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Herb info 17/2017: Onion.

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Herb card 17.2017: Onion. Herb card 17.2017: Onion. Onions are interesting in that a raw onion is pungent and hot (that is, drying) while a fried onion is sweet and moistening.

The pungent smell helps with stuffy noses. Put half a cut-up onion into a small bowl (or, for small children, into a sock) and keep that beside your bed at night. You will sleep much better when you (or your child) can breathe easily at night.

An onion syrup is fast to make but won't keep.

For that, chop up 1–2 onions and layer them in a jar with sugar. The syrup is done when the sugar has melted, within a few hours of making it. Take a teaspoon as and when needed.

Onions can be of help in other ways, in sniffles and coughs. Make a poultice from warm (not hot) fried onions and put that on your breast for coughs. You can of course also eat fried onions for your cough, but the amounts required to work mean there's a distinct smell. (Reduce any gassy emanations by chewing a few seeds of caraway, fennel or aniseed.)

A fried onion helps with earaches, too. Put a warm (not hot) poultice on the achy ear and keep it on place for about 10 minutes. The ache will be gone fairly soon.

If you cut yourself while chopping up onions, help is near. The thin membrane between onion layers makes a handy band-aid that also stops bleeding.

If you're sensitive to onions, you can't use it as a medicinal herb. All others benefit from using this common vegetable as a versatile medicinal herb.

Henriette's herb cards: buy yours here!