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Onion Folk & Home Remedies: Everything Can be Cured With an Onion

Updated on June 19, 2013
This onion is just brimming with healing juice
This onion is just brimming with healing juice | Source

Onions: The Amazing Cure All

Onions can cure anything...okay that might be exaggerating just a little bit, but they truly are Mother Nature's little wonders in terms of just how many ailments they can treat. It is astounding just how many folk and home remedies exist that involve an onion - warts, fevers, burns, even cancer can be remedied with onions. Read on to find the onion folk remedy that can cure what ails you.

Onions - local and organic is always best
Onions - local and organic is always best | Source

Medicinal Qualities of the Onion

There is a reason why onions are used in so many folk remedies, they are chock-full of a flavonoid called quercetin. The highest concentration of quercetin can be found in red onions at the part of the bulb closest to the root and in its outermost rings nearest the skin, however many onion remedies call for the use of white and yellow onions as well. Quercetin acts as a powerful antioxidant, antihistamine, anti-cholesterol, and anti-inflammatory. Onions also have antibiotic properties and the ability to remove toxins from the body. They are best used in their raw form to access these medicinal qualities.

Important Note: For the purpose of using a food as medicine, it is always best to use food that has been grown organically and locally. Onions bought in a conventional grocery store are often grown for appearance and have traveled long distances which greatly reduce their nutritional value. Organic, locally grown onions are best for all folk and home remedies.

A trio of health and healing
A trio of health and healing | Source

Onions to Help a Cold

Probably the most common onion folk remedy is for the common cold. Recommendations vary from eating a raw whole onion at the first sign of a cold to boiling an onion and drinking it in a tea with ginger and honey. Eating the raw onion should help clear your sinuses almost instantaneously and the onion tea acts as a strong antibiotic elixir and soothes soar throats.


Onions to Bring Down a Fever

This may be the most unusual home remedy involving an onion by far that I've come across, but those who have tried it swear by it. Here is what you need to to do.

To lower a high fever:

  • Put chopped potatoes, chopped onions and and a hint of minced garlic in a pair of socks
  • Put them on your feet and get in bed
  • Place a cloth soaked in apple cider vinegar on your forehead

Your temperature should come down in the next hour or so...if not at least you have the makings of an interesting foot soup.

Onions to Cure a Cough

One onion home remedy I am sure to try the next time I have a nagging cough is a simple onion relish made with an onion and brown sugar.

Onion Cough Relish

  • Peel a large onion and cut in half
  • Cover the tops of both halves in 1/2 tblsp brown sugar
  • Let sit for an hour and then scoop up the syrupy contents from the dish.
  • Take twice daily

The brown sugar pulls out the medicinal juice of the onion and helps make taking onion juice more palatable. Let's face it, it can't be any worse then cough syrup. Those who use it swear by it and what's not to love, simple, effective, all natural and cheap.

Another simple cough remedy involving onions requires you to drink the juice of an onion mixed with honey. The honey soothes your cough while the onion juice is a good general antibiotic.

The center or "heart," of an onion can be cut to fit even the smallest of ears
The center or "heart," of an onion can be cut to fit even the smallest of ears | Source

Onions for Earaches and Wax Build Up

Does your earache? Do you struggle with wax build up? This might sound crazy, but put an onion in your ear. No not the whole thing, just the inner most portion, otherwise know as the heart if the onion, and then go to bed. When you wake up your ear will be feeling better due to the anti-inflammatory properties of the onion. Your earwax will also be softened for easy removal because of the onion juice. Plus sleeping with an onion in your ear may help to drown out your partner's snoring, so win-win, right?

Onion help get the tears flowing
Onion help get the tears flowing | Source

Onions to Remove an Eye Irritiant

This onion folk remedy is such common sense I can't believe I have never consider doing it before. It's as simple as cutting an onion to get the tears flowing to help ease the irritant out of the eye. Be sure not to rub your eye as this can worsen your condition and cause serious injury.

Onions to Heal a Cut

Who else rushes to their first aid kit for a band aid and some medicated ointment every time they get a cut? I know I used to. Well not any more, you'll find me rushing to my onion basket. Just slice an onion in half and let the juice run onto your cut to keep it clean and prevent infection. Then peel some of the translucent onion skin from the onion and place it over top of the cut to seal it. The bleeding should stop very quickly and your wound will be protected. For larger cuts place a small piece of gauze or some paper medical tape to keep the onion skin in place. Change twice a day until the cut has healed.


Onion Juice to Heal Surgical Wounds

If an onion can heal a small cut, it stands to reason that it can do wonders in healing a larger incision. Honestly, I am continually amazed by the healing properties of onions and this remedy seals it for me. Can you imagine being healed by an onion in a hospital rather than a heap of drugs? It really makes me wonder why hospitals and conventional medicine in general have not embraced natural remedies like this? I guess medication is big business and onions are not.

Again, this remedy is so simple and yet so effective, just rub the juice of an onion on your incision and let the healing begin. The naturally occurring antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties of the onion go to work on the wound and help the body heal quickly and without the aid of drugs. This remedy works very well to prevent scarring especially in people with darker skin.

Grate an onion to create a healing paste
Grate an onion to create a healing paste | Source

Onion to Remove Infection

If you find yourself with an infected cut, boil, insect bite or even cellulitis, give this onion paste home remedy a try.

Onion Paste to Draw Out Infection:

  • Boil milk and pour it onto a thick slice of white bread
  • Grate an onion on top of the bread
  • Mash it into a paste
  • Clean the infected area and apply the onion, milk, bread paste
  • Apply the paste to the infected area
  • Sit still and allow the paste to harden and suck out the infection.

It is important not to break the seal. Within a few hours the infection will start to come out of your body. Clean and repeat twice daily until the infection is gone.

Onions to Heal a Burn

Burn yourself on a pan while cooking? Quick grab an onion. Just slice it in half and apply it directly to the burn for two minutes. The soothing and healing should start right away. Then, to promote healing, whip up some egg whites and apply to the burned area and let it dry forming a protective barrier. Cover with a clean gauze bandage. Clean and replace bandage as needed. You will be shocked with how fast your burn heals and the lack of scarring.

Onions soothe insect bites
Onions soothe insect bites

Onion to Soothe Bee Stings and Other Insect Bites

If you are stung by a bee or wasp, carefully remove the stinger by scraping across your skin with your fingernail or a credit card. Do not try to pinch the stinger out as it will only push more venom into your system. Once the stinger has been removed cover, the bite with a grated or crushed white onion. The onion's anti-inflammatory properties will reduce the swelling and onions also act as a natural antihistamine.

Onion Wart Cure

Oh warts! So many children get the wart virus and end up with lumpy, bumpy fingers for a while. The next time this happens skip the medicine isle and cut a tiny piece of onion, the size of your wart, and secure it over your wart with a band-aid. The onion will literally burn the wart off your finger in a few days. Be sure to use a wart sized onion or risk burning the skin surrounding your wart.

Onions to Lower Blood Pressure

If you struggle with high blood pressure, onions, much like their cousin garlic, can help get those numbers down. The quercitin found in yellow and red onions not only helps lower your blood pressure, but can help in the fight against heart disease and stroke.

To experience the full benefit of this onion home remedy it is best to eat at least one if not two onions a day either raw or lightly sauteed. Fully cooked onions are not nearly as effective as the heat destroys a lot of their healing properties.

Onions to Lower Cholesterol

Are your cholesterol numbers worrying you and your doctor? Try adding a half a raw onion to your diet a day and watch those numbers improve. In just one month you could see an improvement and avoid the need for medication all together.

Onions to Stop Vomitting

I have to admit that I was a little skeptical when I first read about using onions to cure vomiting, but a the same home remedy came up several times from various sources leading me to believe that this is the real deal. People reported getting this recipe from Yogi's and grandmothers alike. The instructions are rather specific and the remedy won't work unless done in the right sequence.

Cure for Vomiting:

  • grate 1 white or yellow onion
  • place the grated onion in cheesecloth or paper towel and press out the juice
  • make a cup of strong peppermint tea and let it cool
  • drink two teaspoons of onion juice
  • wait five minutes
  • drink two teaspoons of peppermint tea
  • vomiting should stop immediately, nausea should be gone within 15 minutes, if not repeat both onion juice and peppermint tea until symptoms subside

Onions - straight from the garden into the juicer to make a healing onion juice
Onions - straight from the garden into the juicer to make a healing onion juice

Onion Juice Therapy for Cancer

Is it possible that drinking onion juice can stave off and even fight cancer? A lot of people think so, so much so that they commit to drinking a glass of this potent stuff once a day. Although there is little scientific data to back up this onion home remedy, I certainly think it would be worth a try.

This remedy requires the juice of organic, strong flavored onions grown in soil close to where you live. Yellow onions work best for this remedy. Using a juicer would be your easiest option for extracting the potent onion juice, but if you don't have one, a hand held juicer, like the kind used for juicing an orange would do in a pinch.

For maximum impact it is important to drink the onion juice straight and not eat or drink anything for an hour afterwards. It sounds crazy and unpleasant, but pales in comparison to having cancer I'm sure. So raise a glass of onion juice and drink to your health!

Will you try any of these onion home remedies?

See results

Other Unusual Uses for Onions

My search for onion home remedies yielded so many results that it was impossible to share them all here, but here are a few of the more unusual ones that I just couldn't resist mentioning:

  • Rub onion juice on you as a bug repellent
  • Use the juice of an onion to repel moths
  • Rub onion juice on the scalp to promote hair growth
  • Rub an onion on your skin to prevent freckling
  • Use an onion to polish glass and copper wear
  • Rubbing an onion on iron will prevent it from rusting
  • Boiled onion water, cooled and sprayed on plants will repel pests

The wonderful thing about onions, are onions are wonderful things....
The wonderful thing about onions, are onions are wonderful things....

An Onion A Day...

Reviewing this long list of onion folk and home remedies leads me to believe that Mother Nature is one smart lady. Could it be possible that everything we need to heal ourselves is growing around us? Wouldn't that be amazing? It certainly brings new meaning to the idea of universal healthcare.

So in the spirit of good health for all, give one or some of these onion remedies a try to share the info with others. Who knows, maybe the age old saying will have to be changed from "an apple a day keeps the doctor away," to "An onion a day..."

Happiness and health for all!

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The folk and home remedies in this article should not be used as a substitute for conventional medical advice should it be required. We are all personally responsible for our own health.


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    • profile image


      7 months ago

      The onion just as garlic are and have always been 2 of mother natures greatest and most powerful magic vegetables. Both have been used in 100's of both medical uses as well as everyday natural home remedies, across every location humanity has lived on this planet. It is estimated that the onion has been used and around for over 6000 years an or even the dawn of human society all together. I have studied in deep depth both the amazing abilities many multiple uses for the onion as well as garlic. They are my go to vegetables for both my medical health and personal health, first and foremost before i would choose to take any of these prescription medications or meds from big pharma.

    • profile image

      Prince Gautam 

      4 years ago

      All the opinion mentioned here are not scientific so don't believe in these and consult to other sites ,if anyone get any information about scientific reason then suggest me. OK BYEEEEEEEEEEEEE

    • Babbyii profile image

      Barb Johnson 

      5 years ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      You must know my Dad Catherine. He is sure onions can cure anything. We grew with Dad's onion concoctions. We survived!! Good stuff here Catherine. Thanks!

    • Shweta Khurana profile image

      Shweta Khurana 

      5 years ago

      Hey Catherine, its a wonderful article...i knew onions had lots of benefits but never realized that they could be so helpful...I will surely try them..

    • FatBoyThin profile image

      Colin Garrow 

      5 years ago from Inverbervie, Scotland

      I've heard some of these cures before but always assumed they were just 'old wives tales'. Interesting Hub - I'll definately try some of these now. Thanks.

    • rxville profile image

      Anita Zhafran 

      5 years ago from Earth Pharmacy

      Add garlic and onion into your favorite foods to gain the benefit of quercetin. As you may know, quercetin has tons of health benefits - one of which is boosting immune system.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I had no idea. I came on here, due to the fact I cut myself chopping onions, and I thought for sure I was in for the burning of a lifetime. Not only did it not hut at all, but it stopped bleeding too! Now I've come here I know why and then some. I thank you for adding to my understanding of what I have in my kitchen.

    • sosown profile image


      6 years ago from NJ, USA

      Great article, I am adding it to my, I never knew, list!

    • profile image

      Ibrahim Chopdat 

      6 years ago

      Add onions in salads. Sliced onions with vinegar as salad

    • Muhammad Ali7 profile image

      Muhammad Ali 

      6 years ago from Lahore, Pakistan

      Very right. The nature has every thing that we require. A very informative article. A wonderful post!

    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I so love onions, but I did not know the medicinal properties of onions. The is a wonderful Hub.

    • Thundermama profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Taylor 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks so much for dropping by vespawoolf. I too am convinced it should be an onion a day. It seems like many cultures have embraced the healing powers of onions and we North Americans need to get on board too.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      Vespa Woolf 

      7 years ago from Peru, South America

      My goodness, I'm beginning to think that an onion a day does keep the doctor away! Mothers here in Peru also do an onion cough syrup with honey instead of the brown sugar. They also do a sort of tea made of onion, garlic and ginger. The sock tip was interesting--don't know if I'd have the courage to try it--maybe if I was desperate enough. How interesting that onion can help heal a wound, too. I plan to use onions more after reading this. Thanks!

    • Thundermama profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Taylor 

      7 years ago from Canada

      CCW, thanks so much for stopping by. I am hopeful North American medicine will soon open its eyes to the healing power of food and nature. It sounds like you have had some amazing world travels.

    • CountryCityWoman profile image


      7 years ago from From New York City to North Carolina

      So many other cultures know the healing benefits of onions. When I was in S. Korea I was told that onions were part of the hospital cuisine for cancer patients. And in Senegal I got to enjoy vegetable platters filled with onions because onions were used to cleanse the blood. How sad that we believe synthetic drugs with all their side effects could ever be equal to nature.

      Thanks a million for a spectacular hub! Yay!

    • Thundermama profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Taylor 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Hi Faceless39, neither did I until I wrote this hub. It was a great learning experience for me. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Faceless39 profile image

      Kate P 

      7 years ago from The North Woods, USA

      Wow, I had no idea. Thanks for the tips!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Thundermama profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Taylor 

      7 years ago from Canada

      prasetio30, i too am a lover of home remedies and especially ones that involve items most people have on hand. Glad you enjoyed the hub and thanks for the vote up.

    • prasetio30 profile image


      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Amazing hub about onion. Actually, I love herbal remedies. I also believe that Onion is one of the best and we can easily find this material. I learn many things here. Thanks for writing and sharing with us. Voted up!


    • Thundermama profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Taylor 

      7 years ago from Canada

      mvlllecat, oh the wisdom of mothers, yours sounds like she was quite smart. Thanks so much for the read, comment and pin. Much appreciated.

    • mvillecat profile image

      Catherine Dean 

      7 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

      My mom has always spoke highly of onions' medical properties. Great hub and pinned it.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 

      7 years ago from Placentia California

      My crazy aunt who is into metaphysical stuff told me about the onion for cough syrup. I was crazy enough to try it. Only she told me to let it sit overnight in the sugar. The next day I collected the syrup and I was crazy enough to try it. To my surprise, it tasted like cough syrup and it worked for a while just like a cough syrup. Thanks for this hub, voting up, useful and sharing.

    • Thundermama profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Taylor 

      7 years ago from Canada

      JAS, thanks so much for the read and I am glad I could share something new with you. You onion habit is such a healthy one, no doubt you feel the benefits. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I eat onions on a daily basis but never knew of all the other things you have listed here for onions. I'll be trying some of the out.

      As a child I remember my grandmother asking me one day if I'd like a cookie, and I in turn asked her if I could have an onion sliced with a bit of salt instead. I know strange but true :)

      Great hub! Voting up and sharing.

    • Thundermama profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Taylor 

      7 years ago from Canada

      fastfreta, thank you so very much for your kind comments and the big share. I am touched and glad that I could share my onion knowledge.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      I love onions but I never knew they had so many medicinal prioperties. I use garlic for some of the same ailments. Very, very good research and very well written. Voted up, useful, interesting.

      I love this so much that I'm going to share it in every possible way, i.e Facebook, twitter, etc. I've also got to try to figure out how to save this to my computer.

    • Thundermama profile imageAUTHOR

      Catherine Taylor 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Hariom, thanks for reading and commenting and you're right, raw onion is best for healing.

      agusfanai, glad you learned something new about the onion. I too learned a lot in writing this.

      bb, you are possibly the most supportive hubber in the world. Glad I could share this amazing info with you. I agree though, why must we be smelly to be healthy?

      Sugahware, thanks for the compliment and yes they are fun to grow. Can't wait to plant some with my girls this spring.

    • Sugahware profile image

      Robyn D Bera 

      7 years ago from California

      Love those onions! Super fun to grow in a backyard garden as well. Great hub!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well that is just amazing. How come the two things that are best for you, onions and garlic, both make you smell bad???? LOL Great information here my friend. Well done and yes, I will try these.

    • agusfanani profile image


      7 years ago from Indonesia

      Great information about onion. I didn't know that onion has so many benefits. With very expensive price of artificial medicines, people really need alternative in medication like using onion. Thank you for sharing this useful information.

    • Hariom Singhal profile image


      7 years ago from INDIA (Haryana) SAMPLA

      A good article contain a lot of information. It is easily available everywhere.Use it raw.


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