If you avoid onions because of their propensity to cause watery eyes and bad breath, you are missing out on a myriad of benefits provided by this bulbous root vegetable! In addition to lots of vitamin C and fiber, onions provide a large amount of quercetin, a flavonoid known to eliminate free radicals in the body and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and several types of cancer.
Nutritional benefits aside, onions are fabulous to have in the home for surprising everyday uses that won't make your breath stink:
1. Bug repellent. The smell of onions annoys bugs, too, so put their pungent odor to work! A bowl of sliced onions wherever ants or moths are hanging out in your home will make them disappear, according to WonderHowTo and Living Traditionally. Keep bugs away from your body by rubbing yourself with a freshly cut onion before going outdoors -- of course, you'll probably also repel some of your fellow humans!
(Onion is also occasionally used as a dog- or cat-repellent, to teach pets to stay away from certain areas of the house. However, onions are extremely toxic to pets so this method isn't recommended.)
2. Bandage for minor cuts. Onion skin is thin and filmy, and will stick to skin to help stop bleeding, reports Living Traditionally. There's no need to apply an antiseptic first, as onions naturally have antiseptic properties.
3. Dye for crafts. Fill a pair of pantyhose with red or yellow onion skins and tie it off, as demonstrated in this drawing from WonderHowTo. Boil the skins in a saucepan or stockpot of water for 20-30 minutes, then remove the pantyhose. The colored water can be used to dye eggs, paper or fabric.
4. Anti-nausea elixir. Extract juice from one white or yellow onion then sip two teaspoons at a time; alternate with sipping two teaspoons of cool peppermint tea and allowing about five minutes in between each. "Vomiting should stop immediately and nausea should go away within 15 minutes," says Living Traditionally. Forget about the pink stuff!
5. Odor neutralizer. Sliced and slightly crushed onions will absorb unpleasant odors, particularly from fresh paint or varnish. Simply put the slices in a bowl with a little bit of water, recommends Reader's Digest, and leave it in the middle of the room.
6. Grill scrubber. This easy tip comes from Care2: chop an onion in half and stab it with a sturdy fork. With the grill on a low setting, scrub the rungs with the onion until they're clean and ready to use!
7. Smelling salts. Counteract feeling light-headed by holding a freshly cut onion under the nose of the person feeling unsteady. As Reader's Digest notes, this is particularly handy if it comes on at a party or in a restaurant.
8. Rusty knife cleaner. Remove the rust from an old knife by slicing through an onion several times until the blade is clean, advises WonderHowTo. Or, do it the way Reader's Digest suggests: by piercing the vegetable in repeated stabbing motions.
9. Splinter remover. Pesky splinters that refuse to be tweezed out can be coaxed out with onion. Use adhesive tape to secure a small slice of raw onion onto the splinter site. Care2 explains that holding it tightly in place for an hour should be enough to remove the splinter; WonderHowTo advises leaving the onion in place overnight.
10. Windshield ice prevention. Don't spend all morning scraping ice from your windshield! Rub the glass with a freshly cut onion the night before, says WonderHowTo, and your windshield will stay frost-free.
With powerful disease-fighting flavonoids and several amazing uses around the home, it seems you can never have too many onions! SHARE this article, then tell us your miraculous onion stories in the comments below.