Onion Extract as a Dual Remedy for Asthma Inflammation

Greg Howard
9th April, 2024

Onion Extract as a Dual Remedy for Asthma Inflammation

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • In Kuwait, a study found onion bulb extract may help treat and prevent asthma in mice
  • Onion extract reduced lung inflammation, tissue damage, and proteins linked to asthma
  • The study suggests onions could complement current asthma treatments, pending further research
Asthma affects millions of people worldwide, posing a significant health burden with its chronic symptoms and acute exacerbations. Traditional treatments often rely on synthetic drugs that can be expensive and carry the risk of side effects. Against this backdrop, researchers at Kuwait University have turned their attention to a natural remedy with a long history of use in treating respiratory conditions: the humble onion[1]. The study conducted by Kuwait University aimed to explore the potential of onion bulb extract (OBE) as a treatment for asthma. The researchers set out to determine whether OBE could reverse the symptoms of established asthma or even prevent the condition when administered before the onset of symptoms. In the study, male Balb/c mice were divided into several groups for both therapeutic and preventative protocols. The therapeutic groups received OBE after they had been sensitized to house dust mite (HDM) allergens to induce an asthmatic response. The preventative groups were given OBE before HDM exposure. Researchers then measured the extent of airway inflammation, tissue changes, and the level of certain proteins and antibodies associated with the inflammatory response. The results were promising. OBE, particularly at a dose of 60 mg/kg for therapeutic treatment and 100 mg/kg for preventative care, was shown to mitigate the influx of inflammatory cells into the airways, reduce tissue damage in the lungs, and lower the expression of proteins and cytokines involved in inflammation. Notably, serum IgE levels, which are typically elevated in allergic responses, were also decreased. These findings are particularly relevant when considering previous research that identified IL-13 and IL-4 as key contributors to the asthmatic phenotype[2]. While the Kuwait University study did not directly measure IL-13 and IL-4, the reduction in overall inflammation and serum IgE suggests that OBE may influence these cytokines' pathways, warranting further investigation. This study adds to the growing body of evidence that natural products can play a role in managing asthma. For instance, previous research has shown that certain medicinal botanicals can modulate the gut microbiota and have anti-inflammatory properties, which could be beneficial in treating diseases like asthma[3]. Additionally, a systematic review highlighted the potential of various herbal extracts, including onion, in improving lung function and reducing reliance on corticosteroids in asthma management[4]. The significance of the Kuwait University study lies in its dual approach: assessing the ability of OBE not only to treat but also to prevent asthma. While the therapeutic effects align with the need for safer, more affordable treatments for those already suffering from asthma, the preventative effects open up the possibility of using OBE as a protective measure for individuals at risk of developing the condition. Despite these encouraging results, the study is not without limitations. The research was conducted on mice, and human physiology can respond differently to treatments. The active components within OBE responsible for these effects are yet to be identified, and their safety and efficacy in humans need to be established through clinical trials. In conclusion, the study from Kuwait University suggests that onion bulb extract has the potential to both treat and prevent asthma in a laboratory setting. This natural remedy, which has been used for generations to treat airway diseases, may soon find a place alongside modern pharmaceuticals in the fight against asthma. Further research is needed to pinpoint the active ingredients in OBE and confirm these findings in human subjects. If successful, onions could become a valuable tool in the global effort to manage and prevent asthma.



Main Study

1) Treatment with onion bulb extract both prevents and reverses allergic inflammation in a murine model of asthma.

Published 8th April, 2024


Related Studies

2) Therapeutic effect of IL-13 immunoneutralization during chronic experimental fungal asthma.

Journal: Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), Issue: Vol 166, Issue 8, Apr 2001

3) A Review of the Effects of Natural Compounds, Medicinal Plants, and Mushrooms on the Gut Microbiota in Colitis and Cancer.


4) Herbal interventions for chronic asthma in adults and children: a systematic review and meta-analysis.


Related Articles

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload 🗙