Potential of onion (Allium cepa) as traditional therapeutic and functional food: An update

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  • HIRA SINGH Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Punjab 141 004, India
  • ANIL KHAR ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1972-3300



Allium cepa, Antidiabetic, Antioxidant, Folklore medicine, Onion


The efforts to comprehend the ideal healthy state have invariably intrigued the minds of people which led to evolution of several treating and healing systems being established across the globe. Several folk and traditional medicines evolved among various cultures and communities that were generally disseminated verbally for example use of onion (Allium cepa L.) bulbs. Since antiquity, this bulbous crop is being used as a traditional nutraceutical and medicinal plant, that’s why, this is known as protective food. Onion is one of the most common vegetables utilized for culinary purpose in every kitchen. It is used to cure cold, flu, indigestion, pain relief, as an antidiabetics, anti-asthmatic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. The ancient literature displayed the onion as an utmost important part of human diet due to its multidimensional uses for thousands of years. However, the masses are not aware about its importance as a traditional remedy. Now, the utmost focus has been directed towards the evaluation of the medicinal values of this interesting and fascinating vegetable crop. It can also be recommended that utilization of plant-based nutraceuticals is better than devouring synthetic drugs against known and specific diseases. Furthermore, various vegetables and fruits are being used as a part of many recommended dietetic plans to prevent and lessen the common metabolic and lifestyle related diseases. The 21st century is going to work on the principle of “Food as Medicine” and onion will surely play a bigger role in it. This thoroughly collected information about onion as traditional medicine is the first of its kind in disseminating information about the much consumed and less researched vegetable crop of India.


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How to Cite

SINGH, H., & KHAR, A. (2022). Potential of onion (Allium cepa) as traditional therapeutic and functional food: An update. The Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 92(11), 1291–1297. https://doi.org/10.56093/ijas.v92i11.123235



Review Article