Onions and health benefits

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Onions and health benefits

Postby seasidegirl » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:58 pm

I've copied this below from a facebook post. Unfortunately it wasn't attributed to anyone which is a shame how these things go around. Anyway I thought it was interesting. I personally would try the first part of it and ignore the advice in the second part (about not saving onion leftovers).

Wow- very interesting....

ONIONS! I had never heard this!!!
PLEASE READ TO THE END: IMPORTANT

In 1919 when the flu killed 40 million people there was this Doctor that visited the many farmers to see if he could help them combat the flu...
Many of the farmers and their families had contracted it and many died.

The doctor came upon this one farmer and to his surprise, everyone was very healthy. When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different the wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms of the home, (probably only two rooms back then). The doctor couldn't believe it and asked if he could have one of the onions and place it under the microscope. She gave him one and when he did this, he did find the flu virus in the onion. It obviously absorbed the bacteria, therefore, keeping the family healthy.

Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser. She said that several years ago, many of her employees were coming down with the flu, and so were many of her customers. The next year she placed several bowls with onions around in her shop. To her surprise, none of her staff got sick. It must work. Try it and see what happens. We did it last year and we never got the flu.

Now there is a P. S. to this for I sent it to a friend in Oregon who regularly contributes material to me on health issues. She replied with this most interesting experience about onions:

Thanks for the reminder. I don't know about the farmer's story...but, I do know that I contacted pneumonia, and, needless to say, I was very ill... I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion put it into an empty jar, and place the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs...sure enough it happened just like that...the onion was a mess and I began to feel better.

Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved many from the black plague years ago. They have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.

This is the other note. Lots of times when we have stomach problems we don't know what to blame. Maybe it's the onions that are to blame. Onions absorb bacteria is the reason they are so good at preventing us from getting colds and flu and is the very reason we shouldn't eat an onion that has been sitting for a time after it has been cut open.

LEFT OVER ONIONS ARE POISONOUS

I had the wonderful privilege of touring Mullins Food Products, Makers of mayonnaise. Questions about food poisoning came up, and I wanted to share what I learned from a chemist.

Ed, who was our tour guide, is a food chemistry whiz. During the tour, someone asked if we really needed to worry about mayonnaise. People are always worried that mayonnaise will spoil. Ed's answer will surprise you. Ed said that all commercially-made mayo is completely safe.

"It doesn't even have to be refrigerated. No harm in refrigerating it, but it's not really necessary." He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. He then talked about the summer picnic, with the bowl of potato salad sitting on the table, and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.

Ed says that, when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the officials look for is when the 'victim' last ate ONIONS and where those onions came from (in the potato salad?). Ed says it's not the mayonnaise (as long as it's not homemade mayo) that spoils in the outdoors. It's probably the ONIONS, and if not the onions, it's the POTATOES.

He explained onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion.. He says it's not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator.

It's already contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit, that it can be a danger to you (and doubly watch out for those onions you put in your hotdogs at the baseball park!). Ed says if you take the leftover onion and cook it like crazy you'll probably be okay, but if you slice that leftover onion and put on your sandwich, you're asking for trouble. Both the onions and the moist potato in a potato salad, will attract and grow bacteria faster than any commercial mayonnaise will even begin to break down.

Also, dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions.

Please remember it is dangerous to cut an onion and try to use it to cook the next day, it becomes highly poisonous for even a single night and creates toxic bacteria which may cause adverse stomach infections because of excess bile secretions and even food poisoning.

Please pass this on to all you love and care about.
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Re: Onions and health benefits

Postby GeorgeSalt » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:25 pm

I won't respond to each of the points thrown into that Facebook smorgasboard.. but you'll find most of them responded to in hits to this search.

Just another goofy viral email message.
Curently collecting recipes for The Little Book of Liqueurs..
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Re: Onions and health benefits

Postby seasidegirl » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:43 pm

oh well.

Next thing they'll be telling us that the man in The Green Mile, who inhaled everyone's illnesses, was really an undercover onion and didn't really make the mouse live forever :icon_smile:
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Re: Onions and health benefits

Postby The Riff-Raff Element » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:50 pm

GeorgeSalt wrote:
Just another goofy viral email message.


Boom boom!

Though there is more than a grain of truth in the toxicity to dogs (and cats), both of which are highly sensitive to compounds containing sulphinyl groups which are found in quantity in onions. Humans are largely unaffected by these.

Onions do contain a whole range of interesting-looking biological molecules that could show anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-septic & even anti-viral properties, but the notion they can "soak up" infectious agents from the air doesn't hold water, unfortunately.

Shame really - they're easy to grow, and I like them a lot.

Does anyone else like baked onions?
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Re: Onions and health benefits

Postby oldjerry » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:08 pm

Wouldn't dream of a roast dinner without one,nor would the kids.
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Re: Onions and health benefits

Postby seasidegirl » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:19 pm

I do love onions but have to say I'm not tempted by a roasted one.

Going back to the original story I can't help but wonder if chinese whispers added in the the (time traveling) doctor with his microscope but accidentally deleted a fact that say the healthy family were onion farmers. The ones in the bowls around the house were only looking good but the fact that the family were all out there handling onions everyday ...

If soap and water can kill the virus on hands then why not onion skins? Considering the insides of the onion can make us cry shows the vegetable has some powerful properties. Also onions keep so well don't they, so there must be something interesting in the skins.
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Re: Onions and health benefits

Postby The Riff-Raff Element » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:14 am

seasidegirl wrote:I do love onions but have to say I'm not tempted by a roasted one.

Going back to the original story I can't help but wonder if chinese whispers added in the the (time traveling) doctor with his microscope but accidentally deleted a fact that say the healthy family were onion farmers. The ones in the bowls around the house were only looking good but the fact that the family were all out there handling onions everyday ...

If soap and water can kill the virus on hands then why not onion skins? Considering the insides of the onion can make us cry shows the vegetable has some powerful properties. Also onions keep so well don't they, so there must be something interesting in the skins.


Roasted onions (like roasted garlic) become sweet and very pleasant to eat - I'd recommend them.

I suspect the whole story is just one of a legion of apocryphal tales.For a start, viruses (influenza is caused by one, not a bacterium - the tale mixes the terms) and viruses are too small to be seen by an optical microscope. For that you need an electron microscope and these weren't invented until at least a decade after the epidemic.

People did survive the 1919 'flu unscathed, even though they were exposed to the virus. Genetic differences mean that some people just don't allow enough of the virus to pass through their mucous membranes to cause infection, some people are just naturally resistant for other reasons. Having a family group unaffected suggests a genetic link rather than anything else.

Roots like the onion are designed to survive, dormant, in the ground, so are pretty good at fighting off the diseases of decay and have the biochemical equipment to allow them to do so. I would not be surprised if some of these could carry over benefits to human health (there is some evidence to support this) so I'm very happy to include them in my diet in quantity.
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Re: Onions and health benefits

Postby MKG » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:44 am

But onions do keep goblins away.

I grow onions and there isn't a single goblin in the garden. I've looked everywhere - not a sausage. One of my neighbours doesn't grow onions and she sees goblins all the time. She drink lots of whisky to protect herself from them.

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Re: Onions and health benefits

Postby seasidegirl » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:04 pm

LOL.

Careful we might start an onion rush here.
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Re: Onions and health benefits

Postby diggernotdreamer » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:22 pm

What do you take MKG, because I want some
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Re: Onions and health benefits

Postby MKG » Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:03 pm

It easy, my time, and a large pinch of salt.

It all works wonders :iconbiggrin: :wave:

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Re: Onions and health benefits

Postby southeast-isher » Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:20 pm

lol MKG :-)
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Re: Onions and health benefits

Postby Annemieke » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:26 pm

I have kept cut onions for days, even a week, just on a dish, cut side down, in my pantry. When our onions were big :( I always used them in halves. Nobody in my family has ever been sick from that.
Did you know that, to have the full health benefit of an onion, you should cut it up, leave it for ten minutes, and then cook it, no longer than 15 minutes? That way the effect of the phytonutrients is maximized (http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=54). For garlic it is five minutes.
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Re: Onions and health benefits

Postby The Riff-Raff Element » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:42 am

The time to maximise the concentration of the phytochemical 1-sulphinylpropene (which is what makes us cry and is the bit associated with anti-bacterial & anti-inflammatory propeties) will also depend on how finely chopped the onion is. The enzyme works very quickly to produce it once the cells walls are broken down. It is (obviously) volitile, so sitting around too long will lose you a lot of it. I think the best approach would be to mince finely in a food processor and give it only a minute or so with the lid on before frying off quickly, again in a lidded pan, if you want to maximise the yield.

For the time being, studies seem have been limited to a few in vitro experiments to demonstrate anti-bacterial action and uncontrolled human tests on subjects with eczema. There is speculation the sulphinylpropene may be converted in animal cells to analogues of the sulfa drugs (the first antibiotics, some of which are still in use as non-inflammatory medicines). Interestingly, one of the old sufa drugs is now in trails as a treatment for scarring of the liver caused by cirrhosis; folk medicine has never made much of onions' benefit to the liver, but it appears they could have some.
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