Friday, June 9, 2023


ONIONS (Allium cepa Linn) are packed with vibrant flavor, onions are a staple food throughout the world. It is a close relative of other Allium family members such as garlic, leeks, and shallots. Onions are not grown commercially in Malaysia. Malaysia are net importer of fresh onions. It is grown for its edible bulb, which most often serves to flavor a variety of foods. This plant originates from central Asia, but it can be found around the world today. Cultivation of onion started 7000 years ago and resulted in creation of numerous varieties of onions that differ in size, shape, color and taste. The amazing onion offers layers of flavor, color, and texture to a wide variety of dishes and cuisines. It has also been used in traditional medicines since ancient times for its health promoting and curative properties. Bombay Onion, Brown Onion, Bulb Onion, Common Onion, Onion are some of the popular common names of Onion. Onions are categorized as being either green or dry onions. Snow White Hybrid Onion, White Granex Onion, Bianca Onion, Gladalan White Onion, White Spanish Onion, Mild Onions, Candy Hybrid Onion, Walla Walla Sweet Onion, Granex Yellow Hybrid Onion, Texas Super sweet Onion, Sweet and Early Hybrid Onion, Yellow Ebenezer Onion, Savannah Sweet Onion, Sweet Spanish Hybrid Onion, Texas Grano Onion, Giant Red Hamburger Onion, Salad Red Onion are some of the popular varieties of Onion which is grown throughout the world. The blog "Anim Agriculture Technology" write about the important of onions.

Onion bulb is used as vegetable, seasoning and flavoring. Bulb is eaten raw or cooked. Eaten raw, it can be sliced up and used in salads, sandwich fillings, etc.; it can be baked or boiled as a vegetable in its own right and is commonly used as a flavoring in soups, stews and many other cooked dishes. Some cultivars have smaller and hotter bulbs, and are used for making pickles or chutneys. Concentrated oils are produced from steam distillation of fresh onion and garlic, and these are used to deliver onion or garlic flavor to processed foods. In a number of countries, particularly in Asia, pickled onion and garlic bulbs are consumed. Leaves are also raw or cooked. Flowers are eaten raw and used as a garnish on salads. They can be used either chopped or sliced, in almost every type of food, including fresh salads, or as a spicy garnish. Onions are one of the most sought-after ingredients in cooking where they used in curries, stir-fries, soups, stuffing, pastes, dips, sauces, etc., every day in India and Pakistan. They are one of the common ingredients in the Chinese “chowmein” (a kind of recipe with chopped onions, chili, cabbage, scallions, sweet bell peppers, and tomato sauce mixture.) They are used extensively in the area of Mediterranean and continental cooking in salads, cheese pizza, burger, soup, tart, rolls, stuffing…etc. Onions are a staple in Indian cuisine, used as a thickening agent for curries and gravies. Sliced onions are battered and deep-fried and served as onion rings in North America. 

Other Traditional uses and benefits of Onion include the onion bulb is antiseptic, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, stomachic, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, lithontriptic, antispasmodic, hypotensive and tonic. Both garlic and onion are shown to have applications as hypoglycemic antithrombotic, hypolipidemic, anti-tumor, antiarthritic and antimicrobial agents. In the Errachidia province in southeastern Morocco, A. cepa is one of several plants used to treat diabetes and hypertension. Allium cepa is used for chilblains and to remove thorns and splinters in traditional phytotherapy in the Marche, Abruzzo and Latium regions in Central Italy Guarrera. When used regularly in the diet, onions offset tendencies towards angina, arteriosclerosis and heart attack and also useful in preventing oral infection and tooth decay. Baked onions are used as a poultice to eliminate pus from sores and warmed onion juice can be used as eardrop to treat earache. Fresh onion juice is a very useful first aid treatment for bee and wasp stings, bites, grazes or fungal skin complaints. It also aids in the formation of scar tissue on wounds, therefore speeding up the healing process, and has been used as a cosmetic to remove freckles.

Onion juice scrubbed into the skin is said to encourage the growth of hair and to be a remedy for baldness. Bulbs of red onion cultivars are used to make a homeopathic remedy particularly in the treatment of people whose symptoms include running eyes and nose. It is beneficial for hypertension, appetite loss, arteriosclerosis, dyspeptic complaints, and tendency to infection, fevers and colds, cough/bronchitis, inflammation of mouth and pharynx and common cold. The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent and can also be rubbed onto the skin to repel insects. Onion water extract is said to the resistance of other plants to diseases and parasites. It has been used to polish glass and copperware and to prevent rust on iron. A yellow–brown dye is obtained from the outer skin of the bulbs. As precautions, raw onions may cause irritation to skin, mucus membranes and eyes. Eating onions can lead to bad breath and an unpleasant body odor. This article divided in 4 segments namely Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 respectively. Thanks for reading.
M Anim,
Created: August 2020.
Updated: 9 June 2023.
From Langkawi Island, Kedah.

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