Botanical Name: Allium cepa
Common Name: Onion Seeds
Part used: Seeds
Uses: The onion seeds are used as a spice and are a major part of the Indian Spice palette. The oil is also used in cooking flavoring in various parts of the world.
Countries where it's found
This plant is mostly a native of South and Southeast Asia. The herb and the seeds have been in use as spices in the Indian subcontinent since time immemorial. But it has attracted attention of the western societies only in recent times due to various properties.
The seeds of the onion plant are harvested when it is totally dry. This could be vitally seen when the flowering heads or umbrels of onion plants becomes brown. When the heads are completely dry they should be shaken vigorously and seeds are collected.
History of the Plant
Archaeological evidence is not available aplenty regarding the cultivation of this herb. But these black onion seeds have been found in several major civilizations of the antiquity such as those in Egypt. The Old Testament mentions the plant suggesting that it was cultivated and used by the Hebrew tribes of yore. Most of the ancient civilizations used it to flavour their food. Traces of these seeds have been also found in Turkey and are believed to be from 2000 BC. Onion seed oil has been in use due to its medicinal properties too in various ancient medicine systems including the Unani system and the Ayurvedic system.
Commonly known Benefits
While the seeds are used commonly as a spice, the onion seed oil offers several health benefits,
The oil is supposed to be good for the skin. It can cure acne if applied externally on the skin. It can also remove skin fungus and in general provide healthier complexion. It is also good for preventing hair loss.
It is also good for Asthma and Cough. By applying the oil on chest or by inhaling the vapor, one can find immediate relief in cold and flu. It is also beneficial in sinusitis.
It also has a soothing effect on the nerves. Application or intake of the oil cure lethargy, relaxes muscles and the nervous system. Massage with onion seed oil is also beneficial for people with rheumatism and arthritis.
Intake of the oil also improves blood sugar levels which is important in case of diabetes and also controls blood pressure.
It is also good for the stomach. It can kill intestinal parasites and cure diarrhea.
It also cures various other minor but disconcerting ailments such as headache, earache etc.
In Unani and Ayurvedic medicine, this oil is used to cure many diseases. It specifically stimulates metabolism and helps people to recover from lethargy.
Ancient Greeks used this oil to treat digestive disorders.
Modern medicine has confirmed its antibacterial and anti-micotic properties. It even helps to control blood sugar level.
Overall onion seed oil has significant medicinal value and can be used as a quick home remedy for several common ailments.