onions (general information)
Family Onion (Alliaceae).
Homeland plants consider Central Asia, from where it spread in ancient times to Greece, Egypt, Rome. It is believed that the first to know the taste of onions Afghan, Iranian, Turkmen shepherds and hunters, wandering the mountain trails. There and now you can find wild onions. A lot of wild onion grows in Siberia, occasionally it is found in the outback of the Belarusian Polesie, and even in parks and squares of cities, the outskirts of which are adjacent to the forests.
Wild onions are very useful, rich in vitamins, microelements and phytoncides. Many eat it.
In the forests, wild onions are eaten by animals, in particular wild boars, as mentioned by Heinz Meinhard, the author of the book My Life Among Boars, a well-known researcher in a unique natural experiment on these animals.
Many varieties, species, subspecies of wild onions are gradually exterminated by man. So, it is known that bear bow, which is found in the Caucasus and in many regions of Ukraine, especially in the Carpathians, in forest moist arrays, has been almost completely destroyed by unorganized collectors. But the plant is a very valuable wild vitamin food product.
Onions have long been considered a powerful tool against disease. In ancient Greece, in the opinion of the ancient Roman physician, Pedania Dioscorida, onions were recommended for stimulating the appetite and “as a cleansing agent.” The Romans and Greeks attributed to the onion the ability to excite inexhaustible vitality, energy, courage and in large quantities used it in the power of soldiers.
The healing properties of onions were also known in the countries of the Ancient East , where they said: "Onions, every sickness passes in your arms."
In the period of the Middle Ages, the bow was so popular and so people believed in its healing and defensive power that they used it as a talisman capable of protecting from an evil eye, an enchantment of a sorceress, hitting arrows, being wounded by a sword, spear, halberd. Knights, chained in impenetrable metal armor, wore an onion chest.
In ancient Egypt, onions were so valued as a remedy for diseases , as a nourishing plant, that they depicted it even on monuments, coat of arms.
Long since onions were grown and cultivated in Russia. Old Russian cuisine is widely used onions for cooking and seasoning from it. Foreign travelers and diplomats who visited Russia, noted that the majority of Rusyns consume such spicy dishes that they cannot be eaten.
Onions became the staple food of commoners in Russia. Bread and kvass, and raw onions — these are the staple foods of the peasants, artisans, soldiers. The people, of course, could not know at that time about the phytoncidal properties of onions, which have a beneficial effect on improving the immunity of the body, its resistance to diseases.
In one old Russian herbalist there is such a description of the healing properties of onions: “It softens the womb pleasantly, but it also leads to thirst and stinking spirit from the mouth it destroys… water and stone disease, as well as scurvy and worms ... During the prevailing infectious diseases, it is very useful to add onions to breakfast food, to make onion soups with the addition of salt, pepper, and some vinegar. "
Healing of onions was largely understood only with the discovery of phytoncides (special volatile substances of plant origin that kill microorganisms), which are able to disinfect the environment, affecting many and many groups of microorganisms. The discovery of phytoncides belongs to the well-known researcher Academician B. N. Tokin. It was he who first noticed that the volatile substances of pounded onions are detrimental to yeast cells.
Two centuries ago, onions were used in the treatment of typhoid, flu, scurvy, loss of vision, impotence and other diseases, as well as wounds, burns, hair loss.
Onions and garlic boxes were laid out in the premises of sick animals or hung on the neck of cows, sheep, horses.
Varieties of onions
Onion Bulb (Allium cepa)
The most common type of onion. Onions are known since ancient times. Now it is cultivated everywhere in open ground and hotbeds.
Chive and Chives, or Onion Skoroda (Allium schoenoprasum)
Chive, or chive , grows wild on mountain slopes, wet meadows, in the floodplains of rivers in northern and central Asia, in all European countries and in North America. In large numbers, chives are found in Kamchatka, Altai, in Western Siberia.
Since the XVI century. Chives are cultivated in Europe and are considered to be a favorite early vegetable. This onion grows as a bush, it has a soft and pleasant taste, it grows quickly in spring, it literally grows out from under the snow. In winter, it can grow in an apartment on a windowsill in pots or drawers.
Bunching Onion (Allium fistulosum)
Onion batun is also called winter onions. This is a perennial plant. In the wild form grows in Siberia and the Far East, it is cultivated in many countries of the world, especially common in Korea, Japan, China, where it has been cultivated since ancient times. In open ground, the onion batun can be cultivated even beyond the latitudes of the Arctic Circle. The onion-batun is awakening under the snow, and two or three weeks after its emergence, large enough onion sprouts can already be eaten.
Leek (Allium porrum)
A very cold-resistant variety of onions is also leek . The homeland of the leek is believed to be Central Asia, from where the plant was exported to the Mediterranean and spread throughout the globe. Leek is widely used in nutrition and traditional medicine. Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Arab doctors of antiquity mention this bow in their writings. It is widely cultivated in European countries - especially in Holland, France, Bulgaria, and Germany. The most widely used for nutrition and traditional leek is used in the Caucasus and Kuban.
Leek retains its qualities well when dried and can be used in dry form. This was noticed by the Egyptians, and Pharaoh Cheops rewarded his confidants with bundles of dry leek.
The use of onions in medicine
The healing properties of onions, as we have said, are due to the presence of phytoncides in it, which destroy bacteria - the causative agents of dysentery, tuberculosis, streptococci, etc. In addition, onions contain many vitamins: provitamin A, or carotene, vitamins B, PP, E and etc. The most rich in onions are vitamin C, ascorbic acid, the daily requirement of which is contained in 80 - 100 g of green onions.
Onions are also rich in mineral salts, essential oils, sugars, organic acids, nitrogenous substances. The pungent taste of onions and the peculiar smell whet the appetite. The healing properties of onions are noted and tested in the research of many medical, pharmaceutical research institutes.
What is the healing effect of onions, in addition to the bactericidal properties and the balance of vitamins? Biologically active substances of onions activate the motor and secretory function of the gastrointestinal tract, stimulate cardiac activity, reduce cholesterol levels, contribute to the normalization of pressure. Freshly made onion juice is useful for treating sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia. Gruel of grated onions, wrapped in gauze, folk healers of the past cleaned the wounds and boils, covered with frostbite and burned areas. Healing of furuncles and pustules on the skin was also facilitated by baked onions. Use raw onions and kidney disease, as a diuretic with dropsy.
Onions stimulate performance, relieves physical and mental fatigue, beneficially affects patients with impotence, with inflammatory processes in the genitals of women and men. Onion juice improves trophism of the skin, hair roots and is used for hair loss, seborrhea, freckles.
The direct sugar-lowering effect of onion juice is not very pronounced. Thus, in the study of the activity of fresh onions in diabetes mellitus of moderate severity, we obtained a decrease in the level of glycemia by an average of 1.9 - 2.0 mol / l or, which corresponds to the indicators in the old terms, by 36–39 mg% (30–39 mg per 100 ml of blood). If this amount of juice was used in combination with other edible sugar-lowering plants (dandelion salad, plantain, knotweed, etc.), we received 1.5–2 times as much glucose lowering, which is quite acceptable for the clinical effect relation to the decline in glucose in patients with mild and moderate forms of diabetes. However, taking into account the beneficial effects of onions on the processes of vitamin metabolism, strengthening of the vascular wall, cholesterol level, the activity of the digestive and cardiovascular systems, its use in the systematic feeding of patients with diabetes should be considered appropriate and necessary.
Onions should be constantly put in soups, broths, pickles and saltwort to improve the taste of food and flavoring. In addition, the onions should be used for the preparation of salads, main dishes, side dishes and sauces.
- Drops of onion : Onion rub on a fine grater and squeeze the juice. Mixed with cold water in a 1: 1 ratio. Moisten the cotton wool in the diluted juice and insert the turundum into the nose. Apply with a cold.
- Gruel of onion with honey : Rub onion, gruel mixed in equal proportions with honey. Lubricate the sores in the mouth, used for applications to the gums with diabetic periodontal disease.
- Onion Juice : Onion juice is rubbed into the scalp for 20-30 minutes before washing the hair with seborrhea, dandruff, nesting baldness, weak hair growth.
- Infusion of onions : Onions finely chopped and pour cold boiled water in a ratio of 1: 4. Insist day in a closed bank, drink half a glass three times a day for a week while reducing visual acuity. (You can add honey 5 - 7 g per reception.)