Wild onions are a traditional medicine of native North Americans for the treatment of colds, stings and bites. Chinese herbalists use them as a poultice for boils and in European folk medicine they`ve been used for anaemia, bronchitis and asthma, genito-urinary infections, arthritis and rheumatism, gout, and premature ageing. A night on the tiles in Paris traditionally ends with a steaming bowl of onion soup to prevent the next day`s hangover. In East Anglia thick onion soup was a favourite for treating chesty children.
Onions contain the enzyme allinase which is released when you slice the bulb. The reaction of this chemical with sulphur compounds in the onion used to get the blame for making you cry - but it`s not true. Japanese researchers have discovered a previously unknown enzyme which is the real culprit. Called "lachrymatory-factor synthase", it`s released when you cut the onion and reacts with amino-acids creating the irritant substance which gets into the eyes and starts the tears flowing.
Onions are diuretic (they increase the output of urine) and they also help to dissolve and eliminate urea, making them useful in the relief of rheumatism, arthritis and gout. All members of the onion family, which includes leeks and garlic too, are effective destroyers of bacterial and fungal infections. Latest research in Switzerland shows that onions decrease the rate of bone loss so eating them might help protect older people, especially women, against osteoporosis.
1. There are lots of old wives tales about ways to stop onions making you cry. If it bothers you try any of these:
- Refrigerate first and start cutting at the pointed end, finishing at the root.
- Peel onions under water
- Cut the onion in half, put face down on a double layer of kitchen paper and leave for 15 minutes before chopping
- Sprinkle vinegar on your chopping board before you start
- Put a piece of bread in your mouth with some of it sticking out under your nose to absorb the fumes before they get to your eyes
- Wear swimming goggles
- Light a candle beside the chopping board as the heat attracts the irritant vapours
- Always use a very sharp knife as a blunt one bruises the onion flesh and releases more of the chemicals
Personally I don`t bother, a few tears cleans out the ducts anyway.
2. Chew Parsley to get rid of onion breath
3. They`re very low in calories, around 30 in an average portion. They`re fat free and provide fibre, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and heart-protective plant chemicals.
Some of my books...
- Superfoods, Superjuices, Superhealth
- Eat Well Live Longer
- Superfood Pocketbook
(100 Top Foods for Health)
- The Omega 3 Cookbook
Sign up for my e-mail newsletter:
"In this video, we will take you through a series of easy to follow and achievable steps. You too can safely and effectively lose weight as well as significantly increase energy levels".
MigraHerb® Feverfew capsules.
MigraHerb® is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the prevention of migraine headaches exclusively based upon long-standing use as a traditional remedy. Always read the label.
Lessens frequency and severity of migraine attacks
For people who have a doctor's diagnosis for this condition
MigraHerb® 30 one-a-day capsules.
» For more information visit www.migraherb.co.uk
De-stress and Energise!
Vitano® Rhodiola rosea tablets.
Vitano® is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of symptoms associated with stress, such as fatigue, exhaustion and mild anxiety, based on traditional use only. Always read the label.
Helps revive both mental and physical performance
Balances a hectic lifestyle... naturally!
Vitano® 30 tablets normally £13.27
NOW £10.60 - Save £2.67.
Multi-buy deal also available.
» For more information visit www.vitano.co.uk
NiteHerb® Valerian tablets.
NiteHerb® is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of sleep disturbances due to symptoms of mild anxiety exclusively based on long-standing use as a traditional remedy. Always read the label.
A natural solution to a good night's sleep
Wake up revived - not groggy!
NiteHerb® 30 tablets normally £6.12
NOW £3.00 - Save £3.12.
Multi-buy deal also available.
» For more information visit www.niteherb.co.uk