Kitchen Pharmacy: White Onions

Colds and flu viruses have a way of creeping up on you. One day, you’re feeling great, and the next–not so much. There are all sorts of “treatments” to make viruses more manageable, and you, more comfortable. But what if there was a way to prevent these common illnesses in the first place, and you didn’t have to look any further than your kitchen?

Traditional Chinese medicine teaches that certain foods have medicinal properties, whether taken orally, used topically, or in this case, simply sliced, so their essence releases into the air. Understanding the properties of these foods can be very beneficial in your path toward wellness. There are many healing treasures lying unnoticed in your kitchen. Let’s focus on the white onion!

Using onions to absorb viruses and bacteria dates back to the early 1900s, when white onions were used to ward off the plague. Once an onion is cut, it begins to absorb bacteria. Since onions can purify the air, they can be helpful in combating viruses and bacteria. The next time someone in your house is sick, place a cut onion next to their bed. Just be sure to discard the onion come morning.

(Important tip: When cooking, cut onions should not be left on the counter or even refrigerated for a later date. Instead, chop a leftover onion and freeze it in a small bag or container.)

What’s the science behind this? Onions, garlic, shallots and leeks are rich in sulfur–giving them their classic smell while helping to detox the body. In lieu of sleeping next to a cut onion, try placing a cut onion in the center of the bottom of each foot before bedtime. Place a bandage over the onion to keep it in place, or simply wear a sock over the onion. This point on the foot is called “Yongquan” or “Gushing Spring” (Kidney 1) which stimulates a key point on the Kidney channel. When an onion is placed on this point, it pulls out the impurities from the body.