Surprising Health Benefits of Country Onions You Never Knew About

Surprising Health Benefits of Country Onions You Never Knew About

Introducing "Country Onions," a culinary treasure found in the lush rainforests of Central and West Africa. People love this charming spice for their unique flavors and aroma, which resemble garlic more than traditional onions. But what truly sparks curiosity is their hidden health benefits. 

In a health-conscious world, it's natural to question the health and nutritional value of the foods we welcome into our kitchens. So. do these Country Onions offer more than just flavor? The answer is, "YES." Country onions have the potential to boost your health. Join us as we unlock the secrets of the health benefits of African Country Onions. Let’s dive in. 

About the Spice: Country Onions 

Country Onions, scientifically known as Afrostyrax lepidophyllus, hail from the vibrant rainforests of Central and West Africa. These onions stand out with their unique garlic-like flavor profile, infusing a distinctive pungency into traditional dishes. They have a long history as cherished ingredients in African cuisines and, beyond their culinary charm, offer notable health benefits. 

Before dive into the health benefits of Country Onions, let's take a quick look at the profile of our garlicky spice: 


Name  Country Onion 
Scientific Name  Afrostyrax lepidophyllus 
Origin  Central and West Africa 
Appearance  Small oval-shaped bulbs, brown to pale brown 
Flavor Profile  Resembles garlic more than traditional onions, with a pungent, mild garlicky kick 
Aroma  Pungent, reminiscent of garlic cloves 
Culinary Uses  Marinades, dressings, sautés, stews, soups, and more 
Versatility  Suitable as a garlic alternative, adding depth and complexity 
Distinctiveness  Characterized by a harmonious blend of pungency and sweetness, combining the flavors of regular onions, shallots, and garlic, resulting in a unique and captivating taste 
Culinary Regions  A traditional ingredient in various African cuisines 
Cultural Significance  Integral to cultural and culinary heritage in Africa, often used in traditional recipes, rituals, and celebrations 


6 Impressive Health Benefits of Country Onions 

In this discussion, we will enumerate the various ways in which country onions contribute to health and well-being. Here, we will describe its remarkable properties that extend beyond the kitchen. So, how can our health benefit from consuming country onions? 

1. It Contains Significant Nutrients

Country Onions (Afrostyrax lepidophyllus ). Photo by Smoky Hazel

Country Onions are a nutritious addition to your diet, offering a range of essential nutrients. Here are some of the key nutrients found in Country Onions

Dietary Fiber. Country Onions are rich in dietary fiber, which is essential for digestive health. Fiber helps maintain regular bowel movements, prevents constipation, and supports a healthy digestive system. 

Vitamin C. Country Onions are a good source of vitamin C, an important antioxidant that plays a crucial role in supporting the immune system and protecting the body from oxidative stress. It also promotes healthy skin and aids in wound healing.

Calcium. Country Onions contain calcium, a mineral that is vital for strong bones and teeth. Calcium is also involved in muscle function, blood clotting, and nerve transmission. 

Magnesium. Magnesium is another essential mineral found in Country Onions. It contributes to various bodily functions, including muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and bone health. 

Iron. Iron is present in Country Onions and is important for the formation of red blood cells. It plays a key role in transporting oxygen throughout the body, preventing fatigue and maintaining overall vitality. 

Sodium. Country Onions can provide sodium to support fluid balance in the body to help keep the nerves and muscles working properly.  

Phosphorus. Country onions also contain phosphorus, which helps build strong bones and teeth, working alongside calcium. It also plays a role in energy production within your cells. 

Potassium. Country onions are a source of potassium, which supports healthy blood pressure, heart function, and muscle activity.  

Incorporating Country Onions into your diet can be a flavorful way to obtain these valuable nutrients and promote overall health. Whether added to salads, soups, or various dishes, Country Onions can be a tasty and nutritious addition to your meals. 

2. It Contains Anti-microbial Properties

It contains Anti-microbial properties. Photo by Geobacillus from Getty Images

The extract from Afrostyrax lepidophyllus showed strong antibacterial properties by effectively inhibiting the growth of different harmful bacteria. In other words, it has the ability to fight against bacterial infections. 

3. It Contains Antioxidant Properties

Antioxidants in diffrerent fruits and vegetables including Country onions. Photo by Yuliya Furman

Country Onions contains antioxidant compounds that help protect the body against oxidative stress. Antioxidants neutralize harmful free radicals and reduce oxidative damage to cells and tissues. Hence, this can contribute to overall health and well-being.  

4. It Has Anti-inflammatory Properties 

Woman suffering from body inflammation. Photo by Staras from Getty Images

Inflammation is a natural response of the body to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of various diseases. Some studies suggest that Afrostyrax lepidophyllus may have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation and related health conditions. 

5. It Can Help Alleviate Digestive Issues

Man suffering from digestive issues. Photo by m-gucci from getty images

People believe that Country Onion seeds have digestive benefits and use them to alleviate indigestion or stomach discomfort. They may be consumed or prepared as a decoction. 

When people consume or prepare the seeds, barks, or roots as a decoction, they believe it soothes the digestive system by stimulating the release of digestive enzymes that break down food. Hence, it may likely help in reducing the likelihood of indigestion, bloating, and abdominal discomfort. 

6. It Has Other Several Medicinal Uses

A female scientist. Photo by Edward Jenner

The barks and roots of this the Country Onion serve as remedies in traditional medicine. People use it to treat conditions such as urinary infections, indigestion, female frigidity, and snake bites, while also being employed for enemas. 

Enjoy the Healthy and Garlicky Goodness of Country Onions 

Country onions. Photo by Smoky Hazel

Are you ready to savor the Country Onion goodness? Join us in exploring the culinary world of country onions. Discover how they transform your meals into healthy, garlicky sensations!  

Delve into our collection of delectable recipes, and elevate your cooking to a whole new level of flavor and nutrition. 

Ready to spice up your dishes? Shop Now! 


Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What is country onion used for?

In cooking, people use country onions to enhance the taste of a wide range of dishes, including marinades, dressings, sautés, stews, and soups. Their distinctive flavor, which combines the characteristics of onions and garlic can add a rich and aromatic dimension to culinary creations. 

2. How do I store country onions to keep them fresh?

You can store country onions in a cool, dry place to prevent moisture buildup, which can cause spoilage. It is advisable to keep them in a well-ventilated area and maintain air circulation by storing them in a mesh bag or open container. 

3. Can I use country onions as a substitute for traditional onions or garlic in recipes?

Yes, you can use country onions as a substitute for traditional onions and garlic in recipes. They have a flavor profile that combines the characteristics of both onions and garlic, making them a versatile choice in the kitchen.  

4. What are other names for Country Onion?

In various regions of Africa, people refer to country onions by different names such as "Rondelles," "Olum," and "Bobimbi." 



Alfred Ngenge Tamfu, et al. “Organic and Mineral Composition of Seeds of Afrostyrax Lepidophyllus Mildbr. And Evaluation of ROS Inhibition and Cytotoxicity of Isolated Compounds.” Chemistry Africa, vol. 2, no. 4, 29 July 2019, pp. 615–624, Accessed 21 Oct. 2023. 

Bruno Moukette Moukette, et al. “Afrostyrax Lepidophyllus Mildbr. And Monodora Myristica (Gaertn.) Dunal Extracts Decrease Doxorubicin Cytotoxicity on H9c2 Cardiomyoblasts.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2021, 22 Feb. 2021, pp. 1–12, Accessed 21 Oct. 2023. 

Sokamte, T, et al. “Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activities of Two Edibles Spices from Cameroon and Quantification of Their Major Phenolic Compounds.” International Food Research Journal, vol. 25, no. 6, 2018, pp. 2352–2361, Accessed 21 Oct. 2023. 


Back to blog


Country Onion known in My dialete as “Fi’ienom” is a very strong spice in most meals. With it’s beautiful aroma that carries consumers. Has several benefits beyond these.
Have large trees of country Onion in my compound in Njinibi in Mbengwi Center Sub Division of Momo Division in North West Region of Cameroon. It’s a beautiful Spice.

Ndisang Ephraim N

What a spice especially in pepper soup and corn-chaff. I love the aromatic smell. Thanks for the information.

Leo Rehoboth

Leave a comment