Botanical name: Allium wallichii Family: Alliaceae (Onion family)
Synonyms: Allium polyastrum, Allium bulleyanum, Allium praelatitium
Himalayan Onion is a perennial herb with numerous purple flower, borne in a lax rounded umbel 5-7 cm across, on top of a leafless 3-angled flowering-stem, 1-3 ft. Petals are broadly linear blunt, spreading in a star, at length reflexed, longer than the purple stamens and ovary. Leaves are many, spear-shaped, flat and keeled, up to 2 cm broad, often almost as long as the flowering stem. Bulb is solitary or clustered, cylindric; tunic yellowish brown, fibrous. Himalayan Onion is found in the Himalayas, from Pakistan to SW China, at altitudes of 2800-4300 m.
Medicinal uses: The bulbs, boiled then fried in ghee, are eaten in the treatment of cholera and dysentery. The raw bulb is chewed to treat coughs and colds. It is said that eating the bulbs can ease the symptoms of altitude sickness. Members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.
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The flower labeled Himalayan Onion is ...