Onion boosts Sex hormone levels new study finds

Study shows rats have more sex with onion. And so could you–

A 2014 study[1] published in the Journal of Experimental medicine and biology found that onion juice promoted testosterone production in male rats.

What is testosterone?

Testosterone is the male sex hormone. It has many important functions in the male body including sperm production, sex drive regulation, potency, body hair growth, and muscle and bone strength.

What causes low testosterone?

Many things can affect the testosterone levels in the body. Medications commonly affect testosterone levels, and this is shown in the study discussed in this article. Antidepressants and antipsychotic medications are well known for their ability to affect sex drive and potency because of their effect on testosterone levels.

Other causes include aging, injury to the testicles, testicular cancer or chemotherapy, congenital defects, or a deficiency of hormones produced in parts of the brain.

What happens if testosterone levels are too low?

Low testosterone can lead to less erections, longer time to gaining erection, less firm erections, lowered sex drive, general weakness and tiredness, difficulty concentrating, and low mood.

Onion (Allium cepa) has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. Thought to have been grown originally in Asia, it is used today throughout the world more for its flavour than its therapeutic properties.Onions have been shown to have healing properties.  They contain many key substances; Quercetain (useful in Hayfever and seasonal allergies), mustard oils, and sulphur containing compounds. Onion can contribute to lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and reduce clot formation. Onion is often useful as an expectorant  (used to expel phlegm) to help ease symptoms of coughs and colds.

The Research – Onions boost testosterone and sexual function in the rat model

The study looked at the effect of onion juice on sexual behaviour in two populations of male rats. The first population included potent male rats and the second population looked at male rats who had been rendered impotent by being given the antidepressant Paroxetine.

The study found that onion juice had a remarkable effect on the rats’ sexual behaviour. Onion juice reduced sex-free intervals, and increased the intercourse efficacy of potent male rats.

Even more interestingly, onion juice reduced the ejaculatory latency period caused by paroxetine. I.e. The antidepressant paroxetine prolonged the time delay between periods of being able to ejaculate (longer down time after each sexual encouter).  Onion juice also increased the number of ejaculating rats. This begs the question–is onion juice a possible remedy for erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and reduced libido?

The study also showed that testosterone levels were significantly increased  in rats after onion juice administration. It also showed that there was a significant drop in testosterone levels following administration of the antidepressant paroxetine–BUT that this lowered testoserone level could be returned to normal levels simply with onion juice supplementation!

Ancient WisdomCulpeper tells us in his Complete Herball of 1653:

Mars owns them, and they have gotten this quality, to draw any corruption to them, for if you peel one, and lay it upon a dunghill, you shall find it rotten in half a day by drawing putrefaction to it; then being bruised and applied to a plague sore, it is very probable it will do the like…Onions are flatulent yet they do somewhat provoke appetite, increase thirst,,,provoke womens courses…increase sperm, especially the seed of them… 



1. Allouh MZ, Daradkha HM. (2014) Fresh onion juice enhanced copulatory behavior in male rats with and without paroxetine-induced sexual dysfunction. Experimental biology and medicine. 239(2);177-82

Snyder PJ. Chapter 41. Androgens. In: Brunton LL, Chabner BA, Knollmann BC. eds. Goodman & Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 12e. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2011.http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com.ezproxy.uws.edu.au/content.aspx?bookid=374&Sectionid=41266250. Accessed July 20, 2015.

Culpeper, N. 1653. The English Physitian and Complete Herball. London

Sharon, M. 2014. The complete guide to Nutrients. London: Prion books

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