ONION Overview Information
Onion is a plant. The bulb (rounded underground part) of the onion is used to make medicine.
Onion is most commonly used for scarring.
How does it work?
Onion contains chemicals that seem to reduce swelling (inflammation), reduce lung tightness in people with asthma, and reduce levels of cholesterol and sugar in the blood.
Possibly Effective for:
- Scarring. Most research shows that applying gel containing onion extract to the skin, alone or with other ingredients, for at least 10 weeks improves the appearance of scars. Applying onion extract along with other ingredients for less time doesn't seem to work.
- Hair loss (alopecia areata). Early research shows that applying onion juice to the scalp for 8 weeks might improve hair growth in people with hair loss due to a condition called alopecia areata.
- Diabetes. Early research shows that eating 20 grams of onion while dieting reduces blood sugar in people with diabetes better than dieting alone after 8 weeks of treatment.
- High blood pressure. Research shows that taking onion extract for 6 weeks slightly reduces systolic blood pressure (the top number) in people with high blood pressure. Early research also shows that taking a combination product containing onion and other ingredients for one week lowers systolic blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. But neither supplement seems to improve diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number).
- Obesity. Early research shows that taking onion skin extract for 12 weeks reduces body weight by a small amount in people who are overweight or obese. But the improvement might not be clinically meaningful.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Eating large amounts of raw red onion (80-120 grams daily) does not improve cholesterol or blood sugar levels in people with polycystic ovary syndrome compared to eating smaller amounts (20-30 grams daily). Eating large amounts might actually increase body mass index (BMI) by a small amount.
- Prostate cancer. People who eat more onions don't seem to have a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
- Stretch marks. Early research shows that applying a skin cream containing onion extract, gotu kola, and hyaluronic acid for 12 weeks improves the look of stretch marks.
- Upset stomach.
- Swelling (inflammation) of the mouth and throat.
- Loss of appetite.
- Preventing hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
- Other conditions.
ONION Side Effects & Safety
Onion is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in food or when onion extract is applied to the skin. Onion extract is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth. Taking up to about 400 mg of onion extract for 6 weeks seems to be safe. Side effects might include skin irritation or eczema following skin contact with onion, tearing when the eyes are exposed to the aroma of onion, and stomach distress or pain after eating onion.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking onion as a medicine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid using onion in amounts larger than usual food amounts.
Bleeding disorder: Onion might slow blood clotting. There is concern that onion might increase the risk of bleeding when taken as a medicine. Don't use medicinal amounts of onion or onion extract if you have a bleeding disorder.
Cross-allergens: People with allergies to mugwort and celery might also be allergic to onion. Don't use in medicinal amounts if you have these allergies.
Diabetes: Onion might lower blood sugar. If you have diabetes and use onion in medicinal amounts, check your blood sugar carefully.
Surgery to place a pouch near the anus (ileal pouch-anal anastomosis): People that have had surgery to place a pouch near the anus might find that onion increases feelings of gas. Don't eat large amounts of onion if you have had this surgery.
Indigestion: People that experience indigestion often find that eating onion increases symptoms. Don't eat large amounts of onion if it increases your symptoms.
Surgery: Onion might slow blood clotting and lower blood sugar. In theory, onion might increase the risk for bleeding or interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgical procedures. Stop using onion as a medicine at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Aspirin interacts with ONION
Some people are allergic to onions. Aspirin might increase your sensitivity to onions if you are allergic to onions. This has only been reported in one person. But to be on the safe side, if you are allergic to onions do not take aspirin and eat onions.
- Lithium interacts with ONION
Onion might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking onion might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.
- Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with ONION
Onion might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking onion along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
- Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with ONION
Onion might slow blood clotting. Taking onion along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
The appropriate dose of onion depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for onion. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.