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February 10, 2021

Did you know this about the Onion plant (Allium cepa )?

I know these are trying times, and I know everyone is so done with the Covid 19 pandemic, but have you ever thought about or do you know about the role that onions was said to have played in the Bubonic plague?


In the time of the Bubonic plague it was thought that the plague was caused by a poisonous mist, the people of that time era thought that an onion cut in half and placed in bowls around a room would absorb the poison and protect them from the plague. Although it is not scientifically proven that an onion can absorb the germs of a plague, flu or colds, I tend to lean more towards the old folk remedies simply because I have found that a lot of them actually work. So it is up to the individual person to believe in such folk remedies as an onion absorbing germs. Yay or Nay? That is the question!


The thought of the onion being used to absorb germs and the fact that many sources say that if you cut an onion, then use it all or throw the remainder away, never save a cut onion for later use, lead me to write this article. While the Covid 19 pandemic is still very active, my husband and I went in a restaurant that had an active salad bar, of course masks and gloves were to be worn while visiting the salad bar. Just to make it clear I am by no means trying to degrade the severity of Covid 19 by writing this article. However, I couldn’t help but wonder what if?! What if the onions are sitting there in their nice little container on the salad bar absorbing the germs being brought in by staff and people coming in to dine? Afterall, the salad bar is sitting as one comes in the door. What if the old folk remedy is in fact true? Would it be safe to eat the onions on the salad bar that have been sitting out in the open? As a matter of fact, would it be safe to eat anything sitting out in the open on the salad bar? Of course, these are questions that I myself cannot answer but I felt like the thought was worth sharing.


Onions are not only a food, they do have many medicinal uses. There are many different species of onions but for the purpose of keeping it simple I will be referring to the Onion plant aka Common Onion (Allium cepa) of the Family Amaryllidaceae.

The Onion is known to be anthelminticanti_inflammatoryantiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic  hypotensivelithontripic, stomachic and tonic.

Below is just a short list of what onions can be used for:

  • The main folk remedy use of Onions has been for the common cold, treating coughs, asthma, bronchitis and also relieving hoarseness.
  • The regular consumption of Onion lowers blood pressure and the serum levels of cholesterol and triglyceride, while increasing HDL levels. As a result, it prevents atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, and reduces the risk of heart attacks or strokes. Onions are considered as one of the small number of vegetables which reduce heart disease risk.
  • Onions are natural anti-clotting agents due to their sulfur content.
  • The high amount of fructooligosaccharide in onions stimulates the growth of healthy bacteria and suppresses the potentially harmful bacteria in the colon such as Bacillus subtilis, Salmonella, and E. coli.
  • Roasted onions are good for earaches. They have also been recommended for treating headaches, snakebites, hair loss and infertility in women.


Like I said above, this is only a short list of what Onions can accomplish medicinally. Aren’t they amazing?


Medicinal benefits sourced from 36 (jocpr.com)

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Did you know this about the Onion plant (Allium cepa )?

Sheila Barks


I'm a Certified Aromatherapist & student Herbalist. My passion is helping others through my products and services. I'm a nurturer by nature. I can't wait to meet you!!

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