Allium cepa L.

Allium cepa L.

Botanical Name:             Allium cepa L.Allium cepa L.

Kingdom:                      Plantae

Order:                           Asparagales

Family:                         Alliaceae

Genus:                          Allium

Local Name:                  Piaz

Sindhi Name:                 Basar

English Name:               Onion

Parts Used:                    Tulip

Description

Allium cepaL. is a biennialherb. Bulb is white to brownish or reddish in color, clustered, and cylindrical or rounded. Outer layers are papery. Scape is fleshy andfistular. Leaves are cylindrical and fistular. Tepals are greenish-white and long. Filaments are exerted; inner ones are 2-toothed at the base1,2.

Occurrence

A. cepa isoriginated to Central Asia, probably from Iran and Pakistan. It is now cultivated almost everywhere in the world. Now it is now spread in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa3.

Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases

Ringworm

  1. Trachyspermum ammi L. (Carom), Triticum aestivum L. (Wheat), and Allium cepa L. (Onion) are crushed to make a powder, and applied topically for 3 days for the treatment of ringworm in District Shikarpur (Sindh).
  2. Burnt onion is tied in a cloth and then applied on infection, ring worm and abscess in District Tando jam. Ringworm abscess Sukkur

Abscess

  1. Crushed A. cepa and soap and then mixed with Triticumae stivum L. (Wheat) flour, and applied topically for the treatment of abscess in District Khairpur (Sindh).
  2. Crushed A. cepa, salt, and TriticumaestivumL. (Wheat) flour is mixed together, and applied topically for 3-4 days for the treatment of abscess in District Naushsahroferoz (Sindh).
  3. Burnt A. cepa is applied on abscess in District Tando jam (Sindh).
  4. Oil is first applied on affected area then burnt A. cepa is tied for the treatment of abscess in District Sukkur (Sindh).
  5. A.cepa, fuller’s earth, and Brasicca campestris (Mustard) oil is mixed together to make a paste, and applied topically for the treatment of abscess in District Khairpur (Sindh).

Fungal Infection

  1. Burnt A. cepa is applied topically on area of infection and for the treatment of tinea pedis in District Kambershahdatkot (Sindh). It is also tied on nails for the treatment of onychomycosis in Districts thatta, umerkot, ghotki, badin, and shahdadkot (sindh). It is also tied on wounds in Districts Jamshoro, Sukkur, and Ghotki (Sindh). It is tied on affected area for the treatment of abscess and pyoderma in Districts Kashmore and larkana (Sindh). It is also tied on snake bite and insect bite site in District Sajawal (Sindh).
  2. Ground A. cepa is mixed with oil and Curcuma longa L. (Turmeric) to make a paste. It is applied topically for the treatment of fungal infection in District Thatta (Sindh).
  3. Ground A. cepa is mixed with cirtus limonum L. (lemon) and fuller’s earth to make a paste. It is applied topically on body for the treatment of fungal infection in District Thatta (Sindh).
  4. A.cepa and A. sativum are crushed to make a paste, and applied topically on area of fungal infection in District Shikarpur. It is also applied on boils in District Badin (Sindh). This paste is also applied topically for the treatment of ringworm in District Mitiari (Sindh).
  5. Curcuma longa L. (Turmeric) is added in fried A.cepa bulb and mixed them to make a paste. It is applied on nails every day till recovery for the treatment of onychomycosis in District Shikarpur (Sindh). It is also applied on boils in District Ghotki (Sindh).
  6. A.cepa, Curcuma longa L. (Turmeric) powder, and Triticumae stivum L. flour is mixed together and then fried in oil, and applied topically for athelete foot in District Umerkot (Sindh).

 Animal Bite

  1. Crushed A. cepa is mixed with butter and applied topically dog bite and snake bite in District Shahdadkot. It is also applied topically on a site of scorpion bite in District Kashmore (Sindh).
  2. A.cepa is taken orally for the treatment of snake bite in District Khairpur (Sindh).
  3. A.cepa peel and soap are ground together and tied on affected area for the treatment of abscess in District Shahdadkot.
  4. A.cepa and Piper nigrum L. (Black Pepper) are crushed together to obtain a powder, and taken orally daily for the treatment of snake bite in District Ghotki.

Alopecia

  1. Peel of A. cepa is rubbed on hair follicles in district Kamber Shahdatkot (Sindh). It is also rubbed on scalp for the treatment of alopecia and onychomycosis in District Sukkur. A. cepa peel is also rubbed on area of infection and on snake bite in district Karachi. It is applied topically for the treatment of ringworm in district Nawabshah and Khairpur (Sindh).
  2. A.cepa juice is applied on scalp twice a day for the treatment of alopecia in Districts Mirpur and Shikarpur (Sindh). It is also applied topically for the treatment of scabies in District Thatta. Juice of A.cepa is also applied topically for the treatment of ringworm in District Sajawal and Umerkot.

Wound

  1. A.cepa and salt are mixed together and tied on wounds of hands and feets in District Sukkur (Sindh).
  2. A.cepa is fried in oil and tied on wounds in District NaushahroFeroz (Sindh). It is also applied topically for the treatment of athlete’s foot in district Umerkot (Sindh). It is also tied on snake biting site in District Jacobabad. Fried A.cepa is also applied on nails for the treatment of onychomycosis in District Badin. It is applied topically daily for the treatment of leprosy in District Mirpur.
  3. A.cepa is fried in Brasicca campestris L. (Mustard) oil and tied on wounds in District Shikarpur (Sindh).

Vitiligo

Boiled A. cepa and salt are mixed together and applied topically for the treatment of vitiligo in District Sukkur (Sindh).

Acne

Curcuma longa L. (Turmeric) is mixed with A. cepa bulb to make a paste. It is applied on face for the treatment of acne in District Sukkur (Sindh).

Pyoderma

A. cepa and fuller’s earth are mixed together to make a paste, and applied topically for the treatment of pyoderma in District Mitiari (Sindh).

Chemical Constituents

A. cepacontains flavonoids, saponins, fructans, and sulfur-containing compounds4.Cepagenin, tigogenin, gitogenin, agigenin, alliogenin, β-chlorogenin is found in this plant.Flavonolssuch as quercetin and kaempferol are also present. Bulb contains quercetin, quercetin 3,4¢-O-diglucoside, and 4¢-O-glucosidequercetin5.Fructans includes oligofructans or fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Allylmethyl disulfide, methyl propyl disulfide, dipropyl disulfide, 2,4-dimethyl thiophene, and allyl-propyl disulfide are sulfur-containing compounds6.

Chemical Structures:

Allium cepa L.st.

Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/Scientific Studies

A. cepa is used for recovering from stomach problems and gastrointestinal disorders. Onion contains allyl propyl disulfide and chromium that improves glucose tolerance. It is also beneficial against osteoporosis after menopause. It is used for curingtooth disorders, anemia, heart disease, sexual debility, skin disorders, and ear disorders7.

A. cepais reported for its various biological activities such as anti-diabetic, antiasthmatic, anticholesterolemic, anthelmintic, anticarcinogenic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-platelet, diuretic, hypotensive,, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antifertility8,9.

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onion
  2. http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=5&taxon_id=200027457
  3. Miean, K. H., and Mohamed, S. (2001). Flavonoid (myricetin, quercetin, kaempferol, luteolin, and apigenin) content of edible tropical plants.Journal of agricultural and food chemistry49(6), 3106-3112.
  4. Sobolewska, D., Michalska, K., Podolak, I., andGrabowska, K. (2014). Steroidal saponins from the genus Allium.Phytochemistry Reviews, 1-35.
  5. Price, K. R., Bacon, J. R., and Rhodes, M. J. (1997). Effect of storage and domestic processing on the content and composition of flavonolglucosides in onion (Allium cepa).Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry45(3), 938-942.
  6. Gıtin, L., Dinica, R., Neagu, C., andDumitrascu, L. (2014). Sulfur compounds identification and quantification from Allium fresh leaves.Journal of food and drug analysis30(1), e6.
  7. Kumar, K. S., Bhowmik, D., andTiwari, P. (2010). Allium cepa: A traditional medicinal herb and its health benefits.Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research2(1), 283-291.
  8. Griffiths, G., Trueman, L., Crowther, T., Thomas, B., and Smith, B. (2002). Onions—a global benefit to health.Phytotherapy Research16(7), 603-615.
  9. Corea, G., Fattorusso, E., Lanzotti, V., Capasso, R., andIzzo, A. A. (2005). Antispasmodic saponins from bulbs of red onion, Allium cepa var. Tropea.Journal of agricultural and food chemistry,53(4), 935-940.