selection: Both dry and green onions are available all the year round. While buying onions, choose the ones that are clean, well-shaped, with no opening at the neck. Their necks should be tightly closed and should not have a thick woody center. They should be firm with crisp, dry, bright and shiny outer skin with a crackly feel. The base should be whitish in color, measuring about 2 to 3 inches. Avoid the ones with soft spots, damp and moldy patches as this is an indication of inferior quality. Sprouting onions should be avoided as this indicates age and poor storage. However, if sweet onions have sprouted in your pantry, you can use the green sprouts as a substitute for scallions. There should not be dark powdery patches under the skin as this is an indication of mould that may spoil the flesh. They should have a mild smell.


Storage: Dry onions can be stored for several months. Whole onions should be stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place where they will last for about 4 weeks. Avoid refrigerating them as this will turn them soft. As they absorb moisture, they should not be stored below the sink. Often, partial onions remain after the preparation of meals. These onions can be stored for reuse. They should be wrapped in plastic or placed in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for use within 2 to 3 days. Besides proper storage, onions should be inspected regularly. Slimy or discolored onions should be discarded. Sprouting onions can be eaten after chopping away the green portion. Spring onions can be refrigerated for up to a week.


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