Family - Liliacea, Synonyms -- Common onion, Strasburg onion
Herbal/folk tradition - Onion has an ancient reputation as a curative agent, highly extolled by the schools of Galen and Hippocrates. It is high in vitamins A, B and C and shares many of the properties of garlic, to which it is closely related. Raw onion helps keep colds and infections at bay, promotes strong bones and a good blood supply to all tissues. It acts as an effective blood cleanser that, along with the sulfur it contains, helps to keep the skin clear and in good condition. It has a sound reputation for correcting glandular imbalance and weight problems; it also improves lymphatic drainage, which is often responsible for edema and puffiness. It has long been used as a home simple for a wide range of conditions. Aromatherapy/home use-- Non, due to its offensive smell.
Other uses - used in some pharmaceutical preparations for colds, coughs. The oil is used extensively in most major food categories, especially meats, savories, salad dressings, as well as alcoholic and soft drinks. It is not used in perfumery work. Distribution -- native of Western Asia and the Middle East; it has a long history of cultivation all over the world, mainly for culinary use. The essential oil is produced mainly in France, Germany and Egypt from the red onion.
Extraction - essential oil by steam distillation from the bulb.
Characteristics - a pale yellow or brownish-yellow mobile liquid with strong, unpleasant, sulfur odor with a tear producing effect.