Onions and the Heat of the Night

onion aphrodisiac

You get tears when you peel it. And yes, the ancients believe that it’s an aphrodisiac. Since prehistoric times the onion has been considered an aphrodisiac. In the days of the Egyptian pharaohs, celibate priests were forbidden to eat onions because of its potential effects to raise their libidinous desires out of control. They are mentioned in many classic Hindu texts on the art of making love and were commonly used as an aphrodisiac in ancient Greece. Ancient Greeks believed that certain bitter edible bulbs (that includes garlic, and onion) stimulated passion. They were cooked in various ways, and eaten with “aphrodisiac salads” containing honey and sesame seeds. Also in France, newlyweds were served onion soup on the morning after their wedding night to restore their libido.

What is it that onions have to make them believe that it’s an aphrodisiac? For one thing, onions are rich in sulfur compounds, the one that turns us into tears when chopping it. These sulfur compounds have been shown to produce good anti-inflammatory effects. Because of this, some experts suggest that it might be good for treating cough and asthma.

Onions have the ability to reduce the stickiness of platelets and to decrease the thickness of the blood, which is good for blood circulation and can possibly reduce atherosclerosis. Because of this, some studies have proven that a healthy intake of onion will lead to a decreased risk of stroke and heart attack.

Other studies of onion consumption have also suggested that onions are good for lowering hypertension and high blood pressure. It also increases the body’s ability to produce amounts of insulin to lower blood sugar which is good for people with diabetes. Onion oil and its constituents are also known to kill various microbes which suggest that it might also be useful as an anti-microbial agent. Evidences in several clinical studies have also favored onion as an effective cancer prevention food.

Most human studies that have shown an effect from onions used at least 25 grams per day and often two to four times that amount. Though some studies have found cooked onions acceptable, several studies suggest that onion constituents are degraded by cooking and that fresh or raw onions are probably most active. So for better effect, try eating onions raw, if you can bear its taste.

And yes, since it’s really unbearable for some to eat it raw, here’s an onion recipe which you might find more appetizing:
Caramelized Onions

6 tablespoons of olive oil
5 tablespoons of butter
2 ½ kilograms of finely chopped onions
4 laurel leaves
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of salt
½ cup of white wine


Mix the olive oil and the butter in a deep thick pot. Place it over the heat. Then add in the onions, half of the sugar, half of the salt and 2 laurel leaves. Cover the preparation with the rest of the onion, sugar, salt and laurel.

Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Cook until the onions are a golden color.

Add in the wine and stir the bottom of the pot to take advantage of the bits that stick, until the wine diminishes.

Serve hot with bovine meat, pork or roasted chicken.


  1. I know what to serve up tonight!

    Thanks for the help.

    Stay kinky.

    My .02

    Vince a.k.a. "EVIL GREG"

  2. Wow, who would have thought? Although now that I think about it, guys that I have known that would eat onions actually had a higher sex drive. Good post.