ONION, Allium cepa
I have a friend who tells about a train ride during a blizzard. Before boarding the train, he got wet from the storm. The train was drafty and cold and he started to cough and sneeze as he felt chills and fever. It was late with nowhere to get any cough or cold remedies. He said he felt very sick and congested.
He walked to the diner just before it clo9sed. He asked if they would give him a large bowl full of diced onions, some honey and a little cayenne pepper. This was a strange request. Several people seemed to gather, around the time they served his late-evening meal. He shook on plenty of cayenne pepper and then poured quite a bit of honey over the diced onions. He started to eat. He said there were a few gasps, and some chattering in the background as he ate his bowl of onions. He did not feel any heartburn or indigestion, only warmth in his stomach.
He had to lecture twice the next day and he said he felt healthy and had a full, strong voice. The lowly onion is a member of the lily family. Its history dates back thousands of years. They mention onion in the bible, when Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt. They complained that they missed their cucumbers and the melons, the leeks, the onions and the garlic.
Onions are very nutritious. They have varying amounts of Vitamins A, B-1, B-2, B-5, C, and they high in sulfur and have a fair amount of calcium, phosphorus, iron and potassium.
As an herb, the onion is used for many different purposes. It is an anthelmintic, which will help the body get rid of worms and parasites. It is an anthihistamine to help against allergies, an antiseptic to help fight bacteria, and an antispasmodic to help to relieve spasms, and soothe the nerves. As a diuretic, it helps the urinary system; as a carminative it helps the digestive system get rid of gas; as an expectorant it helps get rid of phlegm and mucus; as a hypoglycaemic it helps with blood sugar problems; as a stomachic, it helps the digestive system; and as a tonic it helps in many ways to tone the body.
The onion with its great antihistamine power is closely to garlic. Garlic is used in Grandma’s herbal Anti formula because it will help to overcome a cold and to help fight infection and strengthen the immune system.
For colds and coughs, an old herbal remedy is to very finely cut up a couple of onions and put them in a small sauce pan covered with honey. Put them on the stove at very low heat and simmer them for about five hours. Strain off the liquid and you have a wonderful cough syrup that any child will like well enough to want seconds.
Old herbals give many uses for the onions. Culpepper says, “When eaten plentifully, they produce sleep, help digestion, cure acid belchings, remove obstructions of the viscera (chest or abdominal cavities), increase the urinary secretions.” He goes on to say onions, bruised with a little salt added and laid on a fresh burn draw out the fire and prevent blistering. Also, he says the daily application of salted onion can eliminate warts. Drops of roasted onion juice in ears stops pain.
I have a friend who couldn’t get rid of the flu. He cut up an onion and he rolled it up in a handkerchief and tied it around his neck. He put plastic over the front of it so the moisture and the fumes would have to go into his chest or up into his face and nostrils. He wore it all day, then made a fresh one and wore it all night. The next day he was completely better. Much more could be said about the onion, but I’ll just say that the world is a healthier place because of onions.