Thursday, January 3, 2013


This is not a post about the fake news outlet, The Onion. Also, I know I should be blogging about this pregnancy already, but this post is about to take precedence. Trust me. So, on NYE, a friend of a friend mentioned some FB reading she had recently done on onions and two divergent thoughts.

1) Leaving a cut onion in a bowl will help if you have a cold (because allegedly, it draws toxins from the air and absorbs them, so it takes the "sick" out of your body). Evidently, this was done throughout history when the flu or the plague came around and people would put out bowls of cut onion in each room or on the window sill, etc. I haven't done enough research to back all the historical justifications up, but maybe I will.

2) When you do cut a raw onion, you should cook it or eat it right away, not store it, because (allegedly) it will also absorb the toxins from your refrigerator or the plastic container you store them in. The thought being that you should not eat that onion that has been stored because it now holds toxins. (This is the part that seemed mighty snopes-worthy...and was).

So, my personal cold, sniffles, coughing, sneezing recent history. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, it was the worst. I had a runny nose, sore throat, cough, etc. So did Cece. Not what either of us hoped Santa would deliver for Christmas. I tried two Pinterest natural health remedies which were both effective but temporary fixes at best.

Eucalyptus Oil on Feet
The "Good" Stuff
And lots and lots of Marshmallows

Also, Jeff was amazing at helping out with Cece so I could get plenty of the one thing I needed most: rest.

Fast forward to a week later. Through NYE (because it's a holiday, so why wouldn't I get sick again - ugh) my nose started getting congested, so basically the opposite of what I had experienced before. Not runny, stuffy. To the not breathing through your nose extent that really impedes with sleeping and you end up with a really dry mouth get the idea. Sinus headaches ensued. I went back to school on Wednesday and was losing my voice...again. Oh, and I had decided the Neti pot would help. Did that Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. With no success. The most annoying thing for a Neti pot user is to stand there with it pressed to your nostril with no progress. No flow, no clearing. That's when you know it's clogged up in there. So, Wednesday night, I made a recipe for dinner that necessitated half of an onion. And I looked at the other half and I thought.

I already had placed very little stock in #2 above. I found it unlikely that eating cut, stored onions would do me harm, so I was not trying to avoid storing the onion. I also am pretty willing to try any natural remedies, and the idea that #1 COULD work or do anything was very enticing to me. At least it couldn't hurt, right?

So, I left the cut onion out and did some research. I can't seem to find the original story, though I'd imagine it's the same one originally referenced on Snopes with a factory tour and a chemist. If anyone has the original and could post it in the comments, that would be great. What I did find were a bunch of myth-busting, hoax-slaying, Snopes websites that busted that story up. So, just so you all know. But there were still references to the historical use of cut onions around the house during or to prevent sickness. So, I went with that part. I removed the peel entirely, and cut the onion into smaller chunks figuring more exposed area would be better. The original suggestion had been to put it by the bed overnight. Oh, and another part said it would turn black "proving" that it had absorbed all those toxins from your body. It did not.

I wasn't quite at bedtime yet, so I walked around the house with my bowl of cut up onions. Figured that couldn't hurt. Forget holding your head over a steaming pot, hold your head over a bowl of onion. So, I do not know how effective this would be with an already runny nose, but for a stuffy nose. Magic. You know how a cut onion makes your eyes water and your nose run? Voila. Forward motion with my nose, loosening, clearing. Instantly. Seriously. I used the Neti pot before I started carrying my onion around and...nothing. Two hours later after sucking in some onion fumes, Niagra Falls. Straight shot. Clear through. No pressure. When I did go to bed, I kept the onion by our bed. If I started to feel stuffy, I held my head over the bowl and inhaled deeply. Since Cece loves sleeping with us, she generally joins the party halfway through the night. She's still had a cough, especially aggravated when horizontal in bed. She slept through the rest of the night with NO coughing. People. This is crazy. In the morning, I was reluctant to ditch our onion. It's the only one in the house right now. I was also reluctant to take it away from my sleeping baby's side. So, I split the chunks in half and put half in a container and left half by the bedside. I'm bringing my half to school. Apologies in advance that I, (and possibly after today the library) smell of onion. But trust me, it's good stuff. Quite frankly, I'm frightened that my nose will stuff right back up. I'm an onion addict. We also clearly need to stock up on more onions. Clearly.


MB said...

Um, I'm not going to lie, this post makes me want to go buy some onions immidately. Its cold central around here.

Ellen Zschunke said...

Do it. Right now. Faster than immediately. Sort of life changing. I have a bowl on my lap right now. I stuffed back up through the day, but with this, I should be able to sleep again (and breathe, what a novelty) tonight.