The herbaceous plant onion grows in temperate zones. It belongs to family “Liliaceae” and has latin name “Allium Cepa”. The plant reaches a height of 2-5 ft and bears cluster of greenish white flowers. Onions develop from the base of leaves to form underground bulbs. Seeds of onion are black in colour.
Onion is known as Phalandu in Sanskrit. Its medicinal properties and physical properties are explained in texts of ayurveda. Ayurveda acharyas have explained the uses of onion in various health conditions and have classified onions based on their colours. “Rakta phalandu” (Red coloured onion) and “shweta phalandu” (white coloured onion) are two varieties of onions.
According to ayurveda onions are heavy to digest and slimy to touch. They taste sweet and are pungent to smell. They increase fire component of body (ushna veerya) and acquire sweet taste after digestion (madhura vipaka). Its seeds and fruit are used in ayurvedic preparations.
Medicinal Uses of Onion in Different Health Conditions:
- Onion normalizes vata and increases kapha and pitta. Hence it is used in diseases which occur due to vitiation of vata. It acts as an anti inflammatory and reduces pain. Ayurvedic texts recommend its use in sciatica, arthritis and other diseases which involve bones, joints and peripheral nervous system.
- The poultice of onion and other herbs help to reduce swelling and pain in joints and hard abscess.
- Application of onion juice is recommended in pigments and dark spots which appear on face.
- Use of Onion juice is recommended in ear pain and blurred vision.
- Onion help to rejuvenate liver, normalize digestion, relieve constipation and increase appetite. Hence it is very beneficial in piles (hemorrhoids) , constipation, jaundice and indigestion.
- White onions are recommended in bleeding disorders to reduce bleeding. Hence it is used in conditions like bleeding piles and bleeding through nose.
- Onions are used in home remedies to reduce cough.
- Onion and its seeds are known to help in erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and male infertility. It helps to increase libido, quality and quantity of semen. It is a very good vajikara.
- It helps to reduce itching on skin.
- As onions increase rajas and tamas of mind, it masks analyzing capacity, intelligence and grasping power.