Both wild and cultivated onions contain the same toxic principle, N-propyl disulfide which primarily affects erythrocytes. The principle effects are related to hemolysis (rupture of red blood cells). This is believed to be secondary to oxidant-associated effects, and Heinz bodies may sometimes be evident in red blood cells. Other compounds are believed to be responsible for the lacrimator (tear producing) and antithrombotic (anti-clotting) effects associated with onions and garlic. Various sulfur-containing metabolites are probably responsible for the odors associated with ingestion of onions and garlic.
| Description | Distribution | Conditions of poisoning | Clinical signs |
| Plant Lists: Scientific or Common | Veterinary Medicine Library | UIUC Library |
Last updated: July 2, 1996
Please direct all comments or requests for information to Greg Youngen.