Can An Onion Prevent The Flu?

Onion
Onion | Source

In the past several months to a year I have constantly been seeing this story appear on the onions being able to prevent influenza. Whether it is a hoax, a myth to be debunked or an unexplained truth I find it quite interesting and felt I should share an article on it.

In 1919, just after World War I when influenza ran rampant through the US countryside and killed 40 million people. A doctor came upon one farm house in the thick of the contagion where the family members were completely healthy. When he asked the lady of the house what they were doing differently she replied that they kept an unpeeled onion in each room in a bowl.

After examining the blackened onions in each room under a microscope the doctor found they were crawling with the influenza virus. Somehow the act of placing these onions in the room had kept the family from getting ill. The onion appeared to be absorbing the virus and keeping the family healthy.

Now to this day they have no real scientific explanation as to how an onion can absorb this type of virus. If you search online for an explanation you find only more support for this situation of the onion preventing the flu but again no real scientific explanation. If you go to an online encyclopedia like wikipedia you do see that it isn't listed as a property of an onion. But it does have a long list on medicinal properties and health effects of onions. So it does appear there is a wide range use of these plants in medicine. Is it possible that the onion could prevent the flu?

If it is true that onions can prevent influenza than why have there been no scientific studies, no scientific proof or forthcoming understanding as to how or why? Is it that scientists are to busy laughing about the myth to simply look at the possibility? I for one have to wonder about the amount of sources that seem to support the onion theory. Perhaps it is a huge coincidence, perhaps not. I suppose the only way to find out if it works is through trial and error. To try it for oneself and see just what happens. I suppose we have nothing to lose.

If you want to forward this article to others I encourage it. Use the facebook, twitter or Google+1, link at the top of the page or click the share button at the bottom of the page for other social networks. Someone you know may find this of interest.

More by this Author


Comments 46 comments

Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

This is an old wives tale that has been passed around for hundreds of years. Does it work? Who knows, but it couldn't hurt. You are also not supposed to use an onion that has been previously cut. It supposedly will be full of germs.

I think many of these wives tales have some basis in fact, but some germs do not travel in the air, they require a human contact to spread. The flu virus is one of them. The Indians used them for colds and infections. They knew many things about the plants that we do not know and some of those things are starting to be re-found. When they are checked by a scientist, many are found to be real. But it is getting a scientist to check them that is hard.

Pharmacy companies travel the world, looking for these cures from the indigenous people. Then they reproduce the responsible agent in chemical form. The Indians also used willow bark, which is where aspirin comes from.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I've found that eating lots of onions and garlic can prevent all sorts of communicable diseases, because people will go out of their way to avoid contact with you!

Good Hub!


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

Becky Katz - awesome info, I suppose if onions do prevent some viruses like you said, couldn't hurt to try them out, they are fairly inexpensive. Possibly if there is truth to it they will figure it out sooner or later.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

WillStarr - lol, good one, I suppose garlic breath can keep people at a distance.


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Hi Terre ~ Certainly no harm in putting an onion in a bowl of water in each room of the house. Stay well. Voted Useful and Up. Blessings, Debby


hoteltravel profile image

hoteltravel 4 years ago from Thailand

This is interesting. There is no harm in trying this method. Scientists are making weird discoveries every day. Wonder why none thought about proving or disproving this one. Voted up and interesting.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

Debby Bruck - I suppose it can't hurt, Thanks for reading and commenting :)


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

hoteltravel - I wonder myself why it hasn't been looked into and remains clouded in mystery, I suppose eventually someone is bound to explore it thoroughly.


Donald1960 profile image

Donald1960 4 years ago from United States

Useful Hub,interesting information. Onion and garlic are natural medicines used for centuries.


m0rd0r profile image

m0rd0r 4 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

Try garlic Terrek. It works very well as a protection against colds and flu.

I would eat garlic all the day if there was a way around the awful stench :)


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

Donald1960 - I see the onion does seem to have quite a bit of medicinal purposes. It is amazing that foodstuffs can have such healing effects.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

m0rd0r - I hear you, I like garlic as well but my wife doesn't want to give me a kiss when I've eaten too much, lol


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Feed it to her and she won't notice it.


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

interesting hub. I don't know if it is true, but have heard that once cut, they collect lots of germs in the refrigerator. Maybe they collect germs no matter where they are?!


pmccray profile image

pmccray 4 years ago from Utah

What could it hurt to try? I wouldn't put any stock into why no studies have been done regarding this simple cure. The medical industry is a business and there's no money in a simple cure. That's why it's called "medical practice"


Drtruthman profile image

Drtruthman 4 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

Well terrektwo, contrary to the commenter who claimed an old wives tale, I can tell you for a fact that while working as a Catrastrophe Adjuster shortly after 911, The FTC and FEMA had us loaded with onions anywhere they thought the catastrophe we were working could be linked to anything biological from mold to anthrax or small pox. I can testify that I have seen ugly black Stachybotrys mold move from carpet, walls and clothing to the onion after only a day. There is simply something to it. A cut apple by the way will remove odors better than anything including smoke. Great Hub. I voted up all across except funny.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

Becky Katz - lol, well maybe, not sure she like garlic much though :)


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

picklesandrufus - I have heard onions attract germs like that two possibly that may explain how it helps people stay virus free.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

pmccray - I suppose your right, they wouldn't want to cure or prevent some illness unless they can sell you the drug not allow you to get something readily available.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

Drtruthman - your the first one who has given me an instance where it has worked firsthand, that is really great to know, thanks a lot. I wonder what it is, but if it works it works :)


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

Having been raised by my Granny she was a strong advocate for onions vs. illness. I have no idea if she was right or wrong but I happen to love not only onions but garlic. I find I rarely have the flu, etc. Whether there's a connection or not I don't know but in comparison to friends my own age I suffer less illness. I would, however, suggest that if a lady is husband hunting garlic and/or onions aren't known to attract partners! LOL! Voted Up! Best, Sis


catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

Very interesting! I think onions and garlic have magical powers...haha...so it's worth a try. I also think a lot of these "old wives tales" are true, but modern medicine can't make any money off of them, so they are ignored.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

LOL, I hear you sis! Garlic does have a habit of driving off an eligible suitor for sure. Whether onions prevent illness I guess I can't be sure of but maybe your granny was on to something.


catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

HaHa...just have to be sure you BOTH eat the garlic!


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Drtruthman, I said it was a wives tale because when I searched it, I could not find any reputable, citeable information. I do have some experience in not citing fiction as fact. Even Wikipedia, which is not citeable, did not have anything. Thank you for some legitimate proof.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

catgypsy - yes I suppose if they can't make money, it isn't worth it to them. Your probably right about the old wives tales being partly true at least they would have to come up with it from somewhere :)


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

catgypsy - lol, that should work I guess :p mmmm garlic!


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

I found real citeable proof on this. Onions are a magnet for germs. http://www.theglobalmovement.com/2011/01/14/onions...

This is from a Dr. who was asked to weigh in on the subject. More proof that Wikipedia and Snopes are not citeable resources. They said that it is a wives tale. Hard to find the truth on this one. It took me an hour to find this. Hope this helps you out some.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

I had heard this was an old wives tale in the past, but I suspect it isn’t. There is sense hidden with this tale, and I believe it could be very helpful. Of course, doctors would feel incredibly embarrassed if it were true, and lose an important part of their business as well. Interesting hub!


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

Becky Katz - thanks a bunch, I will go through the info :)


debbie roberts profile image

debbie roberts 4 years ago from Greece

Onions when eaten can help keep us healthy due to their natural antiviral and antibiotic properties, I roast them regularly for us during the winter, but I can say that I've never heard of it absorbing the flu virus before - which in all honesty means nothing!!

It would be good if this turned out to be true.

An interesting hub and thank you for sharing...


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

debbie roberts -I guess I shall try it next time the flu cases go up in our area.


Drtruthman profile image

Drtruthman 4 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

FYI, one of the many jobs I have had over the years was working for a major pharmaceutical company. One thing I learned working with research doctors and scientist, don't believe everything you read which doctors write. Much is paid propaganda to prevent REAL GENUINE HEALING and keep the pharmaceutical industry producing additional medications which continue to keep us all sick when there are natural cures all around us. There is so much the public does not know. This is not to undermine the genuine research which results in effective products.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

Drtruthman - I hear you, it wasn't until I wrote this hub that I begun to truly realize what you and a lot of people have been saying, thanks for that :)


NP.QUEEN profile image

NP.QUEEN 4 years ago from Dubai

Hi terrektwo,

Nice information about onion. Thank you for sharing.


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

NP.QUEEN - no problem, hope it helps some, maybe we can discover what it is about the onion that can do what it does.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Fascinating. I've never heard this. Myth or fact, it's pretty interesting. Is this a case for the mythbusters?


mottiandbander profile image

mottiandbander 4 years ago from Chd

The answer is yes... :) thanks for this useful hub. keep it up....


My Minds Eye53 profile image

My Minds Eye53 4 years ago from Tennessee

Maybe it wasn't so much what it absorbed, but what it put out? After all, penicillin comes from moldy bread.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

My great-grandfather ate an onion every day. Raw, like an apple. He lived to be 92 and was very healthy up until the last year of his life. He said it because of the onion. Who knows for sure... Voted up and interesting! Have a great day! :)


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Interesting--as I am sitting here with my first cold in a year, I wonder at the veracity of the claim--just so much we don't know!


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

PDXKaraokeGuy - true it could be a case of mythbusters!


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

mottiandbander - thanks!


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

My Minds Eye53 - possibly :)


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

sgbrown - not sure what it is but there must be something to the onion!


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

AudreyHowitt - you should try it put :)

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working