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3 Benefits of Onions Sexually

Kristin Hall, FNP

Reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP

Written by Rachel Sacks

Published 04/12/2023

Chopping onions may bring a tear to your eye, but there may be plenty of other benefits of onions sexually. Yes, onions — the popular root vegetable known for giving people bad breath — might help improve your sexual health.

Commonly used in cooking to add flavor to a dish, onions might also be used to treat illnesses like the common cold or flu. The sulfur compounds in raw onions may even be effective in preventing certain types of cancer.

These are only a few of the many health benefits of onions.

But what exactly are the raw onion benefits for men? Can this simple vegetable help your sex life?

We’ll break down all the health benefits and explain whether or not there are benefits of onions sexually.

Whether you use raw or cooked onions, these root vegetables pack some powerful nutrients and other health benefits.

Historically used to treat ailments like headaches, mouth sores and even heart disease, the medicinal qualities of onions have been known for thousands of years.

Onions are nutrient-dense, meaning they’re low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals. A medium onion, for example, has less than 50 calories but contains a considerable amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

This vegetable is high in vitamin C, which is important for supporting immune health, collagen production and iron absorption. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C can also protect cells against damage from free radicals.

There’s also a high amount of B vitamins — particularly vitamin B6 and folate — which help with metabolism, nerve function and the production of red blood cells.

The antioxidant properties of onions may even support heart health, as they fight inflammation and reduce cholesterol levels — all of which may lower heart disease risk.

Antioxidants inhibit oxidation, a process that contributes to diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Onions have at least 17 different types of antioxidants. The antioxidant activity in onions may decrease bone loss and boost bone density.

What’s more, the anti-inflammatory properties of onions may reduce blood pressure and prevent blood clots.

Quercetin, an antioxidant highly concentrated in onions, has potent anti-inflammatory properties that may help decrease heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure.

Raw onion benefits could also help control blood sugar levels. An older study from 2009 showed that diabetic patients who ate raw onions had significantly reduced fasting blood sugar levels.

Onions even have antibacterial properties, with the antioxidant properties of quercetin being able to fight off harmful bacteria.

But what are the benefits of onions sexually? Can they help with erectile dysfunction (ED) or improve sexual health in other ways? Keep reading to learn about onion benefits for men.

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Now you know about the many health benefits of common onions. So, what are the benefits of onions sexually?

Onions Might Increase Testosterone Production

Eating onions might boost your testosterone levels, the primary sex hormone responsible for sperm production, as well as sexual characteristics during puberty (muscle strength, deepening voice and facial hair, to name a few).

A review of studies found that consuming onion extracts or onion juice increased testosterone production. However, 75 percent of these studies were conducted on male rats.

One of the studies found that rats that consumed onion juice had increased testosterone production.

This study also discovered that rats that were experiencing sexual dysfunction from paroxetine (a common antidepressant used to treat depression) also had increased production of testosterone from the consumption of onions.

They May Help With Erectile Dysfunction

Eating onions may also help with erectile dysfunction, a common condition in men.

Erectile dysfunction is when men are unable to get or maintain an erection firm enough for penetrative sex. This is a result of many factors, with some common causes of ED, including:

The gist of how erections work is that chemical messages are sent from the brain to relax muscles in the penis, which then allows blood to flow to the base of the penis.

Blood flow to erectile tissue allows the penis to become firmer and harder, creating an erection. Erectile dysfunction medications, such as sildenafil (Viagra®), can help stimulate blood flow back to the penis.

Onions’ anti-inflammatory properties and certain B vitamins can help produce red blood cells, decrease blood clots and increase blood flow — which may help with ED. A study on male rats also found that red onion juice had a positive effect on erectile dysfunction.

Choose your chew

Eating Onions Might Increase Sexual Desire

Considering onions' reputation for giving people bad breath, it might be surprising to learn that this food is viewed as an aphrodisiac — a food that stimulates sexual desire.

Eating onions has been shown to increase testosterone production, mostly in male rats from older studies. This increase may affect sexual desire in men, but more research needs to be done.

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Many studies have found onions to have a few sexual benefits for men. Namely, possible increased testosterone production and sexual desire, as well as reduced erectile dysfunction. 

However, these studies were older and mostly conducted on rats. So, to find out the true benefits of onions sexually, more research is needed.

Regardless of the benefits of onions sexually, these vegetables provide many other important nutrients. This includes antioxidants that provide several benefits to antibacterial properties, ensuring you have plenty of beneficial bacteria and no bad bacteria.

Onions are also easy to add to your diet, whether you use cooked onions in a stir-fry, green onions in a salad or even drink onion juice (we’re not judging).

Suffice it to say, onions are a beneficial addition to any diet — they just may not have quite the sexual health benefits you might hope.

If you’re concerned about onion breath or are still struggling with any sexual conditions like ED, there are many solutions, including prescription medication. Explore men’s sexual health resources at Hims today.

18 Sources

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  2. Nicastro, H. L., Ross, S. A., & Milner, J. A. (2015). Garlic and onions: Their cancer prevention properties. Cancer prevention research (Philadelphia, Pa.), 8(3), 181. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4366009/
  3. Galavi, A., Hosseinzadeh, H., & Razavi, B. M. (2021). The effects of Allium cepa L. (onion) and its active constituents on metabolic syndrome: A review. Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences, 24(1), 3-16. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7894628/
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  11. Salehi, B., Machin, L., Monzote, L., Sharifi-Rad, J., Ezzat, S. M., Salem, M. A., Merghany, R. M., El Mahdy, N. M., Kılıç, C. S., Sytar, O., Sharifi-Rad, M., Sharopov, F., Martins, N., Martorell, M., & Cho, W. C. (2020). Therapeutic Potential of Quercetin: New Insights and Perspectives for Human Health. ACS Omega, 5(20), 11849-11872. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7254783/
  12. Taj Eldin, I. M., & Ahmed, E. M. (2009). Preliminary Study of the Clinical Hypoglycemic Effects of Allium cepa (Red Onion) in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetic Patients. Environmental Health Insights, 4, 71-77. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2978938/
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Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Kristin Hall, FNP

Kristin Hall is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with decades of experience in clinical practice and leadership. 

She has an extensive background in Family Medicine as both a front-line healthcare provider and clinical leader through her work as a primary care provider, retail health clinician and as Principal Investigator with the NIH

Certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center, she brings her expertise in Family Medicine into your home by helping people improve their health and actively participate in their own healthcare. 

Kristin is a St. Louis native and earned her master’s degree in Nursing from St. Louis University, and is also a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. You can find Kristin on LinkedIn for more information.

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