This paper presents a novel method for color image enhancement based on the discrete quaternion Fourier transform. We choose the quaternion Fourier transform, because it well-suited for color image processing applications, it processes all 3 color components (R,G,B) simultaneously, it capture the inherent correlation between the components, it does not generate color artifacts or blending , finally it does not need an additional color restoration process. Also we introduce a new CEME measure to evaluate the quality of the enhanced color images. Preliminary results show that the α-rooting based on the quaternion Fourier transform enhancement method out-performs other enhancement methods such as the Fourier transform based α-rooting algorithm and the Multi scale Retinex. On top, the new method not only provides true color fidelity for poor quality images but also averages the color components to gray value for balancing colors. It can be used to enhance edge information and sharp features in images, as well as for enhancing even low contrast images. The proposed algorithms are simple to apply and design, which makes them very practical in image enhancement.