Onion for Natural Cures

By Zidni A Apriya

Onion is member of the botanical family liliaceae (lily, onion). There are many varieties of onion (allium), including leeks, shallots, chives, and garlic. They all share a similar structure, with hollow single stems growing out of bulbs and flowering into pom-pom flowers, and every part of the plant is edible.

The ancient Egyptians worshipped the onion, its concentric rings a symbol of eternal life. Onions are still prized for their different parts. Bulb onions have a round core expanding into layers, with a papery outer skin. They include the red or purple Bermudas, sweet Vidalia and Walla Wallas, common white and yellow, as well as round and elongated shallots (allium oschaninii).

Some alliums are valued for their stems. They do not have a rounded bulb, but instead grow a long cylinder of tightly packed leaves. These include the leek (allium ampeloprasum), the scallion or green onion, the Welsh onion (allium fistulosum), and the smallest of the species, the chive (allium schoenoprasum), which grows in clumps and includes the Japanese garlic chive Ku chai, (allium tuberosum). The greens and flowers can be harvested from all onions, regardless of their variety.

The pearl onion (allium cepa), or walking onion or tree onion, is a peculiar form. The plant grows a mass of bulbs at the top of the stem, where a normal onion flower would appear.

Onions are used in infinite ways, but certain preparation methods bring out different characteristics. Cut onions release more of their harsh oils than onions cooked whole. If onions are to be eaten raw, you can tame the harsh oils by thoroughly soaking and rinsing in cold water. Roasting whole or chopped and sauted over slow heat brings out an onion's natural sugars, which can be further cooked to caramelization.

In addition to fresh, onions are also commonly available in dried, flaked, powdered, or salted forms, all processed from dehydrated bulbs. Be aware that these dried forms have a more concentrated flavor. Onions are available wherever people like to eat.

Onion helps as natural anti bacteria, strengthening heart, lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and prevents cancer. Sample of natural cures by onion is how onion used to treat bruises. Crush onion until soft and mix it with a spoonful of honey, then rub it to the bruises. - 31820

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