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From a medical standpoint, the onion is rich in properties that make this a general tonic and tasty stimulant. Its content in vitamins A and C means that it can treat all kinds of respiratory disorders, and also its vitamin B content means that it can be used against nervous illnesses. This is particularly important in today's hectic life, which is why it will be dealt with later on in greater detail. It has certain anti-anaemic properties, and thanks to its iron, phosphorous and mineral content it replaces the loss of blood and red globules. The onion protects against infections and above all regulates the digestive system, maintaining the balance of digestive fermentation and keeping away intestinal parasites. It is impossible to go into much detail in such a short space and there are indeed many points which could themselves fill a chapter in their own right.

To sum up, the onion is an outstanding vegetable with a moderate calorie percentage. It prevents infections and respiratory disorders, acts as a tonic and stimulant, is anti-anaemic and constitutes an exceptional treatment for the digestive system.

Of all the points mentioned here the most relevant one involves the stimulating properties of the onion. We said that due to its content in vitamin B, vitamin B complex and aromatic oils, the onion is a tonic and stimulant for the nervous system. This is highly important for organisms with a busy life and which have to stand up to a hectic daily activity. Eating onions (raw, boiled, fried or done in the oven) helps to reduce nerves, fatigue and over-excitement.

It also acts as a powerful stimulant for work. Drivers should know about these properties, since when driving, the body is subject to a nervous tension that can sometimes reduce the driver's reflexes. Onions therefore help to eliminate this nervous tension, whilst also keeping the reflexes intact. This is of great importance for preventing accidents when at the wheel.

The onion is a food of great interest for its contribution to a healthy and balanced diet. At present new experiments are being made with this product in order to determine its applications in the fight against illnesses.

Of all the statements made on this matter, one of the most significant is that of professor Capo ( France ) about the possibility of the onion having curative properties against cancer. The eminent French naturalist affirms that eating onion protects us against Strontium-90 (a radioactive toxic in the atmosphere). It is well-known that the onion has beneficial effects against many illnesses, such as tuberculosis, diabetes, nephritis, rheumatism, sciatica, gout, bone decalcification, glandular senility, bronchitis, colds, insomnia, alcoholism and tobacco addiction, amongst others.

Professor Capo states that eating a raw onion salad with oil prevents sexual and chronic weakening, and that onion broth is also useful for the prostate and kidneys.

It should also be mentioned that Swedish scientist Are Vaerland has called the onion the “radium of the vegetable world”.

We can also see that there are many aspects connected with this vegetable which are subjects for discussion. According to the study carried out by a group of British doctors from Newcastle University , the onion can prevent coronary thrombosis. They affirm that boiled, fried or raw onion increases the blood capacity to dissolve any internal clot. Several tests carried out on humans have given surprising results. The doctors in question are working in their laboratories to extract from onions the chemical agent which cures coronary thrombosis, a terrible and dangerous illness.

The onion can thus be said to play an important role both in health and in nutrition, and also has different qualities which are being discovered all the time.

In a piece of work recently done by a team of scientists from the Department of Clinical Research of Bone Biology, at Berne University, (Switzerland), directed by professor Roman C. Mühlbauer, they have reached the conclusion that the consumption of onions and other greens can prevent osteoporosis.

This group of researchers started its work with male mice, to which they administered one gram of powdered onion a day for four weeks.

Compared with the rodents that had been given their conventional diet over this time the mice that had been fed with onion underwent an increase of up to 17.7% in their bone density.

The most surprising aspect is that the daily intake of onion proves to involve considerably higher benefits than that of calcitonin, a drug that is used in treating the osteoporosis that tends to occur after the menopause. This time they have extended their research, repeating the test with mice whose ovaries had been removed, thus imitating the drop in the production of estrogens, proving that for these animals including onion in their diet also inhibited the loss of bone mass.

These findings have only been observed in mice, so we will have to wait a little longer to have results with humans available.

This group of scientists indicates that onion and other vegetables present in the human diet are able to affect the bone metabolism of mice. If this also occurs in human beings, including the appropriate amounts of these vegetables in the daily diet could be an effective and cheap way to reduce the incidence of osteoporosis.