Pungent and penetrating, raw onions have strong laxative, diaphoretic and antibacterial properties.
The qualities of cooked onions are somewhat different than those of raw onions. The longer they cook the sweeter and less Pitta aggravating onions become, and the more beneficial they become for Vata. Cooked or raw, onions stimulate desire (Rajasic), and are considered an aphrodisiac.
Yellow onions are the standard onion in western grocery store shelves. White onions tend to be sweeter and crunchier. Red onions are best if raw onions are required.


Taste: pungent, sweet

Natural Attributes: Light, Slightly oily 

Tissue impact (Vipak): sweet (nourishing)

Thermal impact (Virya): warming

Dosha impact: Increases Pitta, slightly increases Kapha, decreases Vata

Digestive impact (Agni): hard to digest (raw), easy to digest (cooked)

Channels (Srotas): opens

Feces: laxative


Strength (Bala): bestows strength and vitality

Mind (Manas): Rajasic

Effect: diaphoretic, alkalizing, Galactagogue, anti-carcinogenic

Chinese five element impact: Metal and Water

Chinese medicine syndromes: strengthens Kidney Yang, moistens the Lungs and Large Intestines

Medicinal properties 

  • Nourishment (rasa): lactation, dysentery, inhibits allergic reactions
  • Blood-circulation-liver: lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, liver stagnancies, facial edema
  • Vital essence: inhibits malignant cell growth
  • Skin: (topically) insect bites- to draw out swelling and pain
  • Respiratory system: decreases catarrh, common cold, cough, bronchial inflammation, chest congestions, phlegm in lungs
  • Digestive system: aids digestion, neutralizes toxins

Harmful for:


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