Onions are so widely known that they need no description. The long tubular leaves are characteristic of the entire Lily family.
Dr. John R. Christopher, the acclaimed naturopath, recommended the use of onions as an alternative to garlic when it was not available. Onions work in much the same way, but weaker in action. Suffering with a bad cough due to inhaling dust particles from the hardwood that blew up into his face from the sander he was using, a friend prepared Dr. Christopher a bowl of onion syrup. After just one spoonful of onion syrup, he experienced the first relief he had had in a long time.
Recipe for Onion Syrup
- Dice any amount of onions
- Place in stainless steel or glass pan (do notuse aluminum)
- Pour liquid honey to about one-half inch above top of onions
- Simmer on low heart, preferably less than 130 degrees, for several hours
- Strain and press out liquid and use it as a cough syrup
Add nothing else to the recipe. The honey extracts the onion power, which is the greatest antihistamine known. The syrup can be taken from a teaspoon each fifteen minutes or half hour, as needed. Hold the syrup in the mouth and let it trickle down the throat slowly. This syrup is excellent for coughs and colds, bronchitis, croup, whooping cough and is said to provide miraculous relief for the sufferer of asthma.
Onions can be used to relieve an earache, no matter how painful or swollen. Roast a whole onion and when it is cool enough to touch, but still warm (being careful because of the heat that is kept in the layers of the roasted onion), peel off the skin, cut it in half, and bind on the ear. Allow the patient to sleep this way. The onion will clear up the infection, alleviating the pain. The use of roasted onion to help clear ear infection, has also been corroborated by many herbalists. It is important, however, to be sure that the onion is completely roasted, as the acids in the raw bulb are too strong for the delicate ear.
During the plagues of the Middle Ages, it was believed that hanging a bunch of onions outside the door would absorb the infection, thus saving the occupants from disease. It is recorded that in England during one of their plagues, all but one family in a neighborhood were said to be infected. The doctors demanded to know this household’s secret, and they pointed to the bags of onions hanging above the room, which they claimed had absorbed the infection. Those contaminated onions were not to be eaten for fear of contracting the illness. Scientific studies have also proven that onions do kill germs. This being the case, the folk practices of hanging onions in a room to prevent germs may not be as farfetched as it first seems.
Onions are said to help bring up the most stubborn, thick phlegm. They clear the sinuses and promote free breathing. Homeopaths claim that by cutting a slice from a raw onion and immersing it quickly in a glass of hot water for no longer than a second or so and taking little sips of the water throughout the day will soon stop a profusely running nose, relieving cold symptoms. Another method to relieve a common cold is to place half of a cut onion on the bedside table, enabling the patient to enhale the fumes while sleeping. An onion poultice bandaged around the neck is also said to work.
Modern science has not neglected the study of Allium (onion bulbs) for the treatment of these problems. Scientists say that eating goodly amounts of garlic and onions can really stimulate the bile production, lower the blood sugar and blood lipids, reduce hypertension, accelerate wound healing and cure the common cold. Recent controlled studies in human beings showed that those persons on a garlic and onion-free diet had significantly higher serum triglycerides and beta lipo-proteins than those eating an adequate portion per week. The isolation of a potent prostaglandin from onion supports the speculation that it possesses considerable potential value as a therapeutic agent.
Researchers compared the blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in three groups of people: one group that regularly ate onions in liberal amounts, another that ate onions in small amounts, and a third that totally abstained from eating onions. The results indicated that routine onion consumption has a beneficial effect on maintaining blood fats at low or normal levels.
Results showed that onions and garlic contain chemically similar compounds. These compounds inhibit platelet aggregation by blocking the synthesis of a powerful clumping agent called thromboxane. In that study, platelet-rich plasma was prepared from the whole blood of healthy volunteers who had not taken aspirin or other drugs known to affect clotting. Results showed that the purified extracts of onion and garlic almost completely suppressed the synthesis of thromboxane. That is important, because when heart attacks occur, blood flowing to the heart may be cut off by tiny blood clots called thrombi.
Onions are said to keep blood sugar in check. When twenty diabetics ate the equivalent of one-third cup of raw, chopped onions daily for a week, their blood sugar levels were reduced to a statistically significant extent. Onions also contain a natural enzyme inhibitor that apparently slows down the growth of cancer cells.
For athlete’s foot, rub onion juice between the toes two or three times a day until the condition clears. Warts have been said to disappear when treated perseveringly with raw onion dipped in salt.
In China, the onion makes up a large portion of the diet, being eaten with rice, millet or bread, together with succulent and green vegetables. It is used to treat high blood pressure and circulatory problems.
During the First World War, researchers published papers on onions and the effects on specific diseases and found that the essential oils of the onion and garlic kill bacteria. They call this element phytoncide. The antiseptic properties lie in the smell, for when the onion is peeled and cut and the odor evaporates, so do the phytoncides. Soviet scientists ground onions and garlic into pulp, put them into open tubes and applied the ends to wounds and septic sores that refused to heal. Though none of this pulp was in contact with the wounds, this vapor treatment healed them after two or three applications of from two to ten minutes.
Onions are said to contain a therapeutic chemical, allyl aldehyde, which kills bacteria and fungi as well as worms.
Onion packs are applied to swellings in the lymphatic system to reduce infection and hasten cleansing.
Indians used the wild onion as an insect repellent by rubbing the whole plant on the skin.
God has provided much through the miracle of the little onion. Do not be afraid of those tears that often come while peeling and chopping onions. They actually have a beneficial effect by cleansing the eyes. The sinuses will also be cleansed and healed by inhaling deeply while peeling and chopping.
Bring onions back into your diet and enjoy the healing benefits of this versatile vegetable!
Excerpts from The school of Natural Healings 100 Herb Syllabus, Onion, Allium cepa.