Bawang Merah/Red Onion (Allium cepa L.)

Figure 1 : Red Onion Plants (Allium cepa L.)

1. Name of Plants

Name : Bawang merah

2. Classification of Plants

Figure 2 : Red onion plants (Allium cepa L.)

Kingdom :Plantae
Subkingdom :Tracheobionta
Superdivisio :Spermatophyta
Divisio :Magnoliophyta
Class :Liliopsida
Sub-class :Liliidae
Order :Liliales
Family :Liliaceae
Genus :Allium
Species :Allium cepa L. var. aggregatum

3. Plants Description


1. Root

Fibrous rootswith shallow root systemsand branched scattered, at depths between15 – 30 cm in the ground.

2. Stem

Having a true stemor called “discusshaped like a disc, thin and shortas a place of attachment of the rootand buds(growing point), there is a pseudo-stem above discusthat composed of midrib-leaf midriband pseudo-stem in the soilchange shape and function into bulbs.

3. Leaf

Small cylindrical elongatedbetween 50 – 70 cm, holes and the edges tapered, colored green young to old, and location of leaves attached to the stalkthe size relatively short.

4. Flower

Flower stalk out of the tip of crop(growing point) the length between30 – 90 cm, and at the tip there50 – 200 flowers arranged circular(round) shaped like an umbrella. Each flower consists of 5 – 6 leaves white flowers, 6 green or yellowishstamens, 1 pistils and ovariesalmost triangular shaped. Onion flower is a perfect flower(hermaprodit) and can be self-pollinated or cross.

5. Fruits and Seeds

Fruit is round with blunt endswrapgrain amount to 2 –3 grain, seed shapeslightly flattened when young is actually clearor whiteafter old become black. Onion seedscan used as a generative plant propagation material.

4. Habitat and Deployment

Red onions produced in24 from 30 provinces in Indonesia. The main onion producing provinces includeSumatera Utara, Sumatara Barat, Jawa Barat, Jawa Tengah, DIY, Jawa Timur, bali, NTB, and Sulawesi selatan.

5. Ingredients and Benefits of Plants

As traditional medicine,that can cure fever, diabetes and coughRed onions contain quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that actsas an agent to inhibit cancer cell.The content of red onionof such other protein, mineral, sulfur, anthocyanin, carbohydrate, and fiber(Rodrigues et al., 2003). One half to three and a half ounces of fresh onionswhen consumed regularly containing quercetinthat sufficient as protection against cancer. Onions are rich in flavonoids which are knownfor deactivating a lot of potential carcinogensand triggers tumorsuch as disturbing the cell growth of estrogen-sensitive in breast cancer(Anonim, 2007).

6. Mechanism of Anticancer Research


Borska, S., Gębarowska, E., Wysocka, T., Zalesińska, M. and Zabel, M. 2003. The effects of quercetin vs cisplatin on proliferation and the apoptotic process in A549 and SW1271 cell lines in in vitro conditions. Folia Morphol 63 ( 1):103–105.

Cross, H., Tilby, M., Chipman, J., Ferry, D. and Gescher, A. 1998. Experimental Cancer Effect of quercetin on the genotoxic potential of cisplatin.   International Journal of Cancer  66(3): 404 – 408.

Haghiack, M. and Walle, T. 2005. Quercetin Induces Necrosis and Apoptosis in SCC-9 Oral Cancer Cells. Nutrition and Cancer 53(2):220-231.

Kuhar M., Sabiha I. and Singh N. 2007 Curcumin and Quercetin Combined with Cisplatin to Induce Apoptosis in Human Laryngeal Carcinoma Hep-2 Cells through the Mitochondrial Pathway. J. Cancer Mol 3(4): 121-128.

Priya D. and Devi, S. 1999. Protective effect of quercetin in cisplatin-induced cell injury in the rat kidney. Indian Journal of Pharmacology 31(6):422-426.

Heo, H. and Lee, C. 2004. J-Agric-Food-Chem. 15; 52(25):7514-7

Rodrigues A., Fogliano V., Graziani G., Mendes, S., Vale, A. and Goncalves, C., 2003. Nutrition Value of Onion Regional Varieties in Northwest Portugal, EJEAFChe 2(4): 519-524.

Contributors: Dwi Ana Nawangsari, Indah Ikawati Setyarini, Perdana Adi Nugroho, Sarmoko, dan Endang Sulistyorini

Last update: 9 November 2010