Onions are used in most dishes that you eat. The benefits of onion juice extend beyond the rich taste it adds to your dishes. Onions are members of the Allium genus of flowering plants.
Onions possess medicinal properties and contain numerous minerals and vitamins. These vegetables are used to treat ailments of the skin and hair and other health issues like diabetes, heart diseases, and inflammation.
But how about consuming onions in the form of their juice? Is that going to help you? In this article, we will discuss that.
In This Article
What Are The Benefits Of Onion Juice?
1. May Boost Hair Health
The sulfur in onion juice boosts collagen production – and this could enhance hair growth as well.
According to an Iraqi study, the juice can boost hair growth and treat conditions like alopecia areata (sudden hair loss). In the study, individuals washing their hair with onion juice experienced more hair growth (1).
Onion juice may also make your hair shinier. The antimicrobial properties of the juice may help fight scalp infections. A healthier scalp means stronger hair follicles.
2. May Fight Acne
The antimicrobial and antifungal properties play a role here.
In a study, a gel containing extracts of onion had improved acne scars in patients. This gel improved the appearance of the scar by reducing redness and inflammation. The study concluded by stating that onion extracts could be used as potential treatment options for bacterial and fungal infections (2).
Apply onion juice to your face and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Wash your face with warm water. But be careful; don’t let the juice get into your eyes. Also, ensure not to apply the juice on open blisters. If you have sensitive skin, please consult a doctor before you use the juice.
Some sources also suggest that the juice can aid treatment of psoriasis. However, there is no scientific evidence to back this up.
3. May Delay Wrinkles
The flavonoids and other antioxidant compounds in onion juice may prevent the signs of premature aging (3).
The purported anti-aging properties of onion juice may also be attributed to its sulfur content, which, as per some sources, can boost collagen production and fight premature aging. More research is required to establish these benefits.
4. May Help Reduce Cancer Risk
There are several anticancer compounds in onions, including quercetin, anthocyanins, and organosulfur. Studies show that these compounds may help in the treatment of several types of cancer (4).
Research also states that the stronger an onion’s flavor, the more effective its role could be in preventing cancer.
Quercetin is also shown to fight oxidative stress in the brain (4). Onions also contain fiber, which could help cut the risk of colon cancer. This is especially true from animal studies, if the juice is made of red onions (5). They destroy tumor cells, and this is how they aid cancer treatment and prevention.
More research is needed to further understand the mechanism of onions in cancer treatment.
5. May Help Treat Diabetes
The onion bulb extract may lower blood glucose levels, and that is good news for people with diabetes.
The veggie is low in calories and also increases your metabolic rate, and this can help manage diabetes symptoms (6).
And as per another Korean study, intake of onion extract may be effective in lowering plasma glucose levels (7).
6. May Fight Inflammation
The quercetin in onion juice has shown to inhibit leukotrienes, prostaglandins, and histamines – all of which are known to cause inflammation in osteoarthritis (8).
An Iranian study showed similar results. Rats going through acute and chronic stages of inflammation, when supplemented with onion juice, showed improvement in their condition. Fresh onion juice was found to inhibit both acute and chronic pain and inflammation, with a greater effect on inflammation alone (9).
Onion juice intake can also prevent bone disorders associated with inflammation. Studies show that taking the juice can boost bone mineral density in postmenopausal women (10).
7. May Boost Your Immunity
Also, immune cells deficient in selenium are vulnerable to more oxidation. These cells also face difficulties in producing protein and transporting calcium (12).
Onion juice may also benefit people with asthma and other respiratory ailments (13). Some believe the juice also stimulates the excretory organs and strengthens them, including the lungs.
The quercetin in onion juice can also fight inflammation and other allergies (14).
8. May Enhance Your Vision
The antimicrobial properties of onion juice can help treat eye infections, like conjunctivitis and blepharitis. Experiments done on rabbits found that the juice could have an inhibitory effect on the growth of eye flora (15).
The juice may also prevent cataracts. In rat studies, instilling onion juice prevented selenite-induced cataract formation (16).
9. May Help Treat Nail Fungus
Studies show that the antifungal properties of onion juice (aqueous extracts of onions) can fight Candida albicans, a pathogenic yeast that can cause fungal infections in humans (17).
Apply the juice to the affected toenail using a cotton ball. You can also secure the cotton ball to the toenail with a bandage or a tape. Leave it on for an hour and then wash the juice off with lukewarm water. Pat dry. Follow this once a week.
10. May Cure Ear Infections
A report published by the Cambridge University Press states the ability of onion juice in treating ear infection and earache (18).
We need more research in this regard, though. Please consult your doctor before using the juice for this purpose.
11. May Improve Sleep And Mood
There is more research required in this connection. But some studies show that the folate in onion juice can improve mood and fight depression (19).
Folate works by preventing the build-up of homocysteine, a chemical that keeps blood and other nutrients from reaching the brain. Excess production of homocysteine also interferes with the production of serotonin, the feel-good hormone (19).
Other hormones, like dopamine and epinephrine, also help regulate sleep, and this is where the folate in onions comes into the picture. It supports the production of these hormones in the body (20).
12. May Improve Fertility
Studies show how the juice can increase testosterone levels. This can be attributed to the antioxidant activity of onions, which promotes sperm health. In a Jordanian study, ingesting onion juice to male rats improved their testosterone levels (21).
In another study, onion juice had shown to improve copulatory behavior in sexually potent male rats (22). The juice had achieved this by boosting serum testosterone levels.
These are the different ways onion juice can benefit you. In the following section, we have explained how you can prepare onion juice right at home.
How Do You Make Onion Juice?
- Peel about 3 to 4 onions and chop them into pieces.
- Add the pieces to a juicer and extract the juice.
- Transfer it to a container and drink it.
- You can also add the pieces to a blender and consume the paste.
Consuming this juice can offer certain benefits. But does onion juice have any side effects?
What Are The Side Effects Of Onion Juice?
- Possible Issues During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
Since there is not enough research done in this regard, pregnant and breastfeeding women should consume onion juice in limited amounts. Consult your doctor for more information.
- May Lower Blood Sugar Way Too Much
Onion juice can lower blood sugar (23). If you are already on diabetes medications, the juice may lower your blood sugar levels way too much. Please check with your doctor – they may adjust the dosage accordingly.
- May Cause Bleeding Disorders
As onion (juice) may slow down blood clotting, it can increase the risk of bleeding (24). If you have a bleeding disorder, don’t consume onion juice. This is one reason you should also avoid onion juice at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
- May Aggravate Indigestion
If you have indigestion issues, be wary of onion juice as it can aggravate the condition. It may also trigger acid reflux or related conditions (25).
- Skin Allergies
This may happen in people with sensitive skin (26). Please do a patch test before you apply onion juice to your skin.
While onions are commonly used for culinary purposes, there are many health benefits of onion juice as well. Rich in important vitamins and minerals, onion juice has medicinal properties that help improve your skin, scalp, and hair health. While it helps delay signs of aging and heals acne scars, it also helps fight inflammation and fungal infections. Along with that, onion juice may help improve your blood sugar levels and boost your overall immunity as well. You can make onion juice easily at home, and consume it or apply it topically to reap its many benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I drink onion juice?
Early morning. Consuming onion juice first thing in the morning will help you achieve the maximum benefits.
Can I drink onion juice every day?
Yes, drinking a glass of onion juice every day is safe.
Does onion burn belly fat?
Possibly. Onion contains quercetin and other beneficial compounds that may exert anti-obesity effects (27).
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- Medicinal Plants for the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris: A Review of Recent Evidences, Jundishapur Journal of Microbiology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging, Dermatoendocrinology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Therapeutic Role of Functional Components in Alliums for Preventive Chronic Disease in Human Being, Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Immunomodulatory Effect of Red Onion (Allium cepa Linn) Scale Extract on Experimentally Induced Atypical Prostatic Hyperplasia in Wistar Rats, Mediators of Inflammation, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Metabolic effects of onion and green beans on diabetic patients, The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- The antidiabetic effect of onion and garlic in experimental diabetic rats: meta-analysis, Journal of Medicinal Food, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Onions can help prevent inflammation, Arthritis Foundation.
- Evaluation of analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of fresh onion juice in experimental animals, African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, ResearchGate.
- Consumption of onion juice modulates oxidative stress and attenuates the risk of bone disorders in middle-aged and post-menopausal healthy subjects, Food & function, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- The influence of selenium on immune responses, Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
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- Respiratory and allergic diseases: from upper respiratory tract infections to asthma, Primary Care, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Potential therapeutic effect of Allium cepa L. and quercetin in a murine model of Blomia tropicalis induced asthma, DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Effects of Onion Juice on the Normal Flora of Eyelids and Conjunctiva in an Animal Model, Jundishapur Journal of Microbiology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Preventive effect of onion juice on selenite-induced experimental cataract, Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Plants used to treat skin diseases, Pharmacognosy Review, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- An onion in your ear, The Journal of Laryngology & Otology, Cambridge Core.
- Folate intake and depressive symptoms in Japanese workers considering SES and job stress factors: J-HOPE study, BMC Psychiatry, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- The methylation, neurotransmitter, and antioxidant connections between folate and depression, Alternative Medicine Review, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Evaluation of androgenic activity of allium cepa on spermatogenesis in the rat, Folia morphologica, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Fresh onion juice enhanced copulatory behavior in male rats with and without paroxetine-induced sexual dysfunction, Experimental Biology and Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- In vivo Investigation of Anti-diabetic Properties of Ripe Onion Juice in Normal and Streptozotocin-induced Diabetic Rats, Preventive Nutrition and Food Science, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Effect of onion and garlic on blood coagulation and fibrinolysis in vitro, Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
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- Immunological characterization of onion (Allium cepa) allergy, Advances in Dermatology and Allergology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Onion peel extract reduces the percentage of body fat in overweight and obese subjects: a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study