It's Your Life December/January 2015 - 2016 - Page 30

30 It’s Your Life Magazine Benefits of Onions for Cold and Flu Symptoms Shanna Lea Most of us are aware of the powerful odor of onions.  Did you know this is their secret weapon against viruses and bacteria?  That pungent odor is caused by the rich sulfur compounds that promote health and well-being.  Throughout history onions have been held in high regard for their culinary and medicinal qualities.  They have even been used as a currency in Egypt to pay the workers who built the pyramids. Onions have phytochemicals and quercetin which assist the body by moving and breaking up the mucus in the head and chest.  The powerful odor causes the eyes to tear and the nose to run.  It is this affect on your body that stimulates the immune system to fight the virus or bacterial infection.  This is helping your body shed the virus and reduce the inflammation from congestion. The onion is a warming, stimulating and penetrating herb.  It is used in soups and even cough syrups.  But you don’t have to eat it to experience its healing affects.  Apply them externally as a poultice and inhale and feel their pungent effects.  Onions bring heat to the area and this action brings the fever to that part of the body to control how far the infection spreads. You can also cut them in slices and put them in a bowl by your bed at night or in any room in the house.  It is said they absorb the viruses and bacteria from the air.  A doctor during the 1918 Spanish flu discovered a farmer and his family doing this very thing and they did not catch the flu, so the story goes. Issue 5 Onions are anti-bacterial, ant-viral, and antiparasitic.  They are rich in vitamin C, potassium, chromium, fiber, manganese and vitamin B6.  So eat onions every day, learn to make poultices and syrups and continue a 5,000 year old remedy. How to Make an Onion Poultice for Congestion and Cold and Flu Symptoms Did you know that onion poultices have always been used to relieve chest congestion?  Onions have a long history for their healing benefits.  A poultice is simply the mashed herb secured in some fabric and placed over the area of congestion on the body.  The skin absorbs the medicinal properties quickly and more easily than through digestion. Onion poultices are time tested herbal remedies and treatments for chest congestion and other symptoms of colds and flu.  A poultice is simple and easy to make.  The onion poultice is a powerful home remedy you can use for your whole family.  And, onions are readily available and affordable! How to Make an Onion Poultice: Chop an onion into small bits.  Let it set for a few minutes to draw out the powerful medicinal properties.  The onion can be used raw or it can be sautéed gently.  Put the chopped onion in the center of a square of fabric.  You can use flannel, an old t-shirt or a pillowcase.  Fold the fabric over and roll or fold the edges to ma