Onions are popular because they add taste to our food. Onions have highly curative values which are known only to a few people.
The botanical name for it is Allium Rubrum. In Sanskrit, Red Onions are known as 'Plapandu' and Bombay-onions or Allum-Sepa is known as 'Bukhadusana' (giving a bad smell in the mouth).
They grow freely in the dry regions of Sri Lanka. Their origin is believed to be from Egypt. The onion is a tonic, a diuretic, vermifuge (expels worms from the body), emollient (having a softening and soothing effect) and an antiseptic.
It has been held in high esteem through the ages. Its uses are many. It has been useful during epidemics of plague and cholera. It has been praised as an aphrodisiac.
The Egyptians have a traditional onion soup after a night's revels, as the custom in some regions. They have the practice of taking onion soup to a young couple after their wedding night.
It has been considered a contributing factor in longevity.
The Bulgarians are known as great eaters of onions and it is believed that they have a good record as centenarians. It has been said that onions help colour the hair, and foster hair-growth.
It has been recommended in old Ayurveda texts for obesity. Those who were fat were advised to eat raw onions.
Onions give the best of results when eaten raw, for cooking partially destroys their active properties contained in highly volatile oil. Their raw juice is an irritant, but onions should be eaten raw as often as possible, in salads or added (chopped finely) to soups and vegetables.