Thursday, December 17, 2015

Onions Are "Owesome"!

Believe it or not, I abhorred onions until very recently. Yes, my war on onions goes way back to a most unfortunate meal I ate right before a class that led to some very embarrassing stomach gurgling *shudder*. Oh yeah, I HATED the mere sight of a slimy, smelly onion. Of course that all went out the window after I had kids and dealing with these smelly bulbs joined the ranks of the many (many) sacrifices I have made as a mother.

I have mentioned the healing power of onions a few times in previous posts but recently I used them for K's chesty cough and was again amazed at their power!

Onions, which are high in sulphur compounds (sulphur rich foods are noteworthy for helping the body to detox) are naturally anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory. If that didn't persuade you, here are a few different ways you can use onions to alleviate common childhood ailments:

The Onion Poultice for Coughs/Lung Congestion

This remedy is a miracle! I know I say that a lot but such is the power of natural remedies. In the case of lung congestion, for e.g with bronchitis or pneumonia, the secretion-inducing power of the onion = much needed relief! There are a couple of different ways of making it, depending on the type of cough.

For a dryer cough, slice up a raw white/yellow onion, (red works if you don't have any other but ideally white or yellow) warm it up slightly in mildly heated oven and lay it in a piece of muslin or cheesecloth, wrapping up to make a pack. Bounty works too! Use medical tape to secure and then again to secure it to your child's chest and watch the coughing dissipate! Inhalation of the fumes of the onion are what work to make this an effective remedy.

For a junkier cough, slice the onion and simmer it in a little water until soft. Drain and make it into a pack apply to your child's chest, as above. This method enables more of the liquid to be absorbed through the skin and therefore has more therapeutic effect; this is needed for a more serious infection and when there is a lot of congestion.

Onion Honey Cough Syrup

Another cough remedy can be made by combining raw, yellow/white onion (preferably organic) with raw honey. You basically slice the onion and layer each piece with some honey in a bowl. Let it sit for several hours/overnight and voila! You have a homemade cough syrup that tastes good and is remarkably efficient in calming that icky cough. Add in a little thyme &grated fresh ginger and you're packing an even stronger punch! (although younger kids might not take to the taste as well)

Onion Juice For Ear Infection

You can also use the onion's antibacterial properties to heal an ear infection and lessen the pain. Squeeze out some juice after heating the onion in an oven - you only need a few drops. Use a medicine dropper to administer and make sure the juice is not too hot! (exception: if the ear is leaking fluid/pus then it is likely that your child's drum is perforated in which case you should not put any liquid inside the ear).

Onions for Sprains

Use an onion poultice to treat a sprain! Similar to the remedy above for a cough, heat some slices of onion in an oven or in a pan with a little water, wrap into a cheesecloth and apply to the sprain, leaving on for a couple of hours.

And here's the kicker....

Onions For Insomnia

I would have laughed at you if you told me onions could help you sleep. L-A-U-G-H-E-D. Jeer not, my friend, because this truly works. Every time I used the onion poultice on  my kids, I realized that they would go to sleep in a jiffy, much easily than the otherwise tormenting hour of constant fidgeting. Just this past couple of days, when I applied an onion pack on K's chest, I noticed that he would sleep really quickly. Intrigued and determined to prove J's jeering wrong ("yeah, right" he said), I started to do some research and found that smelling an onion before sleeping is actually conducive to sleep. Seriously!

Leaving you with one of my favourite parenting mantras  "Stay in your lane"  or when I have my French hat on (and I'm a tad irritated with my little ducklings):

MĂȘle-toi de tes oignons!

(which means "Mind your Own Business" but let's just go with the literal meaning which is "Mind Your Own Onions....)


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