Originally published February 7 2015
Grow your own onions for a sustainable supply of natural medicine
by Daniel Barker
(NaturalNews) Successful prepping is not just a matter of stockpiling essentials. Long-term survival after an economic collapse or a catastrophic grid failure, for example, will require sustainable resources, and planting a vegetable garden is one of the best ways to help ensure that your family will have a constant supply of healthy and nutritious fresh food.
The best types of vegetables to plant are ones that are easy to grow, mature quickly and have medicinal or health-boosting properties. Onions have all these qualities, and furthermore, they lend a distinctive flavor to many types of dishes. They are one of the most versatile vegetables, in terms of cooking a variety of meals, and it would be difficult for cooks such as myself to imagine life without them.
Since onions have a relatively short shelf life, stockpiling a supply of them for a long-term SHTF scenario is basically out of the question. Luckily, however, they are one of the easier vegetables to grow, and some varieties, such as sweet yellow Spanish onions, can be harvested in three months.
Growing onions requires no special care other than watering every few days and fertilizing about three weeks after planting.
The health benefits of onions are almost too numerous to list in a short article -- they seem to have as many medicinal properties as they do uses in cooking.
Troy Brooks of AmericanPreppersNetwork.com has listed many of the medicinal uses of onions along with their health-promoting properties in his article titled, "Onions Are A Prepper's Friend & Medicine." I have briefly summarized his list below, and at the bottom of this page you will find a link to the original article.
As part of the Allium genus -- along with garlic, chives, leeks and scallions -- onions have not yet fully understood cancer-fighting properties, especially regarding cancers of the digestive tract.
Onions have antioxidant properties and are a source of vitamin C, which further makes them useful in the prevention of cancer. Eating onions on a regular basis has been shown to reduce the incidence of esophageal, stomach and colorectal cancer. It is theorized that the Allium genus's natural cancer-fighting properties are related to the organosulfur compounds they contain.
But there are also many other health benefits associated with eating onions. For instance, onions are useful in treating coughs and respiratory ailments -- onion juice can be mixed with honey to make a natural cough remedy, and an infusion made by simply boiling water and adding a slice of fresh onion can be used to treat congestion.
Onions are believed to have an antidepressant effect and may also help in promoting healthy sleep cycles. The folic acid contained in onions is thought to be useful in regulating the hormones responsible for moods, healthy sleep and good appetite.
The vitamin C content in onions is not only beneficial as a cancer-fighting antioxidant but also helps in the production and maintenance of collagen, which is vital for healthy skin and hair.
Onions are also known for stimulating the sex drive. Ingesting onion juice in combination with ginger juice three times daily is said to boost libido.
Aside from the many benefits already listed, onions also have been shown to have antifungal, antimicrobial and probiotic properties.
And as I mentioned before, onions are a fundamental ingredient in any cook's array of flavors. They add zest to sandwiches and salads in raw form, and there is nothing more heavenly than the aroma and taste of sauteed or caramelized onions, especially when they are cooked in butter.
Onions by themselves make a great side dish in the form of fried onion rings, or as a somewhat decadent-but-delicious deep-fried "bloomin' onion" dish with a dipping sauce on the side.
Or how about a nice homemade onion soup? If I haven't convinced you yet, I should think nothing will -- but I firmly believe that onions are among the best vegetables that a prepper's garden can contain.
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