Monday, March 12, 2012

life is just a bowl of onions.

I wasn't going to share, for fear of sounding like a nutcake...but my secret is out. Several people have asked why I have onions sitting around the house lately...so I'll explain.

(and I'm knocking on 3 kinds of wood as I type...tricky, I know.)

We've had a pretty healthy winter here. (gulp.) Yes, I just typed that. (more knocking.)

We had our usual hit of stomach virus, followed by a devastating round of high fevers and coughs...nearly a whole month of illness back in November though. And in a depserate willingness to try anything from getting sick again, I took mom's advice...and filled our house with white onions. And we haven't been sick since. Seriously. Last week, a few of the kids had runny noses...but that's it.

I don't know if it's just good luck, or the fact that we had everything early, and our immunity is stronger...I don't know. There's been a TON of illness this season, and we've so far managed to avoid it. (still knocking.)

Mom read in an e-mail from her cousin (who's used this method for years, and swears by it) that if you keep whole white onions in your rooms, they help to absorb/or somehow rid your home of germs. ?? I don't know, really?? Well, after our month of yuckiness in November, she promptly brought over a bag of onions, and dispersed them throughout the house...one in each of the bedrooms, and one in the kitchen...placed in a bowl on a shelf...out in the open, but out of plain sight. And voila. I noticed in January some of them were starting to get soft spots, so I replaced all of them with fresh. For the cost of a bag of onions...it seems worth a try.
Mom placed onions throughout her house as well, and it's the first winter she and dad have made it through without illness in awhile as well...although, we're usually the ones to pass it to them, so I don't know?

Anyhow. Have any of you ever heard of such nonsense? Or do you have some other nutty remedy you've been holding out on us? I've never googled it to see if there's any medical truth to it...but so far (still knocking) it's working for us, and I'll certainly give it a try again next fall (especially near Thankgiving, which seems to be when we're most vulnerable!)

Let me hear back from you on this...

Edited to add: my brother/sister-in-law just e-mailed me to "debunk" this myth. Snopes says it's just not true. Well darnit, anyhow. And I thought it was workin' for us;)

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't care what Snopes says....it's working for us, and OBVIOUSLY it's working for you. I'll put onions out every November. Mom

Anonymous said...

Maybe someone needs to investigate snopes. I am sure you have heard..."if it works, don't fix it". You know it is like doctors who have a "PRACTICE" simply because they don't know it all and that is why they have to practice. Humans might think they have all the answers but but when it comes to old home remedies it sure beats all the drugs our doctors have this country over medicated with. Hey venting releives stress, what can I say.

Stacy said...

I'd say if it's working so far for your family, keep it up!! Actually, our family has been struck several times this winter with these flu viruses, so I might just take up your advice and give it a try here! Thanks Jamie!

Anonymous said...

We haven't been suck either, except for a 24 hour bug in December. We do not keep onions, however my kids eat fresh blueberries like they are the last ones on earth. I chalk it up to all the antioxidants that they have been getting.

Anonymous said...

I have heard of it too. I ought to jump on the wagon myself, it's really going around FL this week. I have also heard of the remedy of putting Vick's rub on the soles of your feet (then add a sock) while you sleep and it's supposed to keep you from coughing all night. It's a better location than on the chest, so I hear. At least it would be safe for small babies.
Good luck!
Renee

Anonymous said...

Since, I'm the one that sent you the snopes email - didn't say I agreed with it, I did alot MORE research. This is the best that I came up with. Is long, but right to the point. And, by the way, your parents brought the flu to us last Thanksgiving. She must not of been using the onions then. Just saying.... I copy & pasted this) the old wives tale about the onion is less myth than you think. Onions are full of phosphoric acid... (the reason people mention white onions as the favorite is because it contains the most P.A.) and Phosphoric acid (when used in ambient temperatures... or "room temperature") is an effective disinfectant, and does a good job killing (most) bacteria.

many people get sick from bacterial and parasitic infections... not just from viruses. Also, one scientific study on the effectiveness of hand sanitizers on viruses showed that enteric viruses (such as the Rotavirus and Norovirus) can be inactivated by a solution that includes Phosphoric acid.

what does all that mean? Onions, white onions especially, can work... but not in the way the article has stated. it doesn't 'magically absorb' viruses and bacteria. The phosphoric acid is absorbed through the skin via the onion in the sock trick, or through the nasal passages via the onion in a jar by the bed trick. once the P.A. is in your system... it will help inactivate certain bacterial and viral infections.

Of course, this is not a cure all, it is just a helper. It's kind of like the flu shot. It will protect you to a certain extent... but it's not fool proof. Many who get the flu shot may still get the flu, or a different strain of the flu the vaccine does not protect against. So don't JUST use the onion... use it as part of your stay healthy routine.

To really protect yourself from illness, practice good hygiene. Wash hands frequently, use anti-bacterial soaps, carry anti-bacterial hand sanitizers with you that state they are 60+ % alcohol... avoid using public restrooms if possible. (if you have to use one... I always carry a can of lysol in my car to spray the toilet seat down). Shower nightly. (I prefer to shower at night, to wash the germs of the day off.) eat healthy, make sure you're getting enough vitamin C, B, and Zinc... properly prepare your foods, and yes... go ahead and use your onions.

I prefer the onion in a jar personally. I've taken to slicing the ends off a white onion, and placing it in a container. I put one in my bedroom and one in my bathroom. I wouldn't keep an onion for more than a week... and DO NOT EAT THEM!! if you are leaving onions out... I wouldn't eat them afterwards. There are many other types of bacteria that can grow on an onion which would not effect us unless eaten. So I would toss the onions out when it is time to replace them.

also... please keep pets away from onions. especially dogs. Dogs can not process onions the way humans do and it can make them seriously ill. If you have curious pets, keep the onion in a place where they can not reach.

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Dec 13, 2011 - END

Love ya'll, Judy

Anonymous said...

We have even put cut onions on our kids chests when they have high fevers. It is supposed to draw out infecton. Our son had what we thought was the swine flu two years ago and had a high fever of 105. I immediately did this and fever went down after a few hours and stayed down. Crazy, maybe!

Anonymous said...

i have heard of doing this. and i have also heard you should never save half an onion if you don't use it because they collect so much bacteria!!