Health Benefits Of Onions & 5 Ways To Use Them!

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A big part of self-sufficiency is understanding every aspect of what you’re bringing in from the garden! Right now you may just think that an onion is great for flavoring dishes and you should only grow what your family can consume in meals. Stick with me here as I show you some health benefits of onions you may not have known and also five ways to use onions other than diced, sliced and thrown into meals! 

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Health Benefits of Onions

Like the other alliums, onions are loaded with vitamins and minerals! They contain a high load of vitamin C, which is a huge immune booster! They also contain a lot of the B-vitamins and potassium, both of which are needed for vital functions in the body and found to be deficient in many diets.

Medicinal Benefits

Onions have proven themselves as a beneficial vegetable in a number studies aimed at understanding the health benefits of onions. Due to their amazing antioxidant load, onions have been proven to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL), decrease the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, help prevent blood clots, balance insulin levels in type 2 diabetics and so much more!

One of the many antioxidants onions contain is quercetin. This powerful compound has been proven to help support a strong immune system, decrease inflammation and even fight off cancer cells! Thanks to quercetin, this crop is a huge benefit in the fight against inflammation in today’s inflammatory prone world as it is a huge anti-inflammatory!

health benefits of onions home remedies

One of the best health benefits of onions is the role they play as a natural antibiotic! Studies have shown that onions can fight against even the worst bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Onions play a huge role in a healthy gut! They contain fiber and are a great source of prebiotics. Prebiotics are essential to feed and multiply the probiotics in the gut that are responsible for many immune functions, chemical balances, and absorption of essential minerals.

Topical use of onions can help repair scars on the skin! Researchers in Thailand did a study on surgery scars using a gel with 10% onion extract. They found that the onion mixture virtually eradicated the scars within six months of treatment! This is thanks to onions having a combination of compounds that stimulate skin repair by increasing collagen production. This collagen production is also helpful in combating hairloss, acne and other discolorations on the skin!

5 Ways To Use Onions

Dried In Spices

If you have some onions in storage that look like they will turn soon, or you just want to quickly add that onion punch to dishes, drying and powdering onions into spice jars is the way to go.

onions health benefits

This method of preservation is super simple and will allow you to store your harvest for years! You could dry any part of the onion, from the bulb to the greens, and there are plenty of options when it comes to equipment to get the job done.

From the typical electric dehydrator or oven on a low temperature, to more self-sufficient, or no energy expended equipment such as a solar box or wood stove. After the onions are completely dry, simply grind them up in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle. You can even add other spices with the dried onions to make a delicious mix, such as salt and parsley flakes, or garlic and paprika!

Extract

Onion extract or juice is a great way to utilize onions for topical use. The easiest method for extracting the juice is to simply throw a chopped onion in a food processor and then strain the juice or use a juicer. The juice can be added to lotion recipes, hair serums or rinses, and also may be applied directly on the skin. This powerful juice can be used to treat acne, hairloss, scars, and fungal disease, such as on the nails.

Fermented

health benefits of onion water

If you don’t like the taste of raw onions, fermented onions could be your answer to getting more onion benefits in your body! Fermenting onions naturally brings out the sweeter flavor you often get after cooking. This process makes them perfect for salads, sandwiches, or simply eating a spoonful a day!

With the fermentation process comes a lot more gut health benefits! Fermenting your onions will add loads more probiotics to your gut, boosting that gut microbiome that is so critical for good health! Another benefit of fermenting your onions is longer shelf life. Fermented onions can last for months, or even years, making this process another great preservation method for your harvest and food self-sufficiency.

Check out our Fermented Onions Recipe!

Fire Cider

health benefits of onions and garlic

Another great way to preserve and store your onions long term is to make some fire cider! This powerful food medicine packs a massive punch when it comes to boosting your immune system to prevent or more easily fight off colds and flus. Onions are a big player in the effectiveness of the fire cider, primarily because of their quercetin levels and its role as an anti-inflammatory and antiviral. The high vitamin C content of onions also plays a role in a healthy and functioning immune system.

Poultice

A lot of ailments of the body are caused by inflammation, for one reason or another. Due to onions being a strong anti-inflammatory and antihistamine, many herbal or natural practices turn to a onion poultice in order to relive inflammation topically. This doesn’t just work on things like bug bites and sores, it can also be applied to areas such as the chest to relieve lung congestion. The process is simple and only takes a few minutes to do! Just simply take a onion slice and heat it on the stove top on low heat, make sure not to overdo it as you don’t want to cause a burn or make the person being treated uncomfortable. After heating, wrap in a thin cloth and apply to affected area. These areas could include a bug bite or sore, the chest for congestion, by the ear for an ear infection, joint swelling, or even on the lower stomach for a bladder infection.

BONUS Onion Use!

Onions on your feet! Onions are loaded with antioxidants which protect the body from free radicals and DNA damage. Because of the onion benefits, and the practice of reflexology, forklore has long claimed that onions on the feet are great for pulling out toxins to detox the body. This can be used routinely or specifically when something is going array in the body and it needs a little help, such as with colds and flus, toxic build up, or exposure to a known carcinogen or chemical.

Hope you learned something new and will plant a few extra onions this year in order to utilize all the amazing benefits this crop has to offer!

Happy health!

Hey Beautiful! I’m Tara, garden enthusiasts, keeper of chickens, herbal homesteader and stay at home mom of 3 tiny humans and a sourdough starter named Ma. I love teaching others how to live a self-sufficient and sustainable life through homesteading, scratch cooking, and remembering to live barefoot, wild and free!

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