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Can Onions Cure the Flu? All Natural Flu Remedy

Updated on June 19, 2013
vegetable, spice,  or natural healer?
vegetable, spice, or natural healer?
Cut into slices to use like those expensive foot detox pads!
Cut into slices to use like those expensive foot detox pads!

Homemade Honey/Onion Syrup

  1. Peel and slice a large onion. Separate
  2. Place the pieces of onion in a jar and add enough honey to completely cover the stack.
  3. Allow this to sit on your counter overnight. You should wake up and see that the onions have shrunk as the natural healing properties have been drawn into the honey.
  4. If you wish, pull out the onion pieces with a fork.
  5. Take a teaspoon every hour. No medicine so you can't overdose but very sweet! You could also add garlic cloves to boost the immunity boosting effects.

Fact or Fiction? You decide.

A few years ago when the H1N1 Flu virus was causing global havoc many variations of an email went around claiming that the key to fighting and warding off the flu was something that most folks have in their pantry...the onion. These emails promised that eating, sleeping with, and drinking the onion would be better than any flu medicine or injection on the market. After this year's flu caught my family of 7 I thought it was time to check out the hype.

The onions natural curing abilities are not something new. Thousands of years ago, the Chinese hailed the onion as a congestion relieving medicine. The Ancient Greeks rubbed onions on sore muscles and the Native Americans even used them to fight off the common cold and flu. There are many variations of how the onion became a flu remedy in the United States but the condensed story is that in the 1900s, after thousands had died from the flu, a doctor began prescribing onions to his patients. After success, word spread through print newspaper until it was a "known fact" that onions killed the Flu.

Even the World Health Organization has recognized the onion's natural ability to relieve coughs, congestion, and respiratory infections.

So...How does it work?

  • Absorbtion

The belief is that raw cut onions are able to absorb the virus from the air and that the virus would then be trapped and unable to enter your body. The suggestion is that you cut whole raw onions into quarters and sit them around your home, by your bed at night, and even in your car. You should replace these every 2 days or so when the onions have lost their scent.

  • Internally

Onions contain Allicin. It is reported that Allicin has the ability to slow and kill many types of viruses and bacteria. Onions are also rich in sulfides, sulfoxides and thiosulfinates which have antimicrobial properties, and are full of Vitamin C and provide healthy fiber. Studies suggest that you should eat raw onions after the onset of a cold or the flu. You should also add onions to your foods and soups while fighting off the infection. There are various recipes for onion teas, syrups, and brews.

Click here to see my homemade french onion soup recipe.

  • Detox

Just like those fancy foot detox pads at the store! Slice an onion into slices maybe 1/4 inch thick. Place the onion slices on the bottom of your feet and wrap with plastic wrap to hold them in place. Cover with a sock. You should do this each night and the theory is the onions will draw out the flu.

Does it really work?

I am certainly not a doctor nor do I claim to know this answer. If you surveyed 1,000 people who tested this remedy, my guess us that you will find it split with many swearing either for or against the natural healing powers of the onion.

What I can say is that it can't hurt. Over the counter flu medicines are costly and seem to be of no benefit so why not try a remedy that costs a few bucks? I just cut my onions and am going to fight this flu head on. Luckily for me, I love onion and am crossing my fingers!

Please let me know if this or any other all natural flu remedy has worked for you! I am a bit of a lightweight and the otc medicines send me to dreamland......with 5 kids, mommy can't be there! Stay healthy.


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Trying sliced cut onion under my grandsons ( 5 next month ) feet right now, he's been sick for a week or so now. Stuffy nose, phlemmy cough, really hope this works hate him having to go to the docs all the time.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      I love white onions, Mommymay.

      Did you ever read any of my hubs? I was just wondering, not pushing.

      I would love to have you for a follower.

      Have a great night and now . . .I am hungry for onions on a big salad.

    • thefedorows profile image


      6 years ago from the Midwest

      My mouth is hanging open. Wow. Really? Really? I am actually going through a cold right now...kinda want to cut up an onion and put it next to my as I sleep and see if I feel better tomorrow. Will have to tuck this tip in my memory!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Mommymay,

      It is my pleasure to meet you and read this hub. I just happen to be a big fan of onions, Vidalia or white. I do know that by consuming white onions can keep arteries clean. And you are right. Onions can aid in fighting colds and flu.

      I voted up and away on this hub. Nicely-written.

      I cordially-invite you to check a couple of my hubs and then become a follower of mine.

      That would be great.


      Kenneth Avery/ from northwest Alabama

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      For the last three years no one in my family has suffered with a cold or the flu!! I have a bowl of a variety of onions sitting on my sideboard year round that I am pretty sure has helped keep u s healthy. I do use the onions and I replace them when I go shopping. I didn't say anything about this to my family and just said that I liked how the different coloured onions looked as a room decoration. After two years of no one becoming ill, I told them and this third winter has proven me correct! Well, I should credit one of those emails that get sent around - that is where I read about this idea. We are now all firm believers in the benefits of onions!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      ahhha i discover this up follow after the amazing discovery of onions. i was coming from the hospital when i accidentally discover this onion magic. sure onions do work for coughs, flue and respiratory problems. trust me it works even better than bronco

    • Mommymay profile imageAUTHOR

      Heather May 

      7 years ago from Ohio

      That is so great to hear Blanket! Sometimes it works quickly like that. I swear by it!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks heaps! My partner come home from work really sick with the flu. He could hardly talk and breath. We have a 11 week old baby boy whom sleeps in the same room as us. I cut the two ends of an onion off and placed it on a bowl on his side of the bed. He woke up feeling much better, still a little sick but much better than the night before. I reapeated again the second night. Next day flu was gone. Much to my surprise, nor me or bubs got sick. Thank you. Will be using this all the time..

    • Mommymay profile imageAUTHOR

      Heather May 

      7 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks Kasman! I SWEAR by onions! Anytime I feel the funkies coming on, I cut one and put it on my nightstand! And I NEVER need an excuse to eat them! Thanks for reading and for the shares :)

    • Kasman profile image


      7 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      This is one of the most interesting hubs I've read in a while and that's amazing considering how short it actually is. You wrote a lot in a small package and I love it! I'm already a huge fan of onions and I knew some of their medicinal properties but I never would've thought the flu would be something it could help with. Voting this up and sharing across the board Mommy!


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