Although it has its detractors, is the basis of many of the most exquisite dishes offered by the world's tables.
Not for nothing are many women who are resigned to tears in order to enjoy the particular taste of a vegetable that adds flavor to life.
But beyond its culinary uses, the onion is a true ally of health.
Were the Chaldeans of ancient Babylon who discovered the powers of the onion plant.
In addition to use for digestive diseases, gave him sacred powers and worshiped in their religious rites.
The cult of onion came to Egypt, where he was very popular during the first dynasty of pharaohs and whole used to cure various diseases.
The years were carrying the other great civilizations, until the Greeks and Romans knew and began using his juice to treat dropsy, blood purification and digestive disorders.
Although the National Onion Association (U.S.) ensures that the plant was first cultivated in Iran and Pakistan, other studies claim to have originated in Central Asia, and many historians dealing with food placed beside the first crops Mediterranean, about 5,000 years ago.
"But as several hundred cousins of onions grow wild in temperate regions of the world in his research said Richard Straub, of the department of entomology at Cornell University is very likely that they have been eaten for tens of thousands of years.
Because in addition to its taste and nutrition, this vegetable has been attributed many healing powers through the centuries. "
Onion (Allium cepa) has a similar nutritional composition other vegetables, has a high water content and a low dry matter content (8 to 10 percent, and even more than 20 percent dehydrated onions), carbohydrates, proteins and lipids.
It smells and taste associated with sulfur compounds that act as precursors of various volatile compounds.
To damage the cell, releasing reactive sulfenic acids, ammonia and pyruvate.
These acids are degraded and produce the characteristic strong smell and taste. The 1-propenyl sulfenic acid is responsible for causing tears when cutting onions.
But besides causing tears, strong smell and taste are not always welcome, these compounds are the basis of a highly nutritious food, which has many beneficial health uses.
The chemical and mineral components of the onion are great rivals of bad cholesterol. Not only fight when it is present in the body, but also help to nullify the action of other cholesterol-rich elements, when taken at the same time.
The digestive system is one of the big winners with onion.
Eat raw increases the secretion of gastric juices, contributing to better digestion of food.
Furthermore, combined with acidic fruit neutralizes the harmful effects of uric acid.
Another advantage is the ability to detoxify the body.
People who consume a diet with high levels of toxins found in the onion an excellent debugger, and its ability to help the body eliminate parasitic organisms that cause intestinal infections make it an excellent disinfectant.
While crude is more effective as an antiseptic, onion broth, garlic, ginger and apples is considered one of the best natural detoxification.
Its virtue is to help the liver get rid of the accumulated waste.
The nervous system also get benefits.
Due to their volatile oil, which favors the oxygenation of blood intake onion and lettuce has a strong sedative action.
Also, if eaten raw, such as in salad is ideal to combat stun states or brain numbing as it activates blood circulation.
Recently there have been new discoveries about the powers of the onion.
According to Swiss researchers, an onion daily protects against bone fractures.
In research with rats, scientists found that individuals who were fed a daily gram dehydrated onions had stronger bones.
The end result was amazing: onions bone reduced wear by 20 percent from a drug against osteoporosis.
Respiratory diseases are also a natural solution.
According to Tucci, the onion "facilitates expectoration, soothes cough and respiratory tract irritation.
Cooked and poultices applied is effective in bronchitis, laryngitis and disorders of the airways ".
In addition, the body can better prepare to tackle other diseases, "is an excellent balancing glandular pondered the licensed decongesting the lymph nodes, stimulating the immune system and occupying leading positions among the foods with anti-cancer properties, because it contains flavonoids , a substance that participates in the growth of tumor cells. "
As if all this were not enough properties, onion also facilitates brain work its phosphorus content, is antirheumatic and is useful for constipation, due to its high fiber content, "also stimulates appetite and aids digestion of Tucci added vegetables and salad onions to eat dinner as a starter, is a good sleep aid "
Vitamins and minerals
The presence of high concentrations of vitamins A, B and C make it very important in nutrition.
Vitamin A is essential for the growth and development of epithelial tissue, vitamin B is on the nervous system and vitamin C is known for its effects against infections.
In addition, vitamin PP helps oxygenation and is an excellent dilator that increases the body's energy, and vitamin E is a good antioxidant and toning.
Vitamin C makes the onion into a powerful ally against colds and other respiratory ailments.
It can be eaten both viral diseases like asthma source.
According to an analysis of food and health of Grupo Eroski in Spain, allium vegetables, such as onions, garlic and leeks, among others, have mucolytic and antiseptic properties; soften mucus, favoring his removal, and act against bacteria or viruses causing condition.
Inhalation of the substance that gives off an onion (or any other vegetable of its kind) helps clear mucus and can relieve cough.
The sulfur compounds that form the essential oil of these foods, and cause the characteristic bad breath, have on the human body an antispasmodic action, mucolytic and antibiotic.
In the chemical composition of the onion salts are essential to the organism.
Besides sulfur, boron, bromine, chlorine, copper, manganese and silicon, contains other important minerals.
Calcium, one of those responsible for their surprising results in bones, is also involved in the health of the teeth and in the process of blood clotting.
Phosphorus in the accompanying effect on bones.
Iron, essential for the transport of oxygen and the composition of the hemoglobin is present in onions preventing anemia, with the aid of cobalt.
Iodine has an important effect on the thyroid gland, controlling metabolism.
In turn, magnesium affects the liver and drainage acts on cardiac potassium, sodium works in conjunction with the potassium and regulates the rate of water in the body.
The way to eat the onion is essential to act appropriately on each condition.
For respiratory diseases can extract juice drink one or two and three times a day.
For these cases, you can also drink tea.
In salad is ideal as a stimulant, depurative, diuretic, hypotensive and remineralizing, and poultices can be used to implement an onion roasted on injuries, boils and abscesses.
It also has benefits if ingested cooked.
Over low heat, in a liter of water and a little milk, acts as a digestive, diuretic and cleanser.
Anna May, author of The Healing Power of onion, is a strong advocate of consumption of raw onion.
In his book says that "in the bosom of the earth, with its inexhaustible fertility, plants grow man offering his roots, leaves and fruit, so that he uses them to his advantage.
Onion is one of these plants, and its special flavor, somewhat acrid, which distinguishes them, is where the secret of its healing power.
Eating raw onion, can prevent or cure diseases like cancer, bronchitis, colds and many other ailments.
To be healthy onion recommend daily consumption, appropriately, either delicious salads or as part of another dish. "
The onion does not always have many followers.
So Ms. Tucci recommended that "in order to better digest its pungent flavor and smooth, it is advisable to put it marinate with lemon juice.
This not lose their vitamins. "
It is also important to use the right fresh vegetable: "we must eat freshly cut, because if they stay too long in contact with the air are oxidized and become harmful."
And the smell?
To combat the mythical stench of onion, some advice: "the smell is caused by a tear gas essences that are strongly sulphurous nature Argentina nutritionist explained.
By acting on the conjunctiva of the eye produce the familiar tearing.
Essences are essential substances as propyl disulfide, and other dimethylthiophene.
A good way to avoid tearing the onion is leaving fifteen minutes in the freezer. "
An unpleasant smell and taste with some critics are not sufficient reasons to forgo the wonderful healing powers of onion.
A tool that nature has placed within man.
Onions could draw down a fever.
Simply cut an onion in half, put the cut side on the bottom of the feet of the patient, and covered their feet with socks to keep the onions in place.
This remedy requires a compliant patient; not one who freaks out & pulls off the sock/onion combo within a half an hour.
Regardless, if you're looking for a fast, natural way to draw down a fever, try the onion method.
It definitely seemed to work.