One of the things that I try to keep in mind when prepping is to ensure that when an unexpected situation arises, it is important to remain calm and focused. You’ll want to be as stress free as possible. Here’s where I’m going with this. Prepping to me in terms of gardening and survival is to ensure that healthy, nutritious, energy pack food is available.
Onions are part of the allium family of vegetables and herbs, which also includes chives, garlic, scallions and leeks. Allium vegetables have been cultivated for centuries for not only their pungent flavors but also for their medicinal properties. Onions are one source of the strong antioxidant and vitamin C that helps to combat the formation of free radicals associated with various forms cancer.
The onion, like all members of the allium family, are rich in sulfur. That sulfur content can lend the onion antibiotic and antiseptic qualities that are often put to good use by the Herbalist or home remedy practitioners.
Onions can vary in size, shape, color and flavor. The most common types are red, yellow and white onion. Flavors can vary from sweet and juicy with a mild flavor to sharp, and even spicy. It is estimated that 105 billion pounds of onions are harvested each year worldwide.
The possible health benefits of consuming onions include lowering the risk of several types of cancer, improving mood and maintaining the health of skin and hair that I will be briefly discussing them below:
- Cancer: Allium vegetables have been studied extensively in relation to cancer, especially stomach and colorectal cancers. Their beneficial and preventative effects are likely due in part to their rich organosulfur compounds as I previous mentioned. Although the exact mechanism by which these compounds inhibit cancer is unknown, possible hypothesis include the inhibition of tumor growth and mutagenesis and prevention of free radical formation.
- Esophageal and Stomach Cancer: Frequent intake of allium vegetables has been inversely related with the risk of esophageal and stomach cancer. Several survey-based human studies have demonstrated the potential protective effects of consuming alliums, as well as reports of tumor inhibition following administration of allium compounds in experimental animals.
- Sleep and mood: Folate, found in onions, may help with depression by preventing an excess of homocysteine from forming in the body, which can prevent blood and other nutrients from reaching the brain. Excess homocysteine interferes with the production of the feel-good hormones serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which regulate not only mood, but also sleep and appetite as well.
- Skin and hair: Adequate intake of vitamin C is needed for the building and maintenance of collagen, which provides structure to skin and hair and since onions are high in vitamin c your skin and hair will definitely benefit from eating them.
- Insect Repellent: You can apply onion juice to reduce the pain caused from honeybee stings. Fresh onion juice or paste can be used for external applications for other insect bites and scorpion stings as well. The smell of onions also causes insects to flee, which is why onions can be used as insect repellents as well as a form of sting treatment.
- Boosts Sexual Drive: Onions are said to increase the urge for a healthy sex life. One table spoon of onion juice along with one spoonful of ginger juice, taken three times a day, can boost the libido and sex drive.
- Treatment of Anemia: Even anemic conditions can be improved by eating onions along with jaggery and water, because this adds to the mineral content of the body, especially iron, which is an essential part of producing new red blood cells. Therefore, anemia, also known as iron deficiency, can be prevented by having a health amount of onions in your diet.
- Relieving Earache: A few drops of onion juice may actually prove immensely beneficial to individuals suffering from acute earache. The ringing sound in the ear may be cured by applying onion juice through a piece of cotton wool.
- Natural Cures: In particular, onions are recommended for respiratory conditions, including coughs and colds. Taken raw it can be a good expectorant. Onion juice mixed equally with honey is a popular cough syrup. Their flavonoids and sulfur compounds make onions beneficial for the heart, cholesterol levels, diabetes, arthritis, and generally as an antioxidant.
- Symptom Relief: The World Health Organization recognizes products made with onion extracts as legitimate treatments for symptoms such as coughs or respiratory distress. Home remedies using onions may also provide relief for the lung congestion and coughing sometimes associated with colds and flu. One traditional remedy involves eating a cooked, chopped onion at the first sign of body aches or coughing to help ward off the worst of an illness. To ease labored breathing and coughs, you can pour boiling water into a mug containing a slice of raw onion. Strain and drink the infused liquid after it cools slightly.
- Antimicrobial: A study published in the January 2011 issue of the “Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture” reported that a plant in the onion genus and commonly used as a wild onion showed strong antimicrobial activity against five species of bacteria and two species of fungi. Researchers called for further testing of this and other onion- related plants for possible use as natural antibiotic agents.
- Probiotics: Onions contain measurable quantities of fructooligosaccharides, also known as prebiotics, a category of sugar molecules that promote the health of beneficial bacteria, according to researchers at the Plant Science Laboratory, Cranfield University, United Kingdom. By providing a food source for probiotic bacteria that inhabit the respiratory system, onions may help ward off infection.
- Antioxidants: Antioxidant benefits in the form of anthocyanins, the pigment that gives red onions their color, and the sulfur-containing amino acid cysteine make onions useful in prevention and treatment of respiratory infections, say researchers of a study published in the November 2002 issue of the journal “Phytotherapy Research.” Antiasthmatic and antibiotic effects of onions have been documented.
I’ve only touched on why you should grow and cultivate this wonderful vegetable. It truly has so many medical and culinary benefits. We carry one of most easiest to grow onions in our store name the Yellow Sweet Spanish Onions. These golden onions produce fruit up to a pound (16 oz) and a great Heirloom favorite for Homesteaders, Survivalist , Gardeners and Preppers. Their great flavor lasts longer than most other onion varieties. Yellow Sweet Spanish onions are gardeners favorites because they can be harvested quickly (in about 100 days) and do not require a long growing season. Simply water every couple days and fertilize about three weeks after you plant them.
The Egyptians were said to have built the pyramids on a diet that included a generous supply of onions. Onions have been an important food item in Egypt since 3200 BC.
It is recorded that Onions may have come to the New World with the Spaniards and shortly thereafter we discovered how great they were in sour cream and on a hamburger. The rest is history.