Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Critical Mom's Guide to Onions

I did post something on onions, the wonder drug, but oh, they are such a staple!  Cooking and colds, in that order:

(1) Dice them and throw them in boiling olive oil.  Turn the heat down, cook until transluscent, and then add the food of your choice:  bulgar, ground meat, vegetables.

(2) But they make your eyes all teary?  Now you have the best excuse in the world to sip a glass of red wine.  The cure for onion-induced tears is a glass of red wine.

(3) The kid has an earache?  I assume that you, like me, have a shopping bag of mismatched socks.  These are of course good for lots of things--art projects, especially making patchwork dolls, but they are essential in an earache situation.  Take a room-temperature onion and chop it into eight or ten pieces.  Divide between the two socks; tie a knot to keep them in there.  The kid should hold them against his ears and you should provide him with a ski headband or hat--cotton if you have it--to put over his head and hold those onion-filled socks against his ears.   The idea is that he should sleep on his back that way, keeping the onions against his ears; the onions act as a decongestant. Meanwhile, he should take a natural (plant-based) decongestant--Sinupret is a good one and can be found in Western Europe and the U.S. and contains:

  • European elder 36
  • Common sorrel 36 mg
  • Cowslip 36 mg
  • European vervain 36 mg
  • Gentian 12 mg.
     Besides the Sinupret--and a dose of Umckaloabo would help too--he should use a sea-salt nose spray.  Unless an infection has really taken hold, the kid should feel better in the morning.


  1. Does this really work??? Never heard of it, but will certainly try it.

  2. Yeah . . . if no real infection has taken hold--if the problem is congestion. If it's at the "he's got a cold" phase. The onions are a decongestant.

  3. Also the onions should be room temperature. I don't ever keep mine in the fridge, but if you do, you could warm them up with a hair dryer. Try the onion remedy two nights running: if the earache hasn't cleared up by then, see the doc. But I can tell you that on one occasion we took our daughter to the pediatrician and the doc told us to just go back to onions. Which worked. They don't like to give antibiotics anymore. . .

  4. They're right about that. My son had constant ear infections for years (finally got tubes, which helped enormously) and he became immune to most low-level antibios. And, of course, now they say overuse of antibiotics has created these superbugs. Yuck.

  5. Yes. And in some European countries--Spain, I believe--Amoxicillin no longer works. One of my boys had tubes too . . . but when onions work they really work! I love a low-tech cure . . .

  6. By the way, report on latest use of onions: my thirteen-year-old had an earrache and kept socks filled with cut onions over his ears most of the night--held them on with a ski band--and he had no pain the next day or the next.
    Wish I'd known that when he was a baby . . . our pediatrician would have gone broke.