Column: Onions For Ah-Choo's?

Publish Date
Wednesday, 9 March 2016, 9:22AM

For those of you who are interested (and I’m sure there are many) I have  almost recovered from my cold.  

It was a doozy of a cold, one that I have heard many others complaining about over the past week.  We must soldier on of course and not let that nasty virus take us down and so we look for ways to make ourselves more comfortable and less gross for those around us while we wait it out.

When discussing cold solutions on the show last week, conversation quickly turned to onions.  According to several of our listeners the absorbance powers of onions know no bounds.  

Toni from Wairoa rang us to share what she does when her daughter starts to sniffle.  “I cut an onion in half, wrap it in a tea towel and put it inside her pillowcase,” said Toni.  “In the morning, she always wakes up fine with no cold.”  

We received several messages after this from people who place a cut onion in a room if they’re painting to get rid of the smell of paint and another from someone who said they leave cut onions around the home in winter and no one in their house ever gets sick.  We did wonder if that might be because no bugs are introduced into their home as no one wants to visit somewhere that stinks of onions all the time but nevertheless, I decided it was worth seeing for myself if there really is more to onions than just a flavourful addition to dinner.  

I did what Toni suggested and slept through the night with an onion safely stashed in my pillow.  When I awoke, I felt better!  My nose was certainly less blocked (the room stunk of onion, but the fact that I could actually smell it was positive) and my head felt a lot clearer.  

Of course, that could have just been the natural progression of the cold and I may have woken feeling better anyway.   More research on the healing powers of onions is required I think, I’ve already penned a letter to Otago University suggesting they get onto this, which I’m sure they will.  

After I tried the onion thing, someone else asked me why I didn’t try garlic?  Apparently if you put a clove of garlic in a certain orifice it will ward off any colds and you’ll feel great.  It’s not your mouth.  And no I will not be trying that one!