If you have read my book, ‘Yoga Prescribed’, you will remember the advice to put a cut onion beside the bed. The onion will absorb into itself any cough and cold germs, any viruses. After three days, compost that onion and replace it with a fresh one. It certainly cuts down the frequency of winter colds, and their severity.
North Americans use wild onions for the treatment of colds, stings and bites. Chinese herbalists use them on boils, and in European medicine they have been used to alleviate anaemia, bronchitis, asthma, urinary infections, arthritis, gout, rheumatism and the signs of aging. In East Anglia, thick onion soup was a treatment for chesty children.
Spring onions are a great source of vitamin C, as well as some B vitamins and traces of minerals. They are diuretic, dissolving and eliminating urea. This is why they are so helpful with arthritis and rheumatism. Related to garlic, leeks, chives and shallots, onions are antibacterial.
In yoga, onions are believed to be rajasic. This means that they fire up the energies and create heat and movement. This may be why they are so helpful in the winter, when the tendency may be to move towards the tamasic, or lethargic state. Our family loves raw onions in cheese sandwiches!
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