The humble onion is found in every kitchen, but its curative powers make it an important medicinal plant too.
Onions were historically as a preventative medicine during epidemics of cholera and the plague. They were apparently eaten by Roman emperor Nero as a cure for colds, and its reputation has made onions a popular component in the diets of many countries.
More than just a tasty culinary plant, the onion contains natural sugar, vitamins A, B6, C and E, minerals such as sodium, potassium, iron and dietary fiber. In addition, onions are a good source of folic acid.
Did you know that red onions when rubbed on warts are thought by some to encourage them to disappear. In some Arab countries onions mixed with salt and pepper are applied to the scalp as a remedy for hair loss.
Onions have been used in folk medicine for the relief of coughs, colds, especially asthma, but more recently some of their curative properties have been attributed to a compound called allyl propyl disulphide, which is thought to have a similar effect to insulin in balancing blood sugar levels.
This does not mean that the onion can be used as a substitute for insulin therapy; but it may be of help to those who suffer from hypoglycaemia.
The compound allyl sulphate which is produced when an onion’s ruptured cells are exposed to air is responsible for producing tears. To reduce the production of this compound, chill the onions for half an hour or so before cutting to reduce the activity of the enzyme.
Vegetarian French Onion Soup
3/4 stick unsalted butter
2 large organic onions, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
2 bunches scallions, white and light-green parts coarsely chopped, dark-green tops thinly sliced
4 sprigs thyme, plus leaves for serving
1 dried bay leaf
12 ounces organic mushrooms, coarsely chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 1 1/4-inch-thick slices sourdough bread
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere
Melt butter in a medium pot over medium-high heat.
Add onions, chopped scallions, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently and gradually lowering heat to prevent scorching, until onions are soft and golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Stir in mushrooms; season with salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping browned bits from bottom of pan, until mushrooms have released most of their moisture, about 15 minutes.
Stir in 4 cups water and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf; season with salt and pepper.
Preheat broiler with rack 6 inches from heating element.
Divide soup among 4 ovenproof bowls.
Top each with a bread slice; sprinkle with cheese.
Broil until cheese is melted and golden brown in spots, 2 to 3 minutes.
Sprinkle with thyme leaves and scallion tops.
Source. – Organic Health
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