This is food for thought, no pun intended! Can onions help to cure the flu? Maybe it is just an old wives tale based on medieval folklore, but who knows there just might be something to it.
If you hunt around the internet, you can find a variety of stories that refer to this remedy, here are a few that I found.
In 1919 when the Spanish flu pandemic killed 40 million people there was this doctor that visited the many farmers to see if he could help them combat this flu. Many of the farmers and their families had contracted it and many died.
The doctor came upon this one farmer and to his surprise, everyone was extremely healthy. When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different, his wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in all the rooms of their home. The doctor could not believe it and asked if he could have one of the onions to look at under his microscope. She gave him one and when he did this, he did find the flu virus in the onion. It obviously absorbed the bacteria, therefore, keeping the family healthy.
Also, more recently, a hairdresser said that several years ago, many of her employees were coming down with the flu, and so were a lot of her customers. So, the following year she placed several bowls containing onions all around her shop. To her surprise, none of her staff got sick, so she believes that it works.
What both these stories fail to mention is if there were any outwardly signs on the onions to suggest they had absorbed the germs. If there was not any noticeable evidence, does that mean all the onions laying around on our supermarket shelves might be contaminated and we are blissfully unaware?
However, in this next story there is evidence that the onion has been contaminated.
A lady from Oregon, who regularly contributes material on health issues, said this about her experience with onions:
“Thanks for the reminder. I don’t know about the farmer’s story…but I do know that I contracted pneumonia, and, needless to say, I was very ill. I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion and put it into an empty jar and place it next to the sick patient at night. It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs…sure enough it happened just like that…the onion was a mess, and I began to feel better.
Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved many from the black plague years ago. They have powerful antibacterial and antiseptic properties”.
Lots of times when we have stomach problems, we don’t know what to blame, and we often think it must be something we ate. Maybe it is the onions that are to blame. If onions do in fact absorb bacteria, especially uncooked ones, then maybe this is the problem and we shouldn’t eat an onion that has been sitting around for some time after it has been cut open. They say you should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion even if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator. Who ‘they’ are I am not sure, but anyway!
It’s funny because I often buy a large bag of red onions from Costco when I shop there. And quite often, more often than I would like, when I cut into one of the onions, I find the centre is often black and mushy, yet the outside of the onion looks fine. Now these onions have not had their top and bottoms cut off, but according to the farmer’s story, the onions his wife used were unpeeled and uncut. Maybe this is just a coincidence, but it happens so often, I have always thought it was strange.
I can honestly say too that I only find this problem with the big red onions. The Spanish onions and white onions seem okay, unless they are just naturally getting old. So, this then begs the question, do all types of onions work in this way, or is it just one type?
I would definitely try this for myself, but luckily, I very rarely get sick and I cannot remember the last time I had the flu or a cold. Onions are my go-to vegetable as they are inexpensive and taste great. I eat them both raw and cooked and often eat left over onion that I have put in a container in the refrigerator and I can’t say that I have noticed any issues as a result. But maybe that is why I don’t sick, because I ingest the onions in large enough amounts to benefit from their antibacterial properties. Just a thought!
So, do I think that onions can absorb bacteria? I haven’t the foggiest idea. But I think it wouldn’t hurt to try it! Maybe it could be our cure for Covid-19!