Document Type: Review Paper
Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Medicine, AJA University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Public Health Department, Nursing Faculty at Aja University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Pharmaceutical Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Department of Pharmacodynamics and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Onion (Allium cepa) is a member of the family Amaryllidaceae and one of the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. Onion has plentiful chemical compounds such as allicin, quercetin, fisetin, other sulphurous compounds: diallyl disulphide and diallyl trisulphide. Onion and its main components in specific doses have shown a lot of benefits including free-radical scavenging and antioxidant properties, anticholesterolemic, anti-heavy metals toxicity, antihyperuricemia, antimicrobial, anti-gastric ulcer, and anticancer. This study summarizes numerous in-vitro and animal studies on the protective effects of onion against natural and chemical toxicities. Onion and its main components can ameliorate the toxicity of chemical agents in kidney, liver, brain, blood, heart, reproductive system, embryo, pancreas through reducing lipid peroxidation, antioxidant effect, radical-scavenging, anti-inflammatory, chelating agent, cytoprotective activities, increasing protein synthesis in damaged tissues, suppressing apoptosis, as well as modulation of PKC-𝜀/p38MAPK, Wnt/beta-Catenin, ERK, JNK, p38 MAPK, Bcl-2, Bax, and NF-κB signaling pathways.