Onions are a surprisingly beneficial food. While they are often used to add a bit of flavor to soups, stews, sandwiches, burgers, and other just about any other lunch or dinner, onions can also be used to treat a variety of ailments.
For hundreds of years, onions have been used in various home remedies. Onions can be used to stimulate the circulation of blood for healthier skin, to relieve congestion, to reduce inflammation, and even prevent allergic reactions. You can also use them for dealing with earaches, swelling, sore throats, bladder infections, swollen glands, and dizziness.
This humble vegetable possesses strong antioxidants, along with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Because of these properties, onions can be used in a variety of different home remedies, including these natural solutions for common ailments:
Relieve Congestion with the Onion Press
This first home remedy is useful for relieving congestion. Use this solution if you are dealing with a sinus infection or any chest congestion. To start this remedy, you will need to cut an onion into thick slices. After cutting an onion into slices, slightly warm them, by placing them on a paper towel and microwaving for a few seconds. Wrap the onion slices in a towel or a handkerchief. Place the wrapped onion in a plastic bag. You now have an onion pack.
Place the onion pack directly on your chest or back and cover with a hot compress. For the hot compress, you can use a hot water bottle, warm a pack of rice, or a heating pad. Make sure that you are warm, using extra blankets if necessary. You may even want to lay down so that you can remain comfortable.
Some people may notice a little redness or irritation on the skin. If you notice any irritation from the onion, remove the pack from your skin. This is rare, so if you do not experience any discomfort, you should leave the pack on your skin for at least thirty minutes. You can repeat this process every two hours until you notice relief from your congestion.
Treat a Bladder Infection
Sipping on a fresh bowl of French onion soup can help to heal your bladder infection. Just make a hot bowl of onion soup and slowly sip on it to sooth your digestive system and begin relieving the symptoms of your bladder infection. Do this a couple of times per day, until you get relief.
Treat an Ear Infection
You can also use onions to treat ear infections. Cut an onion in half and warm in a microwave. Make sure that the onion is not hot. Apply the onion directly to the infected ear. Hold the onion in place for at least ten minutes. The juices and fumes from the onion can help alleviate pain from an ear infection and the antibacterial and antifungal properties of the onion could kill the infection.
Another option, for treating an ear infection with an onion, is to heat half an onion in a steamer. Chop the onion into small chunks and place in a cloth tea bag. Hold the cloth above the infected ear and squeeze the tea bag. Allow the warm juice to run into your ear. After pouring the juice into your ear, hold a cotton ball to your ear, to keep the juice in place.
A third method of using onions for dealing with ear infections is to grate an onion and heat in a steamer. Use a medicine dropper to suck up the juices from the onion. After the juice has cooled slightly, place three drops in each ear.
Some doctors may worry that adding onion juice to the ear could cause ear damage; though, there are no direct cases that connect onion juice with causing any type of ear damage. These concerns could come from the fact that they are unfamiliar with this method and would prefer their patients to use a solution or recommendation that they have direct knowledge about. As with any home remedy, you should make sure that you understand the potential benefits and risks associated with the treatment.
Get Rid of Boils and Ease Pain from Bee Stings
Use a fresh slice of onion to get rid of boils or to ease pain from a bee sting. You can also use the onion to help draw out pus from the bee sting or any other type of bite. When using to remove a boil, hold the onion slice in place for however long it takes for your boil to rise to the surface.
Make a Honey and Onion Cough Syrup
Combine thins slices of onion with a ¼ cup of raw honey. Heat the mixture in a double boiler until the onions are softened. Strain the mixture and pour into a jar. You can store this syrup for later use or consume one teaspoon to relieve a sore throat.
Relieve Gas Pains and Heartburn
To relieve gas pain or heartburn, dice half an onion and sprinkle it on a slice of bread. Eat the bread and diced onion together. This should provide almost immediate relief from pain related to the buildup of gas or help alleviate your acid reflux pain.
Be Careful When Heating Onions
As a final warning, if you are going to try any of these home remedies, always be careful when heating onions. Onions can heat up very quickly, especially when you are heating them in the microwave. Always touch the onion, after heating, to ensure that they are not too hot for the remedy that you are going to use. Whenever you are going to apply onion directly to your body, you want to make sure that the onions are cool enough to prevent burning or irritating your skin.
There is always a good reason to keep some extra onions in your fridge. From treating ear infections to relieving congestion, onions can be used for a wide variety of home remedies.
The next time you take a trip to the grocery store, pick up some extra onions, just in case you need them for one of these home remedies.