Before Christmas the children and I came down with a fever, cold, and cough. We were going through tissues at an alarming rate and nothing I did seemed to help very much.
As the days crept by, I began to lose hope we’d be better by Christmas. The fever was short-lived, but the cold lingered. Meg’s nose was running about as fast as the Missouri River. There was no way we could take her around other children.
Then I remembered onion poultices. Putting ground up onions (or anything else!) on a toddler’s chest seems like a recipe for a humongous mess, but after reading about the great successes people had with onion and salt poultices for coughs in 10 Essential Herbs (a new favorite!), I was ready to try it anyway.
I am not a doctor or a nurse. The only hospital I have ever worked in is a doll hospital. There, a band-aid can cure a heart attack. Do you own research (here are some of my favorite resources) and talk with your health care provider.
Onions help break up congestion and relieve a cough. They’re good for more than just a cough though. According to 10 Essential herbs, you can use this onion poultice for bruises, swelling, or inflammation. I know first hand that onions can clear up a nasty bruise.
The poultice wasn’t nearly as messy as I’d feared.
More importantly, the poultice worked. After just a few hours, Meg’s congestion dried up and her nose stopped running. I couldn’t help but stand in awe at the healing power God locked within such humble plants.
How to Make an Onion and Salt Poultice for Coughs
What you’ll need:
- Sea salt, optional (Salt helps draw out unwanted liquid. Since regular salt has so many minerals removed/added though, use sea salt.)
- Thin cloth, optional
- Plastic wrap (to keep in the moisture)
- Grind or finely chop the onion. (I blended mine in the blender, and that worked really well.)
- Mix in 1 part salt for 2 parts onion (i.e. 1/2 cup salt to 1 cup onion.)
- If you’re using it to break up congestion, gently heat on the stove or in the oven. Do not cook. You want the onions to still be raw.
- Wrap in the cloth, if you’re using it.
- Wipe coconut oil (or olive oil) on the chest, then place the poultice on and cover with a plastic wrap.
- Leave for 2-8 hours, then discard.
It’s obviously easiest to leave the poultice on while asleep. I tried a poultice while cleaning the bathrooms, since I had extra onion goop. It worked, but was a wee bit more messy!
If you don’t want to walk around smelling like an onion, wipe the area clean with a bit of lemon juice and water.
Onions draw out toxins. Since they’re so good at it, freshly chopped onions (that haven’t had the chance to attract toxins) are the best choice.
Have you ever used onions to clear up congestion?
[Full disclosure: links to products in this post are my referral links.]