Why avoid onions and garlic? I’ve been asked a lot, “Are onions bad for you?” In this article, I’m exploring the reason onions and garlic are used as powerful medicines. I wrote this article to show all the good points and disadvantages of onion and garlic. You will also see why you should never give garlic and onion to your pets or other animals. I’m sharing my experiences of garlic and onion side effects and how they affect my meditation and emotions and why my energy drops after eating onions and garlic from an Ayurvedic perspective.
Crying Over an Onion | Onion Benefits and Doubts
How many times have you cried over a chopped onion? I have a lot, for sure. Being of Ukraine origin, I used to add onion and garlic to almost everything I made. It was a pantry staple of mine for most of my life. Baked, broiled, roasted, grilled, sauteed, powdered, or fried, garlic, and onion were part of daily consumption.
I always knew the enormous benefits of garlic and onion. My mother used to lovingly craft a variety of healing remedies with these substances as active ingredients every time I would come with cold or flu-like symptoms. And those potions sure worked every time!
Packed with nutrients, garlic and onion are potent nature-made antibiotics with strong anti-fungal and antibacterial qualities. Onions and garlic have blood purifying properties and are known to reduce high cholesterol levels.
WHY AVOID ONIONS and GARLIC
But! Something wouldn’t add up for me. I always had this uneasy feeling… Every time I would get to the onion chopping part of my daily food-prep routine, I wondered: If an onion is so good for my body, why then does my body react so strongly on it?
While sniffling and struggling to see through the flood of tears, I asked myself: What is it doing to my stomach if the fumes irritate my eyes so much with no physical contact? And why is an onion deadly to dogs, cats, horses, monkeys, and other animals?
If I would prep for dinner on an empty or semi-empty stomach and try a tiny piece of onion, I would get eminently tired right away. I was puzzled; after all, onion is 89% water! No significant amount of carbs or sugars that would make me crash.
Unable to bear the mistery, I dove into research. And this is what I discovered.
Why Onion Makes Me Cry
The reason why we are crying while cutting an onion is that our eyes are trying to protect themselves. From what? – You wonder. From a sulfur gas!
Here are the quick mechanics of it: During chopping or chewing an onion, a gas called allicin (Propanethiol S-oxide) is released.
When joined with other enzymes found in onion, it transforms into a sulfur gas. The second all this gassy goodness contacts your eyes, it creates a mild acid, causing burning and irritation. Immediate self-preservation instinct rules your body to close the eyes. But no!!! We have to keep them open to see what we are chopping!
So, the next best thing our body does to protect our eyes is tears. Tears create a layer of protection and flushing away those undesired acids. Our bodies are amazing machines! I’m fascinated every time I pay attention to the way my body functions.
The same compound is released by garlic. Even if you just rub garlic in your foot or wrist, it will get through the skin into your eyes, and you will feel a garlicky taste in your mouth.
Why Onion and Garlic are Dangerous for Animals to Eat
Ok, now to the poor animals. Why can they die after consumption of garlic, onion, scallions, and the like? Responsibility for this falls on to sulfoxides and sulfides that garlic and onion consists. By damaging animals’ red blood cells, they are causing a condition called Heinz body anemia. So, please, keep this in mind next time you offer a cracker, hot dog, or other human food to your loving pet as a treat, and check the ingredients on a package.
Garlic and Onion Side Effects
Why My Energy Drops After Eating an Onion
Every time after having a raw onion, I would deflate instantly like an untied balloon. My energy level would decrease rapidly. Every time the feeling was almost tangible. I just couldn’t believe that it’s only me having this experience. I asked around and found that nearly everyone who paid attention to this matter admitted to a similar state of being after onion ingestion. I was determined to find an explanation.
There is a theory out there, stating that the cause of tiredness and sleepiness following onion consumption is in L-tryptophan. L-tryptophan is an amino acid that is accused of being a natural sedative. But there are plenty of other raw fruits and vegetables that contain L-tryptophan consumption of which gives me energy and propels me through the day. Here are some of them: strawberries, blueberries, apples, avocados, peaches, spinach, cucumber, cabbage, cauliflower, winter melon, and more…
Off goes this theory, for me, at least…
That is when I had the first glimpse into the ancient holistic science of Ayurveda, I was able to find an explanation for this phenomenon. Everything that is genius is simple!
All food is divided into 3 groups. The first group of food that fuels your body with life energy (prana) is called Sattvic or Positive Pranic. The second group is Neutral Pranic food foods, which consists of food that neither gives nor takes your life energies, but rather spells you into a lethargic state. The third group is Negative Pranic food or Rajasic (stimulant) and Tamasic (sedative) foods, that takes away your life energies and makes you feel sleepy or tired. It was no surprise to me that garlic and onion championed the list, taking first and second place.
Regarded highly as medicine garlic and onion are too potent for daily consumption.
1. Garlic and onion are broad spectrum antibiotic effects.
Because garlic is a broad-spectrum nature made antibiotic, it does a good job of killing bacteria. But, it does not discriminate. It kills bad bacteria along with the good ones. And especially raw garlic and onion. The effects of raw garlic and onion are much stronger than the cooked ones. Never the less onion and garlic are such strong substances that even when cooked they retain a substantial amount of their qualities.
So if you feel that you are not able to quit garlic and onion altogether, the least you can do is to not consume them raw and to not consume them on a daily basis.
2. Another disadvantage: Garlic and onion are strong tissue irritant.
You know as well as I do, if you just take garlic and place it on the skin, what’s going to happen? The longer you keep it there, the more irritated the skin will become. In the end, it’s going to blister and rash, but hopefully, you don’t get there.
If garlic and onion affect your skin like that, you can only imagine what it does to the delicate tissue of the stomach and intestines.
For those people with IBS, other digestive issues, as well as certain sensitive skin conditions, know this first hand. If they pay attention to their body after they have onion and garlic, their condition gets worse.
3. Emotional effects of garlic and onion.
Ayurveda classifies onion and garlic (and the rest of the allium family) as nervous stimulants. They lower your energy levels and decrease focus and concentration abilities.
I stopped eating garlic and onion in 2015 when I started practicing yoga and meditation. I definitely noticed right away, not just an increase in energy levels, but improved mental and emotional stability as well.
When it comes to meditation a lot of people are adamantly stating that they can sit and concentrate only for a short amount of time if at all. I say, maybe, just maybe, this has a lot to do with garlic, onion, and other negative pranic foods.
Meditation had such a profound impact on my well-being and on my life in general, and refraining from negative pranic foods are making it just so much easier and more enjoyable process.
Researching garlic and onion broadened my view on different cultures. I found that there are so many places in the world where garlic or onion are nor consumed. And usually, those are societies with a focus on spiritual growth along with mental and physical well-being.
When I had garlic and onion on a daily basis, it was hard for me to identify the side effects they have on my system. Only when I started being vigilant about those substances entering my body and avoiding them completely, I noticed a profound difference. When I say avoiding them completely, I’m not just talking about only home cooking. This part is obvious. If you check the labels on the products you buy, garlic and onion is literally added everywhere. So, this is a bigger challenge.
Now, I try to avoid garlic and onion at all costs. But sometimes, when I have no choice, if I eat out, I’ll eat garlic or onion, and I’ll notice the effect right away. It usually lasts for about 4 days. I feel heavy, lethargic, it’s hard to get up in the morning, hard to concentrate, and I’m irritated by the smell coming out of my gut for several days.
Don’t take my word for it. Check it for yourself.
With all said and done.
When I uncovered all this knowledge, my findings had satisfied my mind but left me in a confused state. How in the world am I going to cook now?! As garlic, onion, chives, scallions, or leeks were almost in every dish of mine but deserts!
What to do, What to do?! Well, it lasted for about a second. With enthusiasm and excitement, I dove into a fascinating world of spices, exploring different cultures, styles, and cooking techniques.
This titillating journey turned out to be such a pleasurable and exciting experience that I’m bound to continue and wish it to be everlasting.
Come, explore with me!
To start off the journey I created these videos and simple recipes for you to try and enjoy. I hope that it will make it easier for you to try and transition to a more vibrant you.
Be Alive 🌱,
PS. one random fact for garlic superfans 👉🏻 In a study that compared the antioxidant activity of 26 spices, cinnamon wound up as the clear winner, outranking “superfoods” like garlic and oregano (1).