The knowledge of using onions as medicine goes all the way back to ancient Egypt. Rosemary Gladstar, a great herbalist, makes a honey onion syrup using low heat in the preparation, but over the years of having bee hives for honey, we’ve learned that heat destroys the vital enzymes in raw honey, so I prefer to make my raw honey onion syrup with absolutely no heat.
My homemade honey onion cough and decongestant syrup is fast and easy. Make as much or as little as needed – it will store beautifully for at least a year at room temp due to honey’s preserving qualities. This recipe is perfect for beginners.
This interesting old story about tuberculosis (with a terrible cough) is from the Depression, and it illustrates the power of honey onion syrup.
“He [Dr. Christopher] was practicing with a small band many years ago. He was going to travel to Europe, entertaining on board a ship. But as he would play his banjo, he had such a bad cough that he would cough in rhythm! A French dancer who was with them said, “That’s awful”. “We can’t continue this way.” She went off into the kitchen in her apartment. When she came back to finish the practice, she brought him a bowl of Onion Syrup. Dr. Christopher had had this cough for four years. He had been working in a planing mill, running a three-gun sander and the sandings from the hardwood–mahogany and similar wood–came into his face. It was during the Depression and they couldn’t afford a mask, so he had to contrive a mask himself. However, it didn’t work, and he got his annoying chronic cough. Medical doctors and his family physician, told him he had tuberculosis, which they said they couldn’t treat or cure. But after just a spoonful of this Onion Syrup, Dr. Christopher had the first peace and ease he had had in a long time.”
My recipe below is exactly the same. “The honey extracts the Onion power, which is the greatest antihistamine known. This goes into the honey solution and provides a wonderfully effective cough syrup.” (Source)
Onions are one of nature’s greatest anti-inflammatory troopers and are effective antibacterial and antibiofilm agents. (PubMed study)
Really good, quick 2 minutes..
If your cough is productive, as in you’re coughing up mucous, avoid suppressing it. The action of coughing is important to loosen up phlegm or mucous and get it out of your lungs.
But if your cough is not productive, just annoying and disrupting sleep, then my other homemade no-side-effect cough remedy (a cough suppressant and different recipe altogether) is what I’d choose.
Make a Simple Honey Onion ‘Get It Up and Out’ Cough Syrup
You Will Need:
- 1 or 2 red or yellow onions (though the more pungent, the deeper the warmth and decongestant action will be)
- Honey, preferably raw
- A glass jar with lid. A pint or slightly larger is a good size to start with.
- Peel the onion and cut slices. Pack into container.
- Pour enough honey to cover the slices but leave a 1/2″ of head space.
- Let this sit overnight in an air-tight container at room temperature. The honey will pull the juice of the onion into the honey and soften the onion.
Eat 1-2 honey-soaked onion slices AM and mid-day for a week with a teaspoon of the honey syrup. When the onion slices are consumed, you can add more from another freshly sliced onion or take the syrup that is left by spoon.
You can do this on an acute or maintenace basis. Stay well hydrated to help aid in expectorating the loosened phlegm. You should be able to breathe easier.
The Science About Onions
Onions stimulate the immune system and contain about 25 active therapeutic compounds. They reduce symptoms of diabetes, asthma, are associated with a reduced risk of stomach and brain cancer in humans, inhibit platelet clumping in thrombosis (a process leading to heart attacks and strokes), reduce levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and more. (1)
Anti-bacterial activity: onions have antibacterial activity against many strains of bacteria. Onions that were stored over 3 months showed the strongest antimicrobial activity. (2)
Eliminate toxins. Onions also contain phenols which are natural antioxidants. The journal Food Chemistry reported that many varieties of onion kill off free radicals and protect against DNA damage. (3)
We’ve also known since 2002 that onion juice (without the honey) is a successful topical treatment for alopecia areata.
“We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!” ~Numbers 11:5-6
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